Repetitive stress injuries, ranging from torn muscles to damaged joints, can sideline any golfer. Rather than have to go through the pain and time necessary to heal a repetitive stress injury, it is usually better to avoid the damage in the first place. With a little foresight, patience and friendly advice, you can continue to enjoy golf while minimizing the risk of this type of injury.
Take breaks. Golfing, or just hitting the driving range, every day can lead to repetitive stress injuries fairly quickly. Take breaks away from the golf course or driving range of at least 24 hours to allow your muscles, tendons and joints time to rest and recuperate.
Golf in moderation. Though golfing from sun-up to sun-down may seem like an ideal day, the constant swinging and twisting of your body can lead to a repetitive stress injury, typically in the groin, legs, arms and chest. Remember that even the pros take their time and do not try to golf more than 18 holes in a single day.
Care for your body. Stretching exercises before golfing as well as cool-down exercises after will help prevent strains as well as allow your body to ease back into relatively inactive activities such as driving, working or sleeping. Remember that golf is a form of exercise and you'll benefit in the long run.
Treat at the first sign of injury. If your muscles are sore, swollen or knotted, they may be torn. Seek medical advice, as well as postpone any golf outings, immediately. Similarly, if your shoulder, back, hip, or other joints "twinge" or ache after golfing, take a few days off and see a physician; this may be the first signs of a serious injury. Listen to your body and consult a physician who specializes in sports medicine if possible.