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Common Golfing Injuries

GolfMany of us will descend on the golf course this summer as the sun begins to shine and we attempt to emulate the standard seen in the recent Masters tournament. Whilst golf may be seen by many as a leisurely undertaking it carries with it the same risk of injury as other sports, conditions which can compromise your game and even your ability to make it onto the course in the first instance.

Golfers elbow

Referred to clinically as medial epicondylitis the condition is characterised by pain being centred on the inside of the elbow joint, compared to tennis elbow (lateral epicondylitis) where the pain is centred on the outside of the joint.

The condition is typically at its worst when the arm is dent inwards or where the wrist is flexed towards the direction of the body. The pain itself can range from the elbow and travel down the forearm.

Like tennis elbow, the condition results from overuse and the onset of the condition is not just limited to playing golf but considers other activities such as squash, cricket and even using tools such as hammers and screwdrivers.

The condition is largely self-limiting in that following a period of rest you should expect to see a full recovery, though early diagnosis is essential and you should consult a medical professional. Ice can be used to help manage inflammation, whilst physiotherapy can be undertaken to help strengthen the joint. A golfers elbow band may also be used when active to apply compression to the affected region.

Lower back pain

There are a number of different areas within the lower back that can potentially be affected, including facet joints, ligaments, discs and muscles. The most common issue is probably down to discs, especially in older individuals. A slipped (or herniated) disk is where the soft gel from inside the disc begins to protrude out. Bending forwards and other movement can cause sciatica and pain in the back if this is the case.

Back pain can be quite debilitating, with treatment varying depending on how severe the condition is. For minor sprains rest and the use of ice to help manage inflammation will suffice, whereas for more serious conditions physiotherapy may be required to help strengthen the back in conjunction with a back support.

Shoulder pain

Repeated stresses on the shoulder during the serve in tennis or the swing in golf can lead to overuse of the rotator cuff muscles. This group of small muscles are crucial in the stability of the shoulder ball and socket joint, but overuse can lead to them impinging on the shoulder bursa causing inflammation. Bursas are sacs of fluid which protect joints, and inflammation to these structures leads to a painful condition known as bursitis. Shoulder bursitis is one of the most common forms of shoulder pain.

Inflammation management is the first stage, with ice therapy and rest helping to manage the condition. Should the condition fail to clear up following a few days then you should speak with a medical professional.