Getting ready for golf season? Although golf is often considered a relaxed sport by nonplayers, it can put a lot of stress on the weightbearing joints. Here’s how to protect yourself from hip and knee pain as you work on raising the level of your golf game.
Knee Pain: Overuse and poor swing mechanics can result in extreme twisting forces on the knee while it is bearing weight. This can result in tearing of the meniscus (which acts like a shocker absorber between the thighbone and the shinbone), inflamed tendons, and sprained or torn ligaments.
Hip Pain:Most of the power of the golf swing is generated from the pivoting motion of the hip.This puts a lot of stress on the gluteal and adductor muscles of the hip. Repeated swinging of the golf club can cause hip labral tears that could result in severe loss of motion and pain if left untreated.
Preventing Hip and Knee Pain while playing golf:
- Always warmup with some range of motion exercises to increase flexibility in your hips and knees.
- Use the right equipment which includes properly fitting golf shoes and appropriate golf clubs.
- Practice proper body mechanics. This will reduce the amount of stress placed on your joints.
- Make sure you are getting enough rest after a game to give your muscles and joints a chance to heal from the microtrauma caused by the game.
- Stay hydrated. Long walks on the golf course and exposure to the sun can quickly dehydrate you if you aren’t careful. Drinking enough water will keep you sharp both mentally and physically as you play golf.
Treatment of Hip and Knee Pain
If you do experience hip and knee pain while playing golf, the first line of treatment would be conservative therapy which would include rest, activity modification, and strengthening exercises for the muscles surrounding the knees and hips. If the pain does not improve with conservative treatments, arthroscopy of the joint may be used to repair the torn ligaments or tendons and remove any bone spurs.
In seasoned or older players, hip and knee pain may be caused due to arthritis. If the degenerative changes within the joint are very severe, activity modification or nonsurgical treatment may not provide effective pain relief and joint replacement may be necessary.Individuals that have undergone joint replacement can expect to get back to the game within 6-9 months. Many professional players such as Jack Nicklaus have returned to playing golf at the highest level after joint replacement.
If hip or knee pain is interfering with your golf game or other activities you enjoy, contact Dr. Nicholas Frisch for an accurate diagnosis and personalized treatment recommendation.
Dr. Frisch is a specialist orthopedic surgeon focusing on minimally invasive hip and knee joint replacement as well as regenerative treatments for enhanced healing. He believes in creating a very personalized experience with the highest level of service. For all appointments & inquiries, please contact our offices located in Rochester andRiver District, MI.