The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission estimates that more than 122,000 people were treated for golf-related injuries in 2016. These injuries can range from acute to severe and affect various parts of the body, most often, the lower back and upper extremities.
The article highlights a study of 703 golfers, 643 were amateur golfers and 60 professionals. Over the course of two golf seasons, 82.6 percent of the reported injuries sustained were due to overuse, while 17.4 percent were single-trauma events.
According to the review article, it is important for physicians to understand the various stages of the golf swing as well as the movements of the golfer to better diagnose and treat related injuries.
The differences in a golfer’s swing could affect their risk of injury.
- High-handicap (amateur) golfers generate more power in their swing by using their upper extremity strength. This results in an inconsistent golf swing and makes these golfers more susceptible to back injuries.
- Low-handicap (professional) golfers have greater balance and flexibility, which enables them to use their body rotation to generate club speed, thus allowing the upper body to follow through. This reduces their risk of injury.
Ioannis C. Zouzias, MD, lead author of the review article, and an orthopaedic surgeon specializing in sports medicine and shoulder surgery. “Good conditioning and a well-rounded, golf-specific exercise program are paramount to help prevent these injuries.”
A golf-specific exercise program can increase strength and stability in the lower back, shoulder muscles, and hips as well as improve flexibility in the hip joints, along with the upper and middle spine. In addition, warming up for at least 10 minutes before a game will reduce the risk of injuries.
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From the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, NYU Winthrop Hospital, Mineola, NY (Dr. Zouzias), Physiofitness Associates, Dublin, Ohio (Mr. Hendra and Mr. Stodelle), and the Kerlan-Jobe Orthopaedic
Clinic, Los Angeles, CA (Dr. Limpisvasti). Dr. Limpisvasti or an immediate family member serves as a paid consultant to Össur, CONMED Linvatec, and Physiotherapy Associates and serves as a board member, owner, officer, or committee member of the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine. None of the authors or any immediate family member has received anything of value from or has stock or stock options held in a commercial company or institution related directly or indirectly to the subject of this article:
Dr. Zouzias, Mr. Hendra, and Mr. Stodelle.