Are you Fit For Golf?
Spring has finally sprung 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 a wide range of injuries. This month we will focus on the types of injuries that golfers may experience and a simple exercise that may have a big impact on preventing them!
Types of Golf Injuries
Not surprisingly the majority of golf injuries are non-traumatic and are usually due to poor body positioning. This is good news as this means that proper technique and better biomechanics can 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 activity or sport that involves gripping an object like a golf club. Its counterpart is “tennis elbow” which affects the opposite side of the joint.
Another area of the body susceptible to golf injuries is the back. In fact, 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. This isn’t surprising when we consider the bent over stance used and the amount of rotational force generated during each swing.
The low back may also compensate for a lack of flexibility or stability in other areas of the body such as the thoracic spine and hips.
Keep That Thoracic Spine Moving!
The thoracic spine refers to our upper or middle back. While its major role is in the protection of our internal organs, it also has a big impact on our spine’s mobility. To avoid a low back injury this golf season, try this thoracic spine mobility warm-up before you hit the course.
- 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 you feel tightness develop 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 caution 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 important element for a consistent game.
If you have a history of golf-related aches and pains or just want to maintain your injury-free status make sure tobook an assessment with us at one of our 3 Edmonton physiotherapy clinic locations (Belvedere, Namao or Riverbend) or our newest physiotherapy clinic location in Sherwood Park.