Golf has been called the game of kings and with good reason - what other sport offers the luxury of walking on manicured grass surrounded by beautiful trees & ponds? Michigan is known to be among the top states with the largest number of golf courses in the US, allowing people in our state easy access to the challenging game.
To the casual observer golf may not seem like a strenuous sport, but it can take a toll on your body and could result in joint injuries if you are not careful. As you swing, the entire weight of your body shifts to your leading knee. An improper swing performed repeatedly can significantly damage the ligaments and tendons of the knee. Hip problems that could occur from overuse and poor mechanics include labral tears, hip impingement, loose bodies within the joint, and stress fractures.
Here are 3 golf tips to avoid joint injuries:
- Use proper technique: Ensuring you have proper swing mechanics is probably the most fundamental aspect of preventing golf injuries. Always try to use proper posture, ensure there is smooth transfer of force through the body from the ankles to your wrists without relying on any one body part to generate power, and don’t overswing as this could put excessive stress on your joints.
- Work on your fitness: You will have to improve strength, endurance, and flexibility. The stronger your muscles are, the more power you will be able to generate; a good stretching program will help improve your range of motion and give you a fluid golf swing; and better cardiovascular fitness will help keep your energy levels high throughout the 18-hole course.
- Warm-up properly before a game: Before practicing your swing, ensure your muscles are warmed up properly so you don’t injure a stiff joint. A brisk 10-minute walk and stretching your upper body will help get the blood flowing and warm up your joints. You can then swing your club a few times and gradually increase your range of motion until you have reached the desire level of mobility to start your game.
If you do experience any joint pain or injury while playing, it is always preferable to stop the activity and either rest or see a doctor depending on the severity of your condition. Playing through the pain can lead to a serious injury that can keep you away from the game for a long time.