Get into golf: how to avoid injury whilst on the green with your mates
As spring warms into summer, your weekend social calendar can overload with lots of outdoor family and friend fun. Whether it’s backyard cricket, horsing around in the pool with the kids, or a round of golf with mates – participating in any activity without regular ‘match fitness’ can leave you susceptible to injury.
Let’s take a look at golf. As with swimming, golf is an excellent low impact activity for everyone. Young or old, this social sport is a whole body workout – mind included. It gets you out into the fresh air (which helps reduce stress and anxiety whilst boosting your mental alertness) and incorporates incidental gentle walking between greens.
If you have a round of social golf coming up, check out how you can reduce your risk of tweaking a niggle and instead focus on a legendary hole in one. (We’ve no tips for the latter!)
How to avoid accidental injury
Skipping your warm up, poor swing technique and hitting objects other than the ball (d’oh!) are the most common contributors to injuries whilst golfing. Here’s what injuries to look out for and our tips on how to avoid them:
Lower back and shoulder pain
The repeated motion of poor swing technique is usually the culprit here. To reduce your risk, brush up on the perfect golf swing (see our tips below) and ensure you warm up well.
More typically present in your lead arm, pain in your elbow can occur from overuse in your wrist tendons. Strengthening and stretching your muscles in your arm can really help to prevent niggling an injury in these joints.
Weak thigh muscles can contribute to twinging a knee during your swing. To avoid this, do exercises that will help build strength here. Ask your medical professional or your chiropractor if you’d like a recommended sequence of exercises.
Get your golf swing right
Take a few minutes before you hit the course to prepare your body properly. Do a solid warm up that includes stretching and hitting a few balls with your wedge through to your driver, wear proper shoes for golf and lift and carry your club bag carefully between holes.
Before teeing off on the first green, remember these three things to help you achieve a textbook golf swing:
Focus on your posture
With feet shoulder-width apart and rotated slightly outward, ensure your knees are slightly bent and your torso is upright.
The key to a good hit is to smoothly transfer the power from your body, through the club, to the ball. To get this right, really focus on your swing being an even movement from start to finish.
Don’t overdo it
As you approach the tee, remember to relax and take a nice easy swing at the ball. The only thing overswinging can help with is an injury.
If you do happen to hurt yourself whilst golfing, treat it with rest and stretching. To further investigate the cause of your pain, get in touch with one of our four clinics. As specialists in sports injuries, our team is well equipped to help treat your discomfort and support you during your recovery. So you can be back on the green with your buds in no time.
Dr Andrew McHardy has a Level 3 qualification from the prestigious Titleist Performance Institute (TPI), and did his PhD Thesis on golf injuries. Both Dr Greg Sher and Dr Luke Veverka are Level 1 TPI qualified.
At Sydney Spine and Sports Clinic, we put you first. We believe in offering chiropractic care that enables you to make informed and educated choices about your health. If you are suffering pain or injury and would like to talk to us about how we can help you get mobile and active again – get in touch right here.