While not as violent as sports such as football, rugby and basketball, golfers do experience their share of injuries. These are often brought on by the golf swing and include injuries to the back and elbow. However, injuries to the feet and knees are common as well. There are numerous methods available to alleviate pain in golfers, some of which can be done at home, others that require professional care. The success rate depends on the severity of the injury in question.
Golfer's elbow, or medial epicondylitis, is defined by the Mayo Clinic as "pain and inflammation on the inner side of your elbow, where the tendons of your forearm muscles attach to the bony bump on the inside of your elbow." It features a number of symptoms, including weakness in the wrist, pain in the wrist while flexing fingers or grasping things, or pain in the wrist while twisting the forearm and hand into a palm-down position. There are treatment methods available, according to OurHealthNetwork.com. An elbow brace might be the best method, while applying ice for 20 minutes after a round coupled with ibuprofen or aspirin, can work for less severe cases. Stretching can loosen the elbow and prevent injury. Other exercises to alleviate the pain include stretching the wrist downward and holding for 10 seconds. This helps to loosen the wrist.
Minor Back Injuries
The back is one of the most common areas of injury among golfers. Fortunately, some exercises can alleviate mild pain. One popular stretching exercise for the back is the seated twist, in which a player sits upright in a chair with the chest high and back straight. From there, reach behind the body with the left arm and rotate the upper body. Then, leverage the right arm against the left leg and hold for 10 seconds. From there, repeat with the other arm.
Major Back Injuries
Stress fractures, torn muscles and slipped discs are some of the more significant back-related injuries among golfers. Unlike minor injuries, which can be treated by stretching, these more substantial injuries are sometimes only treatable with rest and/or surgery. Consult a medical professional immediately in the event of major back pain as this could be symptomatic of a significant injury.
Foot injuries are a common ailment among golfers due to the amount of weight and torque absorbed by the feet during the swing. The Golf Channel advises that the best way to alleviate pain in the foot is wearing properly fitted golf shoes and improving swing mechanics. Wearing arches in golf shoes is also a way to provide more support for the feet.
Rotator Cuff Injuries
Rotator cuff injuries to the shoulder in golf are often the result of "traumatic force resulting from a poorly executed golf swing, hitting a root or rock, taking a deep divot, and from overuse," according to the Golf Channel. This can result in tendinitis, bursitis, and tears in the rotator cuff. The Golf Channel says that rotator-cuff injuries can be treated with anti-inflammatory drugs. However, in some instances surgery is necessary. Afterward, alterations to the golf swing, coupled with strength conditioning, are vital to maintaining rotator-cuff health.