The Golfer and Injury

Few people would disagree that golf is very stressful on the body. It is a physically demanding sport. A solid golf swing is a result of the upper body rotating around a solid base i.e. the lower body. Regardless of the efficiency of your swing, the biomechanics of the golf swing places tremendous pressure on the body in particular the spine.

During a typical round of golf a golfer will usually…

  • Walk approximately 4-5 miles
  • Take over 100 swings (practice & actual)
  • Lean over 30-40 putts
  • Bends down 40-50 times

It is outrageous to think that despite the physical level of activity and athleticism involved in playing golf as mentioned above, many golfers do not consider warming the body up before they play. Not warming up before a round of golf is one sure way of inflicting injury. The “rubber-band” analogy best explains the importance of warming up.

The “Rubber-band” Analogy

A cold rubber-band is a very good example of what a muscle is like before activity. When you try to stretch or pull a cold rubber-band, its natural tendency is to break, however if you rub it vigorously between your hands to warm it up, you will notice that it becomes elastic and works perfectly. The body works in the same way, a muscle or ligament is far more susceptible to injury if used without being warmed up.

“Golf is said to be a humbling game, but it is surprising how many people are either not aware of their weaknesses or else reckless of consequences” Bobby Jones

When an athlete becomes injured, careful consideration must be given to the cause of the injury. Physiotherapists and physicians often focus on removing the pain, usually with medication and rest rather than addressing the root cause of the problem. However, when the removal of the pain is perceived as the cure, the problems usually continue.

Injury Statistics

  • As many as 30% of all professional golfers play injured
  • 53% of male and 45% of female suffer from back pain
  • If you participate in golf and other sports you are 40% more likely to develop back pain