Golf greats from around the world will convene in Austin this week for the Dell Technologies Match Play tournament.
Golf is an excellent sort that can be enjoyed year-round in Central Texas, and it has loads of wellness benefits–such as promoting cardiovascular health and reducing stress.
However, despite its low-impact nature, and that it’s a non-contact sport, it’s not without risk of injury.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission reported that more than 122,000 people were treated for golf-related injuries in 2016. Overuse – playing the game too frequently – and poor form were cited as the most common cause for injury.
These injuries often occur in the lower back or arm–shoulder, elbow (Golfer’s elbow), and wrist.
At Texas Orthopedics, we see golfers in our offices all the time. If left untreated, a serious golf injury can lead to long-term musculoskeletal problems.
To avoid injury, follow these tips from the AAOS:
- Warm up before playing, as you would with any sport. Light upper body stretching is a good idea for golfers.
- Pay attention to how you carry your bag. Golf bags are heavy. Bend at the knees and lower down to pick it up, and then alternate carrying on each side of your body, or invest in a bag with double “backpack” type shoulder straps to distribute the weight.
- Make sure that your shoes fit properly and are worn with good socks to prevent blisters and sores.
- Don’t overswing, or swing too fast, when striking the ball. The jerking motion can easily pull a muscle and cause a painful tear or tendonitis over time.
- Dress for the elements: hat and sunscreen on warm, sunny days, and several breathable layers when it’s chillier.
- Avoid playing two full rounds in one day. Your body needs time to recuperate from the heavy swinging motions.
- Be aware of surroundings and always keep a look out for other golfers, and carts. Take cover right away if you hear “fore,” indicating there is a ball in the air headed your way.
If you’re ever hit by a golf club or ball, especially in the head, seek medical attention immediately. For other minor golf-related aches and pain, please contact us for an appointment with one of our specialists.
(Adapted from the AAOS-American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons)