By Christine Whitmarsh, RN, BSN
I recently had my first golf lesson by my significant other. His major critique was that I should stop swinging the club more like a baseball bat (what can I say, it’s my favorite sport). Other than that, there was no serious damage done and no injuries or pulled muscles that would send me screaming to a doctor or in, increasingly more cases of sports injuries, a physical therapist.
Many physical therapists and traveling physical therapists are likely to see an increase in golf related injuries this time of year, due to that sport’s peak popularity in the summer when the sun is shining and the lush greens start to beckon. When the amateur golfer, especially the “weekend warrior” golfer, is not in proper shape, they are in danger of sustaining a variety of injuries from the swing of the club. One bad swing (not “bad golf game” bad either) can lead to lower back, shoulder, knee and hip injuries. This is because one golf swing greatly multiplies the stress that the body weight places on the spine.
I credit my injury-free day to some good luck and also to my regular fitness routine, which incorporates total body conditioning. This is important in the sport of golf, which uses basically every major muscle group in the body, from quads, gluts and abs to delts, pecs, triceps and biceps. Physical therapists and travel pts can cite evidence of this in the types of specific injuries seen in golfers including: back pain, tennis or golfer’s elbow, shoulder pain, carpal tunnel syndrome (from repetitive use), tendinitis, knee pain, wrist impaction, tendon subluxation and hand and wrist fractures. Physical therapists, traveling physical therapists (especially ones on attractive assignments to golf resort areas), and others working in sports and fitness training, recommend a good solid regimen of stretching before play and a fitness regimen in between that includes core work, squats and push-ups. Happy golfing!
Christine Whitmarsh is a Registered Nurse with a BSN from the University of Rhode Island. She is a freelance health journalist and medical writer and a contributor to Travel Nurse Source and Allied Travel Careers.