Although golf is generally thought of as a safe sport, overuse injuries are not uncommon.
The most common overuse injury we see is “golfer’s elbow.” Unlike tennis elbow, which is pain on the outside part of the elbow, golfer’s elbow is a painful condition on the inside, known as “medial epicondyle.” The muscles that allow you to rotate your hand downwards and flex your wrists and fingers all start as a tendon that originates on the inside part of the elbow. Overuse can result in a painful “tendonitis” that is often associated with a change in golf clubs, technique or increased play.
Treatment usually includes anti-inflammatory medication as well as physical therapy aimed at decreasing the pain and strengthening the muscles without getting the tendon more sore.
Most competitive golfers will experience lower back strains and discomfort at some point during their career. Many of these can be prevented with proper golfing technique, abdominal core-strengthening exercises and proper warm-up.
Common knee injuries associated with golf from twisting and kneeling are meniscal cartilage tears and kneecap tendonitis. Once again, proper warm-up and attention to golfing technique may help avoid some of these injuries.
Dr. Harlan Selesnick is team physician of the Miami Heat and director of Miami Sports Medicine Fellowship, Doctors Hospital. Send your questions to HarlanS@baptisthealth.net