Golf, the sport many would claim helps them go to sleep on a Sunday evening, is widely considered a low-impact sport with very few injuries. However, according to the National Library of Medicine, an estimated 30,000 golf-related injuries come through emergency rooms per year; that figure doesn’t even include the more significant number of injuries that as not seen by medical professionals. With various moving parts in the human body, we are prone to wear and tear. Throw in a repetitive motion and the sudden transfers of energy and balance, and you’ve got yourself a recipe for injury. Of the sports injuries that golfers face, the most common include lower back pain, tendinitis of the elbow, hip pain, and strain of wrist muscles. On back pain alone, 4 out of 5 Americans will suffer from back pain at some point in their lives. Golf’s contribution to this population involves injuries such as strained back muscles and herniated disks. Most of these injuries can be prevented through proper training and lifestyle changes. Below are 5 tips for having safer and healthier days in the tee box.
Tip #1 Show up early
Showing up early to the course to get some light stretching in can make or break your performance on the course and prevent muscle strain. Try to arrive 30-Hour early to do some simple stretching and maybe hit a bucket of balls. When stretching, target your upper, middle, and lower back areas. Don’t forget to work your shoulders and neck as well. The last thing you want to do is pull a muscle on the first swing of the day. Talk about a mulligan….
Tip# 2 Form>Power
Golf is the sport of finesse. Most of the power created by the best on the PGA tour involved hours and hours of strict training on technique alone. Because of the repetitive nature of a golf swing, your swing needs to be polished. Improper form can lead to bad habits that result in a lousy score and potential injury. So for this tip, dish out the extra cash and get yourself a coach who can analyze your swing and point out straining points in your swing. Your back and your scorecard will thank you.
Tip #3 Stay healthy outside of your golf game
Whether you play twice a week or twice a year, keep yourself healthy on and off the green. Having a balanced diet and staying active can increase your energy throughout your day. It is also essential to ensure that the core is strong when strengthening your back. Try to work on abdominal workouts in your spare time. A strong core will reinforce your back muscles helping with form.
Tip #4 Tweak your swing as your age/equipment changes
Face it, we are not getting any younger. When in your youth up to your late 20s, it is pretty easy to go up and hit the ball as hard as possible for the maximum yardage. However, our swing will begin to slow down as we age, and form will also start to change. Take videos of your swing to see if a change in speed affects your form or vice versa. Also, take note that you might need to use lighter clubs. The lighter the club, the more quickly you’ll be able to swing without exerting yourself. Heavy clubs can increase the amount strained on the muscles when transferring energy on your downstroke.
Tip #5 Go to Arkansas Spine and Pain when injuries do happen
If you missed out on tips 1-4 and find yourself with a golf injury or any other injury, come see us at your local Arkansas Spine and Pain. At Arkansas Spine and Pain, we treat all types of pain: herniated disks, sprains, strains, spinal stenosis, etc. Our expertise and world-class doctors will have you feeling better in no time. For more information about Arkansas Spine and Pain and our treatment options, call us at 501-227-0184 or speak with your primary care provider about making a referral.