golf tips, Dr. Chen, injury prevention
Sports / Orthopedic

Swing Smart: Fore-sightful Tips for Injury Prevention in Golfing

Jun 13 2024

The following piece was written by Michael R. Chen, MD, an orthopedic sports medicine specialist in our Cincinnati market.

In the world of orthopedic medicine, golfers are no strangers to the potential risks and injuries that come with their beloved sport. As a fellowship-trained and board-certified surgeon in orthopedic sports medicine, I want to shed light on common golf injuries, ways to prevent them and what to do if you suspect an injury.

Golf, a sport that requires precision, technique and repetitive motions, can take a toll on the body, especially if proper precautions are not taken. Among the most common golf injuries are the shoulders, elbows, wrists and lower back issues. These injuries range from strains and sprains to more severe conditions like golfer’s elbow, rotator cuff injuries and lumbar strains.

Preventing golf-related injuries

So, how can golfers protect themselves from these injuries and ensure they stay on top of their game? Prevention is key. Here are some tips to help golfers avoid common injuries on the course:

  • Warm-up and stretch: Before hitting the first tee, take the time to warm up your muscles and stretch. Focus on the shoulders, wrists and lower back to prepare your body for the swings ahead.
  • Practice proper technique: Work with a golf pro to refine your swing and ensure you use the correct form. Proper technique can reduce strain on the joints and muscles, lowering the risk of injury.
  • Listen to your body: Pay attention to any discomfort or pain during your game. Pushing through pain can lead to more severe injuries. Take breaks when needed and seek medical attention if symptoms persist.
  • Strengthen core muscles: A strong core is essential for stability and power in your golf swing. Incorporate core-strengthening exercises into your routine to protect your back and improve your game.
  • Stay hydrated and take breaks: Dehydration can impact performance and increase the risk of injury. Remember to drink plenty of water and take breaks to rest and recharge.

What to do when you do get injured

Despite your best efforts, injuries can still occur on the golf course. If you suspect you have sustained an injury while playing, it is essential to take the following steps:

  • Stop playing: Playing through pain can worsen the injury and prolong recovery. Listen to your body and stop playing if you experience discomfort.
  • Rest and ice: Give the injured area time to rest and apply ice to reduce swelling and inflammation. Resting allows the body to begin the healing process.

If the pain persists or you have difficulty moving the injured area, it’s crucial to seek a medical evaluation from an orthopedic physician. Remember, early intervention can prevent the injury from worsening and speed up recovery.

How we can help

As an orthopedic physician committed to helping golfers maintain their health and avoid injuries, I urge all players to prioritize their well-being on and off the course. By following these tips for injury prevention and knowing how to respond if an injury occurs, golfers can ensure a safe and enjoyable experience on the greens.

Remember, your health and safety are paramount. So, swing smart, play safe and keep the love of the game alive!

Learn about the orthopedic and sports medicine services we offer at Mercy Health.

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