Most golfers are always trying to improve their shot, increase their putting efficiency and reduce their handicap. However, Golf comes with its common list of injuries which can hinder or even stop play.
Tiger Woods - “I’ve been going to Chiropractors for as long as I can remember. It’s as important to my training as practicing my swing”
The most commonly reported golfing injuries are:
Back Pain – the bent over position most golfers adopt when playing can place a large amount of stress on the spine. Other reasons include over-use, poor technique, poor conditioning, trauma or other underlying conditions. Common back injuries include damaged soft tissue, mechanical dysfunction, disc related, arthritis or stress fractures.
Golfers Elbow – mainly caused by a combination of over-use and poor swing follow through. Presents as inflammation and soreness on the inside and outside of the upper arm, near the elbow.
Shoulder Pain – caused by over-use, poor posture and poor technique. It usually presents as pain through different stages of the swing, however, night pain can also be present, normally caused by a rotator cuff injury, AC joint arthritis or shoulder instability.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome – brought on through an overly tight club grip, poor grip set up and over-use. Repetitive stress causes the nerves supplying the hands to be compressed causing pain.
DeQuervain’s Tendinitis – poor swing technique and premature release of the hands at the top of the backswing are the main cause. This brings on pain in the wrist at the base of the thumb at the top of the backswing, caused by inflammation of the tendon.
Knee Pain – brought on with poor swing technique, over twisting or wrong footwear. Common causes of pain are torn meniscus, knee arthritis (osteoarthritis), bursitis or kneecap irritation (chondromalacia).
Trigger Finger – caused by poor grip set up including hard grip, wrong gloves, and poor technique. The flexor tendon sheath is inhibited causing a finger or fingers to lock.
Wrist Impaction Syndrome – an overly fast backswing which causes the wrist bones in the right hand to bang against each other excessively in a repetitive manner. Causes widespread ache, pain, and stiffness in the hand and wrist.
ECU Tendon Subluxation – poor swing technique coupled with a powerful swing can cause the sheath holding the wrist tendon to slide in & out of its groove, causing an audible and painful clicking.
Fracture of Hamate Bone – most golfers grip the club with the butt against their hamate (a small bone in the wrist on the pinky side). This can cause the hamate to fracture from repetitive impact or one large trauma. This injury can cause pain and numbness in the ring and pinky fingers. This can be avoided with well fitting clubs and adjusting the way you grip the club.
Ankle Pain – mainly brought on through excessive twisting, wrong footwear or incorrect insoles. Pain can be a symptom of a muscle strain, ligament/tendon damage or arthritis.
The main causes of Golf injuries are:
• Poor Swing
• Weak Core Muscles
• Spinal Misalignments
• Not Warming Up Properly
• Inadequate Equipment
• Previous Injury
Symptoms of Golf injuries include:
• Back pain
• Joint Pain
• Muscle Spasms
How to avoid these injuries:
• A good fitness regime to strengthen your core muscles and improve your overall fitness level
• An efficient warm-up and stretching routine to prepare your muscles for a round of golf. This will lower the chance of straining your muscles and lead to a cleaner first swing.
• Have a professional golf coach review your swing every year. They will deconstruct your swing, pick up any bad habits and work to get your swing smooth, powerful and accurate.
• Chiropractic care to maintain your spinal health.
Many golfing injuries respond very well to Chiropractic adjustments which aim to encourage efficient joint motion, increase flexibility, reduce muscle tightness and improve alignment.