Like all sports, golf has evolved over time. Over the last twenty years, swings have become much more powerful. The modern “X-factor” swing may hit balls harder and further but according to experts from the Barrow Neurological Institute, playing this way could be causing repeated trauma to the spine, specifically the lumbar region.
Dr Corey Walker, of Barrow Neurological Institute says that ‘Among professional and amateur golfers, back disorders remain the most common injury, comprising 55 per cent and 35 per cent of injuries in these groups, respectively.’
That’s a lot of back problems, not counting the injuries to other regions, such as elbows, wrists, hips and ankles… to name a few. At Bryn Mawr Wellness, we see and treat a whole range of golf injuries and, in line with this study, we are starting to see injuries occur in much younger players.
Training to play golf
Strength and conditioning training is crucial to avoiding injury. Take steps to strengthen the muscles in your back and core to give your spine the support it needs. In fact, it’s not just about your spine. Golf requires your joints to be able to move well, so you need to work on increasing the range of motion through your other body parts such as your hips and shoulders.
We find that many amateur players end up with golfers elbow due to a lack of flexibility required in the joint to cope with repeated golf swings. Many players bend the elbow during the back-swing and then hyper extend during the downswing. With professional players we see more wrist complaints. There’s no moving the ball out of the thicket so the wrist can see a lot of action.
Think about your posture
When playing golf, really think about how you’re standing and how you move when hitting the ball. Try to control the swing so that while it is powerful, you aren’t letting that power take over and contort your body in a way it shouldn’t move. Believe it or not, we see people with foot and ankle issues due to the way pressure has been applied during the swing.
All that twisting requires flexibility so stretch regularly to help give your muscles a wider range of motion. Be sure to stretch pre- and post-game. We have many players who come to us, injury-free, so that we can help them increase their range of motion through chiropractic treatments such as ART and adjustments. We also have players come in for massage to help keep their muscles nice and loose.
Dealing with an injury
The minute you feel any pain, you should stop golfing. At Bryn Mawr Wellness, we can help assess and treat your golf injuries to get you back on the green as quickly as possible. Golfing is a fun past-time and one you can enjoy for years if played with your wellness in mind.