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It’s summer again and many avid golfers will be hitting the fairways of Alberta’s numerous courses. Although the game may seem relatively simple to the non-golfer, injury is common in all calibers of players. The lower back, elbows, shoulder, hands and wrists are the more common injury sites for amateur golfers.
Types of Golfing Injuries:
Most injuries are muscle strains and/or ligament sprains caused by improper warm-up along with poor swing mechanics. A common golf injury is the infamous “Golfer’s Elbow” in the training swing arm, which is an overuse injury resulting from a poor warm-u, excessive gripping and improper swing mechanics mistakes. Other golf injuries include knee pain, shin splints, painful arches, rotator cuff injuries, rib stress fractures and tendonitis in the wrists and hands.
Prevention is the key to avoiding injury. A healthy lifestyle, including proper nutrition, drinking plenty of water, and engaging in cardiovascular activity at least three time a week, is a good start. Golfers looking to improve their game should also begin strength training to improve swing mechanics and prevent overuse injuries. Whether you are a new or an experienced golfer, it is a good idea to take a few lessons from a professional instructor to sharpen and refine your grip, stance, and swing mechanics to prevent unnecessary stresses on your body that may cause injury. You may also benefit from changing equipment, as irons with larger heads and graphite shafts will dampen vibrations sent to shoulders, elbows, and wrists, helping to prevent injuries. Properly fitted golf shoes are an important investment to provide increased support and sane your hips, legs and feet from possible injury.
Pre Tee Off Warm Up:
Prior to teeing of on the first hole it is important to start with a slow and thorough warm up. Begin with stretches of the upper and lower body, as well as a trunk. Key joints to stretch are the hips, trunk, shoulders, elbows and wrists. Hit a few balls with your short irons first, as you do not want you first shot to be a hard driver swing off the tee.
What should you do if you are injured?
If you are injured while golfing, try to rest the injured area for a few days. Use ice and anti-inflammatory medications to decrease the swelling and pain the area. If you do not experience relied in a few days, visit your Doctor and/or Physical Therapists for further evaluation. Physical Therapists can work with you to increase your mobility, relieve your pain, build your strength and improve your cardiovascular function to get you back on the course faster. You will receive sort specific strengthening programs to keep you healthy and active. Most importantly, you will learn how to prevent pain and injury from reoccurring.