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Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Golf injury

Golf is a popular sport and offers a range of health benefits. Regular golf can help improve stamina, cardiovascular fitness and muscular endurance. For example, the average golfer playing an 18-hole game walks about seven kilometres.

While the risk of injury from playing golf is low compared to other sports, common golf injuries include injuries to the lower back, shoulder, elbow, wrist, head and eye.

Risk factors

Some of the factors that can increase your risk of injury include:

Time spent playing — generally, the more often you play, the higher your risk of injury. Golfers who spend more than six hours per week in competitive play are at increased risk of overuse injuries, as are professional golfers.

Unsupervised children — injuries to children under the age of 10 years are often the result of inadequate adult supervision: for example, children getting hit in the face by swinging clubs.

Incorrect technique — examples include poor swing style and hitting the ground instead of the ball. Incorrect technique dramatically increases the risk of injury. Golfers who perform correct technique are less likely to injure themselves.

Failure to warm up and cool down — warming up and cooling down are extremely important to reduce the risk of muscle and joint injuries.

Previous injury — golf can aggravate existing injuries.



General health and safety suggestions
Suggestions include:
  • Make sure equipment, such as clubs and shoes, are professionally fitted.
  • Be sun smart. Wear a broad-brimmed sunhat and use sunscreen factor 30+ on all exposed skin. Sunscreen and insect repellent should be carried in your golf bag at all times.
  • Drink non-alcoholic fluids before, during and after the game. Take drinks with you in your golf bag to avoid dehydration during play.
  • Practice the rules and etiquette of the game; for example, make sure that no one is standing too close when you’re about to swing and always call out ‘fore’ to warn others before you take your shot.
  • Obey all safety instructions when driving a motorised golf cart.
  • Postpone play if lightning strikes are possible.
  • Avoid placing hands in holes / areas where spiders or other dangerous insects might inhabit.
  • Supervise young children on the golf course at all times. For example, make sure they don’t stand too close when someone is teeing off and don’t allow them to fool around with golf clubs.
  • Ensure adequate rest between games.
  • Carry a mobile phone, wherever possible, in case of emergency.

Warming up is very important

Muscle strains and sprains are more likely to occur if you fail to warm up properly before play. A study of golfers undertaken by the Sports Injury Prevention Unit at Deakin University, Victoria, found that less than three per cent of Victorian golfers warm up properly, while nearly half don’t warm up at all. Suggestions include:
  • Walk briskly for a couple of minutes to raise your heart rate.
  • Warm up your neck and upper back by dropping your chin to your chest, gently rolling your head from side to side in slow half-circles.
  • Warm up your shoulders. Hold a golf club horizontal to the ground, keeping your hands about shoulder width apart. Slowly raise the club overhead, hold for a few moments, and lower. Hold the golf club in a similar way but this time behind your back. Raise as high as you can, hold for a few moments, then lower.
  • Warm up your torso with side bends. Slide your hand down your leg to support the weight of your torso.
  • Twist through the waist; gently and slowly turn from one side to the other.

Physiotherapy and you articles are provided for general information only and should in no way be considered as a substitute for the advice and information your physiotherapist will supply about your particular condition.
While every effort has been made to ensure that the information is accurate, the Australian Physiotherapy Association and the authors and the editors of the articles in this magazine and on this web site accept no responsibility and cannot guarantee the consequences if patients choose to rely upon these contents as their sole source of information about a condition and its rehabilitation.

taken from: http://physiotherapy.asn.au/index.php/physiotherapy-a-you/sports-injuries/golf-injury

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