Dr. Dalzell Explains Treatment and Prevention of the “Most Common Golf Injuries”

MOST COMMON GOLF INJURIES


Frederick G. Dalzell, MD
Board Certified Orthopaedic Surgeon

Fractured ribs, herniated discs, injured wrist and knees, we’re not talking the Eagles injury report, but rather some of the injuries suffered on the PGA tour! Hard to believe that what’s been described as “a good walk spoiled” and debated by others as not even being a sport could result in this litany of injuries.

So what are the most common problems suffered by the weekend golfer and how can you treat and prevent them?

BACK PAIN 
It’s been estimated that 80% of Americans will experience back pain at some time in their life. That number becomes even higher when you enjoy golf as an activity. With the average golfer generating torque and swing speeds of 80 to 90 miles an hour and pros well over 110 it is not surprising that the raid generation and sudden stop put significant stress on the lumbar spine. Pre and in-season stretching and core strengthening can be good preventatives. Rest, anti-inflammatories (like Motrin or Aleve) stretching, deep tissue massage and bracing all may be helpful early on. If not responding after a week you may need to see your health care professional.

ELBOW PAIN 
Tennis elbow (outside of the elbow) and golfer’s elbow (medial elbow) are also the bane of the duffer and pro golfer alike. Over use, hitting off mats, too stiff a shaft and improper grip size can lead to these problems.  Stretching, tennis elbow straps, ice, anti inflammatories and injections all have a place in treatment. Sometimes a switch to graphite or a more flexible shaft may be beneficial and could be a reason to consult a golf professional.

WRIST PAIN
Most wrist pain related to golf comes from tendonitis and over use. Taking time off (sorry fellow golfers), ice and anti-inflammatories will cure most cases. If the pain follows striking a root or another object, results in joint swelling or lasts more than a week after treatment than a more serious injury (fracture or ligament tear) is a possibility and a trip to the doctor is more advisable.

KNEE PAIN  
The stiff lead leg is exposed to high stress during weight shift, and while not as common as some of these other problems these injuries often involve ligaments  or meniscus and may need medical attention earlier. Those with arthritis also may see flares during golf season. Bracing and an evaluation of your swing by your golf pro may help. Continue reading

Hip Mobility and the Golf Swing

By Christopher C. Hanson, PT, MPT, DMT, OCS, FAAOMPT

 

Most golfers are weekend warriors and if there is extra time in anyone’s schedule for golf activities, more times than not this is allocated to swing training.  As the last few articles have discussed, physical fitness is equally important.  In order to have a world class swing, the function of one’s musculoskeletal system also needs to be equipped. Golf is a sport that requires strength, power, coordination and mobility; no one of these is more important than the other. This weekly dive into the physical care of a golfer’s body will discuss the importance of hip mobility and stability in all golfers.

In the golf community the importance of spinal mobility and strength is well documented. There have been numerous social media campaigns since the start of this golf season showing new creative ways to improve spinal mobility and strength.  However, absent from these posts have been ways to improve hip strength and mobility; negating altogether the connection between the hip and the spine.

The hip and the spine are intricately related. If one has movement issues in one area, it can transmit increased forces along the kinetic (movement) chain.  In the presence of hip mobility issues the body increases motion in other joints.  The body is almost too good at this compensation and creating more (too much) movement in order to allow someone to function in a way that seems correct.  In the presence of limited hip mobility there may be an excessive forces through the lumbar spine. This can happen at different points in the swing.  Limited hip mobility can create issues in the back swing, during the initiation of swing and during the follow through. This also relates to other sporting activities as well.

Continue reading