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Showing posts from tagged with: Reduced Mobility

Golf Blog – Carly Jennar

The popularity of golf has increased substantially over the past few years with an estimated 55 million players worldwide.  With increased accessibility and participation rates, the sport of golf offers up a diversity of player profiles, ages and levels of experience. Golf is generally considered to be a moderate risk activity with respect to the development of injury.  Up to 80% of all golfing injures are due to overuse with the remainder resulting from trauma or contact. The most common areas for injuries in golfers include:

Low back and trunk

Injuries represent the highest incidence of injury affecting up to 1/3 of golfers. Due to the increased rotational forces placed on the spine during the golf swing and the asymmetric nature of the swing, the back is subject to increased forces and potential for injury.

Upper limb injuries are far more common than lower limb injuries.

 
  • Shoulder injuries are usually related to overuse and are due primarily to increased rotary forces (internal and external rotation) at the beginning and at the end of the swing. Common injuries include rotator cuff pathology, AC joint pain and shoulder instability.
  • Elbows are the second most frequently injured area. Overuse injuries to the tendons of the medial epicondyle (golfer’s elbow) and lateral epicondyle or (tennis elbow) are common.  Interestingly, tennis elbow is 5 times more common than golfer’s elbow among amateur players - likely a result of poor biomechanics such as over-swinging.
  • Wrist and hand injuries can result from blunt force with the ground or overuse. Fractures, subluxations and tenosynovitis are most commonly seen.

Lower limb injuries are much less frequent and can be attributed to both the swing as well as the walking loads between holes.

 
  • Hip injuries are often a result of the increased rotational forces placed on the hip during the swing. Soft tissue injuries to the groin and gluteals have been noted, as well as trochanteric bursitis.
  • Knee pain is often associated with meniscal injury due to the twisting moments placed on the knee during the swing. Osteoarthritis of the knee can also be aggravated during the swing or when walking.
  • Foot and Ankle pain are less common, with ankle sprains and plantar fasciopathy of note.

Risk Factors

 
  • The main risk factor associated with injury is a lower handicap (increased proficiency) likely due to the increased hours spent training and playing golf – think overuse and/or over training.
  • An age of >50 years old was also observed as in increased risk factor, primarily due to the physiological changes associated with ageing.
  • Other factors increasing risk of injury include lack of warming-up, reduced mobility/flexibility and poor physical conditioning.
  • Muscular imbalances have also been shown to increase injury risk, particularly during intense play or with high practice hours.
  • Collision injuries are most commonly related to contact with golf balls and clubs and in some instances, the golf-cart!
  • Poor swing mechanics and incorrect grip and set-up.

Prevention

 
  • Evidence exists for the implementation of a holistic training program to reduce golf-related injuries.

Programs involving: 

 
  • Flexibility with specific focus on the shoulder and hip (particularly the hip flexors);
  • Mobility particularly of the thoracic spine;
  • Core stability to support the large rotational forces of the spine during swing;
  • Balance to provide a solid foundation for the swing;
  • Resistance exercises with particular focus on large muscle groups and scapular stabilisers.
  • An adequate warm-up prior to commencing play e.g. dynamic stretching including trunk rotations and knees to chest.
  • Assessment and correction of any muscular asymmetries or range of motion deficits;
  • Optimisation of swing biomechanics by a golfing coach.
 

If you are looking to improve your golf game or you have done yourself an injury, contact Pottsville & Cabarita Physiotherapy for an assessment.  Alternatively, you come and try out our fitness Pilates circuits - they will be sure to help you hit that hole-in-one!