There is little in the world that can compare to a pacifying session of golf. Playing golf can awaken certain dormant physical benefits that are tied to the cardiovascular fitness, stamina and muscular endurance, not to mention an excellent excuse to spend time on your own, or with a few friends. However, like most pleasures in life, too much of a good thing can lead to certain problematic tendencies. To avoid drawbacks during a relaxing day off, here are some tips you can consider before hitting the course.
Form is Key
Make sure that you adhere to a proper stance while taking a few whacks with the golf club. Bend your knees to a comfortable angle, and keep your lower back out. What may seem awkward at first can save you a mountain of troubles if you are an avid golf player. Accompanying proper stance comes the responsibility of making sure that all of your equipment is properly fitted, and suitable for zealous usage (that includes shoes and clubs).
Keeping Your Body Safe
Making sure you don’t hurt yourself in any sport is always a top priority. Even in a not-so-strenuous activity such as golf, it is simply mandatory to assure personal safety.
A few ways to avoid injury in golf:
- Pace your swings.
- Be very wary of the way that your back moves. Any false movement could throw your back out.
- Keep a loose, skillful grip. Hold on too tightly, and you may develop golfer’s elbow tendonitis, a condition in which the tendon undergoes inflammation.
- Be sure to stretch. No matter what physical activity your body undergoes, it absolutely necessitates unconfined, warmed-up muscles.
- Hydration is vital. Keep your muscles and body cooled down and relaxed.
Some More on Warming Up
Although every sport requires a stretch before hand, each of them vary. In golf, some key movements include may include, but are not limited to:
- Vigorous walking
- Rolling your head in slow circles to prepare your neck
- Raising a golf club horizontally to the ground, and stretching your shoulders. Repeat this movement from the back as well.
- Twisting your waist in order to stretch out your back.
Make sure to partake in similar cooling down exercises to ensure that you had not overstrained your muscles.
Backs are among the most permanently damageable body parts. They require similar care to that of a small child, as they are to be dealt with delicacy and discretion, especially in a sport that demands constant usage of it. Some tips on taking care of your back as much as possible:
- Instead of straining yourself hauling around heavy clubs, water bottles, and back up equipment, use a buggy to transport your materials.
- Keep stretching.
- Strengthen your abdominal muscles to create greater support for the tendons and joints found in the vertebral areas.
- Never stop practicing your technique and form. The more practice, the less of a chance that you will encounter injury or complications.
Some Complications That Can Arise (But Are By No Means Limited to These Conditions)
- Golfer’s Elbow- The golfer’s elbow is the inflammation of the tendons near your elbow area. Symptoms include pain and tenderness in the elbow. Among many possible treatments are physical therapy, bracing, cortisone, and surgery (depending on the severity of the case).
- Back Pain- Symptoms include numbness or weakness of the legs, pain and stiffness in lower back. Possible treatments include therapy, bracing, cortisone, rest and medication.
- Shoulder Pain- Many conditions can arise from improper golf form/technique: rotator cuff tendonitis, instability, scapular lag (stiffness in the shoulder, in simpler terms). Treatments are similar to those of other conditions and include therapy, surgery, medication, and rest.
- DeQuervain’s Tendonitis- A variation of tendonitis that has to do with the wrist, and extend towards the thumb. Symptoms include tenderness or swelling at the base of the thumb.
- Carpal Tunnel- A condition in which the nerves of the hand undergo stress, and causes instability in the hands, or weakness. Treatments include splinting, surgery and rest.
- Trigger Finger- If you ever feel as though your fingers are locking up, this could be the source of the issue. Symptoms include painful locking of the joints. Treatments are cortisone and surgery.
- ECU Tendon Subluxation- When a sheath tendon starts to move out of place, symptoms of ECU may occur, which are painful clicking at the end of the ulna bone. To treat and correct, seek out rest, casting, or surgery.
Important Facts to Remember About Golf
Injuries most frequently occur in the lower back area, shoulders, elbows, head, eyes or wrists. Warming up is the key to preventing most injuries, and/or inflammations. If you are going to be bending down very often to pick up balls, or other equipment, bend at the knees instead of bending over. Finally, if you’re uncertain about your technique, or vacillating in your ability to properly execute the form necessary in golf, don’t be embarrassed to take lessons. Improving yourself is among the many ways to make an enjoyable activity even more delightful. However, most of all, remember to have fun, and take time to enjoy yourself.