Avoiding Golf Injuries

The sun is coming out more frequently and we are all getting the itch… the itch to go GOLFING! Well before you hit the greens here are some tips to limit injuries and promote a successful golfing season.

  • The Address

During all components of a golf swing, being tuned into how the body is aligned and moving can help improve your swing and limit injuries. During the address, good spinal alignment, as well as an efficient hip hinge, is needed to create a good foundation. Poor spinal mechanics during the address can lead to overuse of back extensors which becomes exaggerated during your swing and can result in back pain.

  • The Downswing

Flexibility at the spine, hip, and shoulders can facilitate a smooth back and downswing. The golf swing is a multi-planar, multi-joint activity that requires a smooth transition of power from the ground up the hips, trunk, shoulders, and into the club. Limited mobility at any joint can result in a breakdown of power at that joint increasing stresses at joints above or below. This translates loss of power when the club hits the ball. Therefore, prior to practicing your golf swing, ensure there is flexibility in your spine, hips, shoulders by performing dynamic stretches to warm up the muscles.

  • The Follow Through

Lastly, never stop a swing. Always continue the swing to limit sudden changes in muscle activation and potential injury.

  • The Next Hole

If you decide to walk, consider pushing your wheeled clubs around the course. You are able to create more force pushing an object rather than pulling an object. Additionally, pulling your buggy results in uneven weight distribution as well as torsion at the trunk potentially increasing muscle imbalances and risk of injury.

In summary, golfing is a very complex sport that takes a lot of focus. The key to an improved golf swing is efficiency in the transfer of forces. This requires flexibility, stability, strength, and motor control at the right joint at the right time. The physical therapists at Body Gears are experts in joint mechanics, neuromuscular strength, and motor control and can help facilitate in developing a better swing.

Authored By: Dr. Esther Kim PT, DPT

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