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Tips to Avoid Early Season Golf Injuries

Spring has arrived, and golf season is getting underway. Early season can provide great conditions for golf, as you can enjoy 18 holes in temperate weather before enduring grueling heat during the peak of summer. But as with all other sports, it’s important to take the proper steps to get in shape prior to golf season to reduce your risk of an injury.

Because golf is a low-level physical activity, many people think there isn’t much risk of injury. However, nothing could be further from the truth. There are a wide range of potential injuries that can occur on the golf course, and they happen more often than most people realize. A study published by the British Journal of Sports Medicine found that approximately 40% of amateur golfers suffer a golf-related injury each year, and the lifetime risk of suffering a golf injury as an amateur is roughly 70%. By taking the proper steps, you can significantly reduce this risk so that you can enjoy the entire golf season injury free.

Common Golf Injuries

Most golf injuries are caused by overuse. Golf causes you to perform the same swing motion over and over again, and this can place a great deal of stress on the muscles, tendons and joints used for this repetitive motion. Over time, this can result in a variety of potential injuries, including:

6 Steps to Reduce Your Risk of Golf Injuries

Fortunately, there are a variety of steps you can take to help prevent early season golf injuries:

Perform Strength and Flexibility Exercises

It’s important to prepare your body for the demands of the golf swing by improving the strength and flexibility of the muscles and tendons involved in performing the swing motion. You don’t have to bulk up, but maintaining proper muscle tone will significantly reduce your risk of injury.

Getting on a regimen of strength training exercises 2-3 times a week prior to the start of golf season will help ensure your muscles are ready for the golf course. In addition, regular stretching exercises will help ensure your tendons maintain proper flexibility.

Warm Up Before Playing

warm up to prevent golf injuries Warming up before playing a round of golf is an important way to prevent injuries. It helps prepare your body for the intense motions associated with a golf swing by increasing blood flow and raising your muscle temperature. Your warmup should consist of:

Start Slowly

After a long winter without playing golf, it’s important to remember that your muscles and tendons aren’t going to be ready to withstand the stress and rigors of swinging a golf club for a full 18 holes. Going out and playing a full round of golf right away increases the likelihood of suffering an injury. Instead, it’s best to gradually ramp up your time on the golf course as your body reacclimates to the stress associated with swinging a club.

The first time you play golf for the season, start out slowly by hitting a few balls on the driving range to get your body used to a swinging motion again. Once you start playing rounds of golf, begin with an abbreviated round. Gradually increase the length and intensity of play over several weeks until your body is ready for 18 holes.

Use Proper Body Mechanics

Since poor swinging motions are the primary cause of golf injuries, it’s important to focus on using proper body mechanics whenever you play. If you maintain good posture and swing mechanics, you’ll distribute the forces of the golf swing evenly across your body and avoid overloading any one area. This will reduce your risk of injury.

use proper golf swing mechanics to prevent orthopedic injureis To maintain proper swing mechanics:

You may want to consider working with a golf instructor at the start of the season to evaluate your swing and make sure you’re using the right mechanics. This will prevent you from adopting bad habits after a long winter layoff from golf.

Proper body mechanics should extend to all aspects of golfing. Golf bags are heavy, and carrying a full bag of clubs around the course all day can place strain on your back if it’s not done properly. Make sure to use the following best practices when carrying your golf bag:

Wear the Right Shoes

Your footwear on the golf course can help you avoid injuries. Always wear golf shoes containing short cleats. Long cleats will dig into the sod, holding your feet planted when you swing. This can place unnecessary strain on your knees.

Don’t Play Through Pain

Pain, even mild pain, is a sign that you may be developing a repetitive use golf injury. It’s important to listen to your body and give it the rest it needs to heal. Trying to play through pain will often cause the injury to become worse, creating a more challenging issue to treat down the road.

The best course of action to take when you first notice pain while playing golf is to stop playing, ice the region experiencing pain and wait until you feel better before playing again. If the pain doesn’t subside with rest, you may need to seek medical treatment to make sure you don’t have a serious injury. Often, physical therapy can be an effective way to address mild golf injuries and prevent them from becoming more serious.

Colorado Advanced Orthopedics Can Help After a Golf Injury

Even if you take all the steps discussed above, there’s always a risk that you may develop an early season golf injury. If this happens, Colorado Advanced Orthopedics can help you restore a pain free life. Our team of board-certified, fellowship trained orthopedic surgeons and sports medicine doctors have extensive experience treating a wide range of golf injuries, and we can recommend the proper treatment plan to help you fully recover.

In addition, our in-house physical therapy team will work closely with our doctors to ensure every aspect of your care plan is coordinated. Our sports physical therapists can provide a wide range of conservative treatments to help reduce inflammation, strengthen the muscles used in golf, and help you get back on the course as soon as possible.

Contact us today to schedule an appointment. Colorado Advanced Orthopedics serves patients in Meeker, throughout the White River Valley, and the Western Slope.

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