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Specialist Physiotherapy for Golfing Injuries

Most golfing injuries arise from the swing. The golf swing is physically demanding and contributes to various injuries. It relies on the coordinated sequence of muscle activation to produce a fluent and reproducible movement. The origin of associated injuries can generally be traced to overuse, technical errors during swing, physical fitness deficiencies (aerobic, strength & flexibility) and a lack of pregame warm-up.

There is evidence to show the link between body parts during the swing, for example, those with low back pain (LBP) may potentially induce a shoulder problem in their attempt to reduce the loads on a painful lower back.

Common Injuries

Back Pain

Compressive load during the golf swing has been shown to be 8 times bodyweight (compared with rowing being 7 times or jogging 3 times bodyweight). Golfers with LBP tended to flex their spines more when addressing the ball. Technique changes can reduce the torsional & compressive loads on the lumbar spine.

Wrist/Hand Injuries

The most common wrist injury mechanism occurs as a result of hitting an object other than the ball. The repetitive nature of golf leads to overuse, or from changes to the swing that result in stress to structures unaccustomed to the type of stress the golf swing produces. Other common injuries include small wrist bone fractures.

Elbow Injuries

Like the wrist, most elbow injuries occur at impact. Faults in the swing or other aspects of technique can contribute to overloading the tendons of the elbow, the most commonly known condition is even called Golfer’s elbow.

Shoulder Injuries

Shoulder injuries are largely related to the biomechanics of the swing and typically occur in the lead arm at the top of back swing. Excessive rotation is the main culprit, and consequently the rotator cuff is often the affected tissue. As rotator cuff tendons become less resilient over time it is easy to overload them, influencing the fact that 50 – 59 year old men and 40 – 49 year old women are the most prevalent age groups with injuries.

Injury Prevention

Preventing injury is infinitely easier than rehabilitating it. Increases in strength and flexibility in golfers of all ages improves function and decreases the likelihood of injury. A combined program of strength and flexibility training has resulted in significant increases in 5 iron distance, rotational trunk power and club head velocity. Senior golfers were shown to improve flexibility & increase clubhead speed following an 8- week program of flexibility exercise.

So if you are keen to stay on the fairways, improve your game or dropping shots due to pain or dysfunction, physiotherapy is your proven way to remain injury free.


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