One thing I have learned as I have gotten older is that things hurt now that never did when I was younger. I have no idea how many times in my life I have put on my golf shoes, grabbed my clubs, and gone to the first tee, taken a couple of practice swings and then teed off.
Now it is necessary to warm up prior to a round by stretching, loosening up, and hitting a few practice balls before going to the first tee. When I was younger I never gave my back a second thought and now I have to cater to it. Playing in cold weather can make things worse. I have learned that there are some things I can do to prevent have to pay a price the next morning for enjoying a round of golf.
According to the Golf Channel these are the most common injuries that plague golfers:
An estimated 75 to 85 percent of all Americans will experience some form of back pain during their lifetime, and the numbers may be higher among golfers.
Tendinitis in the Elbows – Tendinitis (irritation and inflammation of the tendon tissue) is the most common condition affecting the elbow. It is frequently referred to as “tennis elbow” when there is an injury to the outer tendon, and “golfer’s elbow” when there is an injury to the inner tendon.
Knee pain can occur from the strain placed on a weak knee to stabilize the rotation of the hip axis at the beginning of the swing.
Pain may be felt in the shoulder or upper arm at various phases of the golf swing, or following play, often during the night and when extending arms overhead.
The repetitive motions of golf, and the high speed of the typical swing can place wrists at a high risk for injury.
Much as with wrist injuries, the repetitive motions of golf, and the high speed of the typical swing can place the hands and fingers at high risk for injury.
Neck injuries are common in new golfers who are not used to twisting their bodies so much.
Throughout the golf swing, the body acts as a whip; power production starts with the feet pushing against the ground.
The hip joint is usually very mobile and able to withstand large amounts of loading stresses, but is particularly vulnerable to injury during golf, since the swing involves a tremendous amount of pivoting and twisting movements.
Skin is the largest organ of the body, and the most vulnerable to damage while playing golf.
Here is an article that I found on the Mayo Clinic website that has helped me tremendously and I thought I would pass it on. Golf injuries are common but avoidable. Learn how to protect yourself.
By Mayo Clinic Staff
Although golf is a low-impact sport, it’s associated with a significant number of injuries. Many golfing-related injuries are a result of poor mechanics or overuse. The most commonly injured area is the lower back, followed by the elbow, wrist and hand, and shoulder.
Follow these tips to stay in shape on the course.
The entire body is used to execute a golf swing in a complex and coordinated movement. When this movement is repeated frequently, significant stress is placed on the same muscles, tendons and joints. Over time, this can result in injury.
Understanding the mechanics behind your golf swing can help you prevent golf injuries. Try to:
Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and rotated slightly outward, and with your knees slightly bent. Hold your spine relatively straight; your trunk should be tilted forward, but most of that movement should come from your hips. Avoid hunching over the ball, which may contribute to neck and back strain.
The power of a golf swing comes from force transferred smoothly through all the muscle groups, from your ankles to your wrists. If you depend on one part of your body for your hitting power, you may be more prone to injuries. For example, overemphasizing your wrists during your swing can lead to golfer’s elbow — a strain of the muscles on the inside of the forearm.
If you swing the club too hard or too fast, you may stress your joints. Relax and take a nice, easy swing at the ball. The best golfers have consistent — not necessarily fast — swing tempos.
If you want to reduce the risk of golf injuries, consider taking lessons. What you learn about your golf swing may even help you shave strokes from your score.
There’s more to golf than your golf swing. Consider other ways to lower your risk of golf injuries:
Before you practice your swing or play a round of golf, warm up for at least 10 minutes with a brisk walk or a set of jumping jacks. Stretch your hands, wrists, forearms, elbows, shoulders, spine and pelvis. Swing your golf club a few times, gradually increasing your range of motion.
You might start out by practicing your swing for hours, believing it’s helping your game. But if your body isn’t conditioned for the strain, repetitively practicing your golf swing may do more harm than good. Work up to your desired level of activity instead.
You don’t need bulging muscles to hit a long drive — but the stronger your muscles, the greater your club speed. Stronger muscles are also less prone to injury. For best results, do strength training exercises year-round.
Regular stretching can improve your range of motion and lead to a more fluid golf swing.
Regular aerobic activity can give you staying power on the course. Try walking, jogging, bicycling or swimming.
Golfers who carry their own bags have higher rates of shoulder and back injuries than do other golfers. If you jerk heavy clubs out of the trunk of your car, you could injure yourself before you reach the first tee. Use proper lifting technique: Keep your back straight and use the strength of your legs to lift.
Elbow and wrist injuries are often the result of hitting the ground or the rough.
Dress for comfort and protection from the elements. Wear golf shoes with short cleats. Long cleats dig into the sod and hold your feet planted as you swing, which may strain your knees or ankles.
Be careful to limit your sun exposure while golfing. Remember to:
Wear sunglasses to filter out UVA and UVB rays.
Wear a hat with a visor to shade your eyes and face.
Watch for signs and symptoms of dehydration, heat exhaustion and heatstroke. Drink plenty of water, whether you feel thirsty or not, and cut your game short if necessary. Red flags for heat-related injury might include:
When riding in a golf cart, keep your feet inside the cart. Golfers have suffered broken ankles when their feet have been caught in the moving parts of golf carts.
Slide show: Golf stretches for a more fluid swing
Whether golf is a new interest or a lifelong passion, make the most of your time on the course by protecting yourself from golf injuries. Consider it all part of the game.