The warm weather season is in full swing in Minnesota and the golf courses are open! Whether you are an avid golfer or a beginner, it is important to know how to play the game without pain.
Golf is considered a low-impact sport; however, much like any sport, proper mechanics and technique can go a long way. The most common injuries, according to the Mayo Clinic, involve the lower back, elbow, wrist and shoulder. These injuries are mostly due to overuse and/or poor mechanics. To enjoy a safe, golf-filled summer, here are a few quick tips on how to prevent injuries from golfing:
- Use Proper Equipment
This goes for your clubs as well as your shoes. Clubs that are fitted to your body will aid correct posture, technique, and alignment while alleviating the risk of injury (and perhaps lowering your handicap). Proper fitting shoes provide support for the rest of your body. Not only will you be walking from hole to hole, but It is also recommended to purchase golf shoes with short cleats, which will provide less strain on your feet and ankles.
- Warm Up
Just like any other physical activity, warming up your muscles is extremely important. It generates blood flow and increases lubrication in the joints. By doing so, you lower the risk of muscle or joint injury while swinging your club or walking the course. Here is a quick 2 minute warm-up by Golf Magazine Top 100 Teacher, Scott Munroe.
- Use Proper Golfing Techniques
- Don’t overswing – Trying to be a hitter like Arnold Palmer may not be your best tactic. Hitting the ball too hard or too fast can strain your joints and stress your spine. Keep your swing consistent and steady – a smooth swing is more controlled. Here are some tips for the perfect swing.
- Swing correctly – Not only do you want to avoid overswinging, but you want to use proper technique. If you are just starting out, you might benefit from taking a lesson or two on proper swing technique.
- Lift your clubs carefully – The average golf bag weighs 35 pounds. Without proper mechanics, one can easily throw out their back by simply lifting their bag incorrectly. To further prevent this, look into getting yourself a caddie.
- If you are Injured, Stop Immediately
Further playing – no matter how minor the injury may seem – will only exacerbate the injury and lead to further damage. Stop, rest, and seek medical advice.
- Stay Educated
This goes far beyond golfing techniques. Educating yourself will not only prevent injury but it can also improve your game.
- It’s important to know what can happen and how to avoid injury.
- Take lessons! No matter how good you are, you can always improve.
- Know the lingo. It is vital and essential for understanding and appreciating the game.
Our biggest secret is to schedule a visit to 360 Chiropractic before you head out on the course! Chiropractic care has been linked to injury prevention and a playing advantage for golfers. During the season, if you do happen to throw something out of whack or don’t feel like you’re hitting your best, we will always be here to help!
Golf is a wonderful game that provides fresh air, exercise, and companionship among many other benefits. Take these tips to heart, and have a fun and safe summer.
We hope you have a wonderful summer on the range!