Pain and injury to the wrist can greatly impeded a golfer's performance. In addition to the physical pain, there can also be an aversion to taking a full swing when injured due to the fear of striking the ground with the club, which can result in sharp pain. Wrist injuries can linger for long periods of time if not properly treated.
A common cause of golf wrist pain and injury is an improper swing. For example, if a backswing is too fast or a whipping action is used instead of a smooth, easy motion, it can place extra pressure on the wrist. An awkward backswing can also lead to the creation of divots when the club is brought forward, which can also cause trauma to the wrist.
Wrist pain is more likely to occur in one hand as opposed to the other. According to Zimbio.com, a study conducted on players on both the PGA and LPGA tours indicates that 24 percent of right-handed players experienced pain in their left wrist, while only three percent reported right wrist pain.
The most common golf wrist injuries involve forms of tendonitis. DeQuervain’s tendonitis is an inflammation of the tendons of the wrist that are closest to the thumb. It is caused by the constant gripping of the club and the turning of the wrist from side to side. Tendonitis can also occur in the front or back of the wrist from the repetitive motion of swinging a golf club.
To help relieve golf wrist pain, you should immediately ice the area for 15 to 20 minutes and immobilize it with an bandage. It is also important to rest the wrist until the pain disappears. Resuming play should be done gradually, perhaps starting with going to a driving range and hitting a few balls, eventually working up to regular golf-course play.
One way to prevent wrist pain is to make sure that the hands are properly aligned. Regardless of what type of grip is used, a parallel alignment will keep the wrists from moving abnormally. Using graphite clubs instead of steel can also reduce strain because of their lighter weight. Performing exercises for the body’s core will allow the golfer to generate more power from the torso when swinging, which can also reduce some of the burden on the wrists.