No strangers to pain, golfers suffer sport-related injuries as much as any other athlete. Although a seemingly delicate sport, the muscles required to repetitively drive the ball across the coursework incredibly hard. Shoulder, knee, hip, wrist, elbow, and neck pain are just a few of the injuries golfers face when teeing up. Form and technique, proper equipment and having the muscles to back your swing are three major components to successfully prevent wrist injuries. To help avoid suffering a game stopping injury, here are a few tips on how to prevent wrist injuries when golfing:
Proper Form for Golfing
Attempting a swing like your favorite professional athlete without understanding the mechanics behind it is recipe for disaster. With amateurs sustaining a bold majority of significant golf injuries, proper training is essential. As with any other activity, it is important to perform exercises to warm up and improve the flexibility of your wrists and forearms before playing. If your wrist is sore after a round of golf, you may be doing something wrong and need to refine your golf swing. Your wrists move through a large range of motion during each swing. During repeated swings, overuse can subject your wrist to an increased risk of stress injury. If you are just beginning golf, progress gradually in terms of duration, play time, and game frequency as you build up strength.
To properly hold a golf club, your lead hand remains close to you while your dominant hand is positioned a bit further down. Performing a backswing may seem easy when watching the professionals, but many amateur golfers do not have enough forearm power to do so repetitively. A golfer that does not have adequate control of the club subjects their wrists to unnecessary strain. Overworking these undeveloped muscles causes gradual wear and tear to your body and can result in long-term issues such as tendonitis. Consult a golf professional at your local course or shop to determine your correct grip. The right club should fit slightly beyond the palm of your hand so the gripped end of the club does not dig into your palm during the swing. Proper grip is essential to a good stroke, particularly if you have had wrist problems in the past.
Train Your Body
Although not as physically taxing as contact sports, golf requires specific muscle groups to work together for the most powerful swing. Fitness and exercise are key to allowing you the swing you want. Predominantly thought of as an upper body sport, golf also involves muscles in your legs, hips, back. Underutilizing one area causes a chain reaction to overworking others, which is why overuse injuries occur so frequently.
Try it out: Standing properly with your legs firmly planted shoulder-width apart allows you to keep a steady base for upper body movement. Too wide or too narrow of a base inhibits fluid swings and increases your risk of elbow and wrist injury. Lean forward with a straight back letting your arms fall in front of your torso. When you have found a position comfortable for you, grab a golf club and repeat.
To help prevent wrist injuries, hold your lead hand out in a fist in front of you. You will notice the small concave arch between your hand and arm. Designed for exerting power and absorbing friction, your lead hand should always have that arch when holding a club. If when holding your golf club you notice the back of your wrist is flat, turn your lead wrist clockwise in toward you for a curvier grip. Be sure your clubs are in good condition and an appropriate length and weight for you. Grip width is also important but can be modified as needed with tape or gloves. Grips that are generally larger and softer help to reduce impact forces and pressure on the wrist when holding a club.
Wrist Pain Treatment Near You at JAG-ONE Physical Therapy
If your wrist starts to ache during the round, take a break and do not resume play until the pain goes away. Minor irritations are a good indicator that something is not right and a larger problem may be looming. If pain persists, come see us at JAG-ONE Physical Therapy. Our experienced team of physical therapists will assess and create an individualized treatment plan that’s right for you. To learn more about us and the physical therapy services we provide throughout New Jersey and New York, contact JAG today at a location nearest you and schedule an appointment today.