Whether you’re a gym-goer who loves a fun golf session on the side, just like Dwayne Johnson, or you have more serious dreams of elevating the PGA Championship, you know the sport of golf is much more physical than he cannot at first. appear. The act of swinging a club uses multiple bodily processes and as a result golf injuries are often detected on the course. So M&F spoke to Dr Andrew Creighton who told us Assistant Physiatrist at the Special Surgery Hospitaland also Assistant Professor of Clinical Rehabilitation Medicine at Weill Cornel Medical College, to master the biomechanics of golf and get the best tips for injury prevention and recovery.
What are some common golf injuries?
While golf may seem like a pretty sweet affair, poor technique and a misunderstanding of the mental and physical demands of the game will send you off course at any age. “The lower back, the lumbar spine is the first area of injury,” says Dr. Creighton. “In young people, especially in skeletally immature golfers, the problem is injury to the bone, especially the pars bone.” The pars bone is positioned between the joints of the spine and is often vulnerable to injury in young athletes.
“As the golfer ages, a common injury involves the discs in the lumbar spine. Often the golfer injures themselves by bending, lifting, or twisting, especially if weight is added,” says Dr. Creighton: “As the golfer ages, he may develop arthritis of the facet joints of the lumbar spine which again usually hurts with twisting and extension of the painful area. Most of the time, lower back injuries occur as a result of mobility issues in the thoracic spine (at the back of the chest), mid-back, or hip mobility issues. Mobility problems in the thoracic spine and hip lead to increased twisting and shearing force in the lumbar spine, causing injuries to bones, discs and joints.
Dr. Creighton, a former college golfer and current competitive amateur golfer, says upper extremity injuries are also very common, particularly to the elbow and wrist. “The most common injuries that occur to the elbow are medial and lateral elbow tendinopathy, also known as medial and lateral epicondylitis,” he says. “The tendon undergoes changes and sometimes shows partial tears as a result of overuse and poor technique. The golfer usually hurts the prominent bone on the inside or outside of the elbow and just down the arm from these areas. When looking at the wrist, injuries frequently occur on the inside or outside of the wrist, on the ulnar and radial side respectively.
What are the most common causes of golf injuries?
“Wrist injuries most commonly occur from hitting an object with the club, such as a tree root or tall grass, which causes a sudden decrease in movement in the hands and accelerating wrists,” says Dr. Creighton. “In addition to inadvertently hitting something with the club, injuries can also occur from overuse and poor technique similar to how the elbow can be injured. Common causes of golf injuries include overuse or poor swing mechanics and hitting an object during the swing. All of these issues can occur with golfers of any age. As with any activity, there is likely a time when the golfer overplays. However, this point of excessive golf is likely different for each individual.The golfer likely reached this point once the pain and injury occurred.It is therefore recommended that the golfer treat this pain and injury and consider taking some time to allow for recovery It is important to research if there is anything changeable with their golf swing or golf routine before playing again. water.
Should golfers take into account the weather conditions outside?
“Cold weather can slow down your nervous system’s ability to generate muscle contraction,” says Dr. Creighton. “Overall flexibility is important in the golf swing and when you are cold flexibility can be impaired. Reduced flexibility can lead to joint and soft tissue stress and potential injury. It is therefore recommended to wear additional clothing to stay warm when playing golf and to perform a dynamic warm-up to ensure that the tissues are well mobilized before playing. However, excessive layers can also be restrictive to the golf swing, so there is a balance to be struck. Be sure to practice hitting balls on the range after a dynamic warm-up to get that layering balance correct for you.
Is warming up important for playing golf?
The research indicated that warming up can play a role in preventing injury and even improving golf, but statistically few golfers prepare in this way before a game. “I highly recommend that every golfer commit to having a dynamic warm-up focused on mobilizing the body before playing,” says Dr. Creighton. For many, the idea of warming up before a round of golf may seem strange, but when you consider that the body needs to be mobile to stretch and hyper-stretch, then a pre-game warm-up begins to take on its full meaning.
“Having a dynamic warm-up is essential before playing golf,” adds Creighton, who says golf warm-ups are important for muscle activation and can reduce lower back and upper extremity pain, while helping to increase swing power. Incorporate functional exercises such as the side plank, hip rotations, and elbow raises. Also, prepare the wrists by performing up, down, left and right movements. Early indications are that dynamic warm-ups and those that include resistance are superior to static stretches.
What other steps should be taken to limit or avoid golf injuries?
Dr. Creighton recommends golfers take advantage of certain screening measures that examine strength and flexibility measurements such as the Titleist Performance Institute’s Level 1 screen, as physical limitations can often lead to golf swing faults. He also recommends golfers seek instruction from a trained PGA professional in order to fine-tune the golf swing and correct any flaws. “Make sure your clubs are fitted and gripped appropriately,” adds Creighton. “Additionally, long-term pre-season conditioning can potentially help golfers avoid fatigue-related injuries.”
What treatments are available for golf injuries?
“Treating the golfer, whatever their injury, really involves a collaborative approach,” says Dr. Creighton. “First, see a doctor who can give a clear diagnosis of what the injury is. A skilled physical therapist can guide the athlete through an exercise-based approach to athlete rehabilitation and reconstruction. Finally, the golfer can also benefit from a swing coach who is aware of the injury and can modify the swing if necessary to help avoid aggravating the healing injury, thus helping to prevent recurrence of the injury.
Should Golfers Be Nutrition Conscious?
Dr. Creighton says that some research has suggested that a caffeine supplement can decrease fatigue towards the end of a round of golf, helping to improve energy levels. “For golfers, the focus should be on proper hydration during the game, as even mild dehydration can affect performance,” he adds. “Golf is considered by many to be a moderately intense activity and even at moderately intense levels of exercise, at least half of our total energy comes from carbohydrates, indicating that golfers need to consume carbohydrates to maintain blood sugar levels when they play golf. In addition, maintaining normal blood sugar levels allows the golfer to maintain their concentration.
So be sure to warm up, perfect your technique, hydrate, and know when it’s time to rest and rebuild. This is how we stay on course throughout the season.