Golf season is upon us, and since many of us at Rehab 1 are avid golfers, we are getting very excited. With the proper measures in place, golf can be safely played despite the COVID crisis. Many golfers will begin to experience different aches and pains. Golf is a very repetitive sport with many golfers employing less than ideal mechanics in their swings. Many golfers are also guilty of not warming up or stretching prior to beginning their round. These faults can lead to many different types of injuries that can prevent us from playing our best golf. Even the best players in the world are susceptible to these injuries. The following is a list of common golf ailments and what we can do to help fix these issues.
Lower back pain is the most common musculoskeletal problem that Canadians will seek medical treatment for. Golfers are not exempt from this ailment. Golfers can be more susceptible to low back pain due to the rotational stresses placed on the spine and musculature of the lower back during the golf swing. Also, during a round of golf we spend much of our time in a flexed or crouched position which can also place more strain on the lower back. One other common contributor to lower back pain amongst golfers is weakness in the glute muscles. Even Tiger Woods had to withdraw from a tournament a few years ago citing a low back flare up because his glutes weren’t “firing” correctly. As physiotherapists, we can assess your lower back pain and provide the correct stretching or strengthening exercises to reduce your lower back pain and improve your golf swing.
Golf is a very repetitive sport, and this can lead to tendinopathies, or tendonitis, in many joints in the body. The most commonly affected areas by tendonitis would be the elbow. There are two common types of tendonitis in the elbow, tennis elbow affecting the outer tendons of the elbow and golfer’s elbow affecting the inner tendons of the elbow. Interestingly enough, more golfers develop tennis elbow than golfer’s elbow. This is often related to increased grip pressure on the club. So, a lighter grip pressure can help with lower scores but also reduce risk of injury. Tendonitis in the elbow may also develop due to repetitive and poor swing mechanics, placing extra strain on the elbow during contact. Tendonitis in the elbow responds very to shockwave therapy, physiotherapy exercises, and manual therapy.
Shoulder pain can also be a common ailment plaguing golfers. This also stems back to the repetitive nature of the golf swing as well as the golf swing requiring movement above shoulder height. The repetitive nature of the golf swing as well as poor swing mechanics can lead to injuries (ie. tendinopathies/tendonitis or tears) to the rotator cuff in the shoulder. A physiotherapist can provide you with the proper exercises to ensure proper shoulder strength and prevent these types of injuries.
Knee pain will commonly develop in golfers due to the increased rotation required from the golf swing. This can place extra strain on the ligaments of the knee leading to knee sprains at times. The increased rotation can also irritate the meniscus in your knee or cause symptoms of osteoarthritis to worsen. Another common cause of knee pain in golfers stems back to weakness in the glute muscles, weakness in these muscles can lead to increased strain on the knee joint. Ensuring proper strength and stability in your hips and knees can prevent knee pain and our physiotherapists can help with that.
Another common type of tendinopathy or tendonitis golfers will experience is tendonitis in the wrist. This can affect the inside or outside of the wrist, but most commonly will affect the area under the thumb. This also stems back to the repetitive nature of the golf swing as well as poor swing mechanics. This can be prevented by ensuring proper strength and mobility of the wrist.
Many of our physiotherapists at Rehab 1 are avid golfers and members at local courses. We have a lot of experience treating golf related injuries and thoroughly enjoy helping golfers get back on the course and playing their best. If you are a golfer and are experiencing pain in these areas, our physiotherapists would love to help you out.
Cameron graduated from St. Francis Xavier University in 2014 with a Bachelor of Science in Human Kinetics. From there, he went on to complete a Master’s in Physiotherapy at Dalhousie University in 2017. Cameron in a proud, born and raised, Monctonian and am very excited to be back home helping members of the Greater Moncton area recover from their injuries. Cameron is coming off his 3rd year as the Physiotherapist for the NBLC Champion Moncton Magic, Moncton’s only professional sports team!
In his spare time, Cameron enjoy playing hockey and beating his coworkers, John and Kyle, at golf.