Golf is a low-impact sport that has many health benefits especially for seniors. Though golf is considered less stressful on the body than high-impact workouts such as running, the constant repetitive swinging motions in this sport can cause pain in specific body parts.
Pain in the soft tissues and the joints of the upper body are the most common golf injuries. It is important when you are feeling pain, to rest your body for a few days. Due to their long practice hours, golf professionals are often afflicted with overuse injuries.
Here are some tips to avoid injuring yourself when playing golf:
Preventing Overuse Injuries
The most common spinal injuries in golf are overuse injuries. The frequent movement of picking the tee and repetitive golf swings can cause muscle and ligament strain. The cervical spine that makes up the neck is another common overuse injury. A powerful swing and overstretching its range of motion is the main cause for neck pain. When you are suffering from an overuse injury, rest is very important. Failing to rest your body can further increase the pain and injury. For back pain, you should ice the muscles and rest until the pain is gone.
To prevent overuse injuries, warm-up before playing golf intensely. Stretch your back and neck by placing the golf club behind your neck. You should also incorporate some relaxed golf swings to your warm-up.
The Importance of a Proper Swing
If you have specific muscle groups that are consistently sore after a game of golf, this could be caused by an improper golf swing. Proper posture during a swing will prevent most injuries. Be conscious of your posture before and after a swing. You should avoid hunching over the ball as this can cause neck and back strain. Spread your legs as wide as your shoulders making sure that your weight is balanced on both feet.
A proper golf swing should be smooth and not jerky. The power of a golf swing comes from the transfer of force from the all muscle groups and not just one. Depending on certain muscle groups to power your swing will often result in injury to those muscles. You can experience forearm pain and chronic golf elbow when you rely too much on your wrists. Consult a golf professional to learn the proper golf swing.
Watch Out for Excessive Sun Exposure
Wear sunblock and lightweight clothes when playing during a hot day. You should also stay hydrated when playing for a long period of time. Watch out for signs of dehydration, heat stroke and over exhaustion. If you are experiencing dizziness, lightheadedness, headache, rapid heartbeat and nausea stop playing immediately.
More from Kathrine:
Kathrine played high school and collegiate soccer. Ever since then, she's always integrated fitness into her everyday life. She enjoys trying out new outdoor recreational activities during her spare time.
- Sports & Recreation