While golf is not thought of as a dangerous sport, the long hours of practice and the physical demands of learning and playing the game can lead to injuries. While not all injuries can be prevented, the risk of injuries can be reduced.
Common injuries, symptoms, and treatment
Golf injuries can be divided into those that occur from swinging a club and those that occur from the miles of walking on a golf course. To prevent injury, athletes must have an understanding of the stresses golf puts on the body and must prepare their bodies to handle these stresses.
Most golf injuries develop over time rather than as a result of a single event. It is important to recognize the early signs of an injury and seek treatment before the condition gets worse.
Also, a general warm-up before practicing or playing can help prevent injury. This should consist of exercises that increase circulation to the muscles and stretch the shoulders, back, hips, and legs. It also helps to take warm-up swings with a weighted club (or 2 clubs) and hit practice shots when possible.
Rotational stretch and warm-up
This is a dynamic stretch for shoulders, back, and hips and a good warm-up that can easily be done at the golf course or practice range.
- Stand while holding club behind upper back.
- Rotate back and forth while keeping feet planted.
- Try to feel stretch in shoulders, spine, and hips.
Hip/low back flexibility
This exercise improves flexibility in hips and low back; increases rotation and ability to "turn" when hitting ball.
- Lie on back; cross legs.
- Use top leg to push opposite knee to floor; keep shoulders flat and pelvis on the floor.
Flexibility, strength, and overall fitness are required to meet the physical demands of golf. Conditioning exercises to meet these demands can improve golf performance as well as reduce injuries.
Copyright © 2011 American Academy of Pediatrics