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Swing Stronger

Golf is sometimes considered a low-impact sport that carries little risk for injury. However, there are several golf-related injuries that can occur. These injuries usually are the result of excess repetition of the same motion, most often affecting the shoulders, back, elbows and wrists. The Norton Sports Health team of specialists is here to help you practice and condition properly to avoid injuries. Our team includes orthopedic physicians specializing in sports medicine, professional athletic trainers and physical therapists. Should an injury occur, we provide advanced care and design customized programs to meet your specific needs. These programs incorporate strength training, core stability, flexibility and conditioning to help you achieve optimal performance and fitness. Our goal is to prevent golf injuries as well as get you back to your golf game as soon as possible following an injury.

If you experience pain or an injury while playing golf and would like to make an appointment with a sports medicine specialist, call (502) 629-1234 and our staff will work to get you in as soon as possible.

Common golf injuries
Golf injuries most often occur in the shoulders, elbows, hands and wrists, and lower back. The swing action used when playing golf puts a lot of pressure on these areas, especially when done continuously over a long period of time. Whether you’re a novice or a professional golfer, it may be possible for you to develop:

  • Golfer’s elbow
  • Back pain
  • Rotator cuff injuries
  • Tendinitis
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome

Symptoms may include pain and swelling, weakness and a reduced range of motion of the affected area.

Treatment for these injuries and conditions vary based on the extent of the injury. Minor cases usually can be treated with rest, ice and physical therapy that focuses on strengthening the affected muscles. Your physician may prescribe anti-inflammatory medication to reduce swelling and tenderness. Severe cases may require surgery. Norton Sports Health specialists focus on nonsurgical treatment before exploring surgical options.

Preventing golf injuries
Most golf injuries are caused by lack of flexibility, poor conditioning and overuse. You can help prevent golf injuries by staying physically fit with a balanced routine that includes stretching and strengthening all parts of the body, particularly your back, shoulders and arms.

Other ways to prevent golf injuries include:

  • Warming up – Stretch your forearms, wrists and shoulders before play, and hit a few golf balls on the driving range before a game.
  • Practicing proper swing mechanics – Norton Sports Health specialists can help you improve your swing and develop a solid technique that places less stress on your muscles and prevents future injury.
  • Progressing slowly when returning to play – Begin with putting and gradually work your way back up to chipping, then driving.

If you think you have developed an injury while playing golf, consult a physician or physical therapist. Only return to the course when your health care professional says it is safe.

Ryan Krupp, M.D., orthopedic surgeon with Norton Orthopedic Specialists and director of sports health for Norton Healthcare, talks about the most common types of golf injuries.


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