The 3 main reasons for golf injuries are:
- Poor posture
- Lack of flexibility
- Poor swing mechanics.
The most common injury sites for golfers
are the low back, shoulder, knee, elbow and wrist. Golfers who have low
back pain demonstrate a decrease in range of motion for hip internal
rotation on the lead leg (left leg for a right-handed golfer) and lumbar
extension and decreased activation and/or timing of the abdominal
obliques, erector spinae and knee extensors.
The golf swing requires the spine to rotate, bend laterally and extend. A good golf swing uses the left side of the body as much as the
right. The hips initiate movement into the ball. The feet pushing
against the ground cause a ground reaction force that sequentially
travels up through the hips, the trunk and finally out the arms.
Difference pros vs. amateurs
most noticeable difference between pros and amateurs is trunk rotation.
Trunk rotation and flexibility are enormously important in golf. Older
and less skilled players tend to use less than half the trunk rotation
of younger or more skilled players. In order to prevent injury in the first place, we need to ask
ourselves, "Where do golfers become inefficient and thus injury prone?"
The answer is when restrictions limit the potential energy stored for
elastic recoil; and/or forces are dissipated improperly.
Underlying it all is posture. Proper posture ensures that the muscles of the body are optimally aligned at the
proper length-tension relationships. Proper muscle balance allows for
efficient functioning of force couples and joint motion. The ability of
the nervous system to properly recruit all muscles in all planes of
motion is called neuro-muscular efficiency. The
root cause of poor swing mechanics is often a result of a physical
restriction or mechanical dysfunction.
To avoid injury and/or poor performance, a proper conditioning and flexibility routine is vital. The
problem is that all depending on how severe the pain is it can be
difficult to stretch or strengthen efficiently. Exercising in the water
is very safe, as the buoyancy of the water will help to support weak
muscles and decrease joint stress while it can also provide resistance
to strong muscles.