Golf. Fun, frustrating, rewarding and difficult.
It’s a sport that most people will acknowledge takes a lot of skill but don’t necessarily consider it as a strenuous one for the body (at least physically).
However, I disagree. The golf swing involves almost every joint in the body, many in an explosive manner. Put that together with playing for over 4 hours and swinging 70+ times (generally much more!) and you’ve got a pretty strenuous sport.
No wonder that golfer’s commonly suffer injuries to their wrists, necks, lower back and knees.
So what can you do to prevent yourself form injury and even improve your performance?
As with any sport a good warm up and stretch before playing is vital. As I mentioned before golf is a whole body sport and places a lot of rotational force through the joints. Making sure you are warm and performing some mobility exercises before you hit the first tee will reduce the chance of injury and help your performance at the start of the round. Visit our Facebook page for videos for mobility exercises for your back, neck and hips, or speak to one of our Osteopaths who can write a program to suit you individual needs.
Not everyone will be able to go and get a new set of custom fitted clubs but making sure the clubs you use are a decent fit is crucial. Correct grip size can help prevent “golfer’s elbow” while wearing a brace can also reduce the load placed on injured muscles/joints. Our Osteopaths can help you pick the right one for you or determine if ill fitting clubs are part of the issue.
The golf swing relies on all joints working together efficiently to produce power. As Osteopaths we believe that the body is a unit i.e. everything needs to work together. This is especially relevant to golf. For example, if your lead hip isn’t able to rotate inwards then your trunk will need to try and rotate further to complete a full swing. This reduces your power and can lead to injury in the lower back, hip or even the knee. Not everyone has the perfect swing but if yours is causing you problems then speaking to a golf coach or one of our Osteopaths may help to correct restrictions and get the most out of your body.
Don’t overdo it. This is particularly important if you spend a lot of time the driving range. Most people just try to hit balls as far as they can and will go through a hundred balls in under an hour and then feel stiff and sore afterwards. When you consider that this many shots would be spread over several hours in a normal round it’s not hard to see why you might feel a bit stiff and sore.
If you would like any more advice or do suffer from any pain or stiffness relating to golf, come and see one of our Osteopaths to find out how else we can help.
To book an appointment with Damian Click here or call on 95782436