Although golf is considered a low-impact sport, there is a risk of injury for those who play the game.
Most golf-related injuries are due to poor posture and repetitive motions that strain the muscles, tendons and joints, according to Dr. Beau Gedrick, an orthopaedic specialist at Augusta University Jaguar Sports Medicine. Although golf injuries are common, Gedrick says they can be avoided when the golfer is aware of their body mechanics.
“Golfers use their entire body when swinging and, over time, this repetitive movement can put significant amounts of stress on the lower back, wrists and shoulders,” said Gedrick. “To avoid golf injuries at any age, the golfer should always use a correct swing technique, ensure their equipment is properly fitted and include stretching exercises before a game.”
Gedrick offers the following tips to lower your risk of injury on the course and possibly move you up the leaderboard.
Get warmed up.
Before playing a round of golf, spend at least 10 minutes warming up your muscles by going for a brisk walk, stretching and swinging your golf club at varying ranges.
Adjust your swing.
For every swing taken in one direction, swing just as forcefully in the opposite direction to promote muscular balance. If you want to keep reducing your chances of injury, consider working with a golf instructor to develop a swing technique best for you.
Wear proper footwear.
Golf shoes with short cleats are the best for golfers since longer cleats often dig in the sod causing more strain on the knees and ankles.
Injured? Get help quickly.
If you have been injured, seek prompt medical treatment and wait until you have completely recovered before heading back to course.
Dr. Beau Gedrick is an assistant professor of primary care sports medicine and emergency medicine at the Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University. He earned his medical degree in osteopathic medicine from Nova Southeastern University.