Golf is a game played by more than 55million people worldwide and in Ireland we have over 400 golf courses that are being played everyday by people of all ages and skill levels everyday.
Although golf isn’t considered an “impact sport” the biomechanics and explosive nature of the golf swing can put tremendous amounts of stress through the body. Therefore the majority of golfers from professional to the casual golfer will probably experience some sort of injury at some stage in their golfing life. This would normally result in some form of pain and restriction to the injured area and often an enforced time out of the game.
Most common causes of golfing injury:
- Overuse: over playing/practice
- Poor swing mechanics
- Previous injury
- Poor warm up or no warm up routine
- Incorrect set up/ poor posture
- Excessive rotational stresses placed to the body
NB: not to mention injuries caused prior to getting onto the course like lifting the bag and power caddy out of the car boot.
Injuries to amateur golfers often occur due to overuse but more commonly due to swing patterns that are developed around physical limitations- therefore over stressing areas of the body and creating further injury to pre-existing conditions.
Most common injuries in golf:
- Low back pain (accounts for over 30% of all golf related injuries)
- Elbow pain (medial- golfers elbow, lateral- tennis elbow- despite the naming of these problems tennis elbow is more common in golfers!)
- Knee pain
- Shoulder and rotator cuff injuries
- Wrist injuries
- Foot and ankle injuries
Role of physiotherapy in golf related injuries:
Most physiotherapy appointments will be attended once an injury has already occurred. The initial assessment would usually comprise of a thorough assessment, diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation/management plan.
However many people do not realise that there can be much more a chartered physiotherapist can do to help with golf injuries. A chartered physiotherapist that has a specialist interest in sports can look to treating these potential injuries before they arise.
How can physiotherapy help golfers?
- Screening- screening of posture, functional movement, joint range of motion, muscle strength and previous injury can help highlight any weakness or restriction that may cause future injury. Screening will also provide very useful information to use during the rehabilitation stage and for strength and conditioning (S & C) programmes.
- Treatment- Chartered physiotherapists can treat a wide variety of conditions and experience musculoskeletal physiotherapist can treat all the above mentioned golf related injuries through the following modalities; Manual therapy, soft tissue massage, acupuncture, electrotherapy, posture and manual handling advice, exercise prescription and S & C programmes.
- Strength and conditioning- programmes formulated for the individual patient aimed to rehabilitate current injury, prevent future injury and improve performance. Develop good movement patterns and strengthen the core.
- Injury Prevention- ideas of injury prevention pre- game warm up, and post- game stretches, as well as posture and manual handling advice.
Here at East Cork Physiotherapy and Acupuncture Clinic we take a proactive approach to helping improve our patient’s problems and reduce their risk of injury. Through the application of the latest research in Physiotherapy, sports medicine and fitness, we will be able to get you back on the course quickly when you are injured, or provide you with a program to help you improve your golf and prevent injury. We feel it is important to treat each patient as an individual, tailoring treatment and rehab to the patient’s own specific needs and we do this because every individuals symptoms and injuries are different. From a golfing point of view, we recognise that there is not only one correct and efficient way to swing a golf club and that you cannot expect that would be the case as golf is played by people of all ages, shapes and sizes.
So if you have any golf related injury or injury that you feel is restricting your golf game, do not hesitate to contact us at East Cork Physiotherapy and Acupuncture Clinic on 021 4633455.