Are you Fit For Golf?

Summer is finally here in Edmonton, and we bet many of you are thrilled to be hitting the golf greens again. Although it is a low-impact sport, golf is still associated with many injuries. This month we will focus on the types of injuries that golfers may experience and a simple exercise that may have a significant impact on preventing them!

Types of Golf Injuries

Not surprisingly, most golf injuries are non-traumatic and usually due to poor body positioning. The fact that most injuries aren’t severe is good as proper technique and better biomechanics can help you avoid injury.

One part of the body vulnerable to injury with golf is the elbow. Some of you might be familiar with the term “golfer’s elbow” or medial epicondylitis, which describes an overuse injury to the inside of the elbow. Although not limited to golfers, “golfer’s elbow” is caused by repetitive wrist flexion and pronation movements.

High intensity and repetitive forces applied to the elbow tendons can lead to inflammation and pain. It is a common injury in any sport involving gripping an object like a golf club. Its counterpart is the “tennis elbow,” which affects the opposite side of the joint.

Another area of the body susceptible to golf injuries is the back. The low back is the most commonly injured area for golfers, with studies estimating that 20-30% of golf injuries are to the low back. An injury to one’s back isn’t surprising when considering the bent-over stance used and the amount of rotational force generated during each swing.

The low back may also compensate for the lack of flexibility or stability in other body areas, such as the thoracic spine and hips.

Keep That Thoracic Spine Moving!

The thoracic spine refers to our upper or middle back. While its primary role is protecting our internal organs, it also significantly impacts our spine’s mobility. Try this thoracic spine mobility warm-up before hitting the course to avoid a low back injury this golf season.

  • Lie on your side with your knees bent and arms outstretched.
  • Keeping your shoulders and hips firmly on the ground, slowly rotate your top arm in the opposite direction (towards the floor).
  • Rotate until tightness develops in your shoulders and mid-back and return to the start position.

Repeat 5-10 times on both sides.

Caution: Focus on thoracic movement and take notice if you have any previous shoulder injuries and instabilities.

Warm-up well and hit the links pain-free this year. You might even be able to improve your score as there’s no doubt that proper swing technique is an essential element for a consistent game.

Book an Appointment Today!

If you have a history of golf-related aches and pains or want to maintain your injury-free status, book an assessment with one of our therapists at one of our 6 locations. Let Innovation Physical Therapy help you love getting better!