Understand And Prevent These Common Golf Injuries

ProActive Rehab & Sport Injury Centre, Huntsville, ON

Avoid and prevent injuries on the golf course.

Welcome to ProActive Rehab & Sport Injury Centre's patient resource about common golf injuries. Correct treatment of an acute injury will minimize recovery time. ProActive Rehab & Sport Injury Centre can also help you prevent re-injury by teaching you how to sustain good posture and muscle balance, as well as prescribe a thorough stretching regimefor you. In addition, your physiotherapist can discuss proper golf equipment selection in relation to your size, golfing ability, and current fitness level.  Lastly, your golf swing mechanics can be reviewed and suggestions made in order to maximize the use of your body’s strength during your golf game, and prevent some of the common golfing injuries listed below. 

Golfers Elbow (Medial Epicondylitis)

Medial epicondylitis is commonly known as golfer's elbow. This does not mean that only golfers have this condition. But the golf swing is a common cause of medial epicondylitis. Many other repetitive activities can also lead to golfer's elbow: throwing, chopping wood with an ax, running a chain saw, and using many types of hand tools. Any activities that stress the same forearm muscles can cause symptoms of golfer's elbow. 

Golfer's elbow causes pain that starts on the inside bump of the elbow and is a problem within the cells of the tendon. Doctors call this condition tendonosis. In tendonosis, wear and tear is thought to lead to tissue degeneration. No one really knows exactly what causes tendonosis. Some doctors think that the forearm tendon develops small tears with too much activity. The tears try to heal, but constant strain and overuse keep re-injuring the tendon. After a while, the tendons stop trying to heal. The scar tissue formed with each tear never has a chance to fully heal, leaving the injured areas weakened and painful.

The main symptom of golfer's elbow is tenderness and pain at the medial epicondyle of the elbow. Bending your wrist, twisting your forearm down, or grasping objects can make the pain worse. You may feel less strength when grasping items or squeezing your hand into a fist.

Tennis Elbow (Lateral Epicondylitis)

Lateral epicondylitis, commonly known as tennis elbow, is not limited to tennis players. The backhand swing in tennis can strain the muscles and tendons of the elbow in a way that leads to tennis elbow. But many other types of repetitive activities can also lead to tennis elbow: painting with a brush or roller, running a chain saw, and using many types of hand tools. Any activities that repeatedly stress the same forearm muscles can cause symptoms of tennis elbow.

Tennis elbow causes pain that starts on the outside bump of the elbow, the lateral epicondyle. This condition is another example of tendonosis (see above). 

The main symptom of tennis elbow is tenderness and pain that starts at the lateral epicondyle of the elbow. The pain may spread down the forearm. It may go as far as the back of the middle and ring fingers. The forearm muscles may also feel tight and sore.The pain usually gets worse when you bend your wrist backward, turn your palm upward, or hold something with a stiff wrist or straightened elbow. Grasping items also makes the pain worse. Just reaching into the refrigerator to get a carton of milk can cause pain. Sometimes the elbow feels stiff and won't straighten out completely.

de Quervain's Tenosynovitis

This condition causes pain on the inside of the wrist and forearm just above the thumb. It is a common problem affecting the wrist and is usually easy to diagnose. 

Repeatedly performing hand and thumb motions such as grasping, pinching, squeezing, or wringing may lead to the inflammation of tenosynovitis. This inflammation can lead to swelling, which hampers the smooth gliding action of the tendons within the tunnel. Arthritic diseases that affect the whole body, such as rheumatoid arthritis, can also cause tenosynovitis in the thumb. In other cases, scar tissue from an injury can make it difficult for the tendons to slide easily through the tunnel. 

At first, the only sign of trouble may be soreness on the thumb side of the forearm, near the wrist. If the problem isn't treated, pain may spread up the forearm or further down into the wrist and thumb.

As the friction increases, the two tendons may actually begin to squeak as they move through the constricted tunnel. If the condition is bad, there may be swelling along the tunnel near the edge of the wrist. Grasping objects with the thumb and hand may become increasingly painful.

Shoulder Impingement Syndrome

Impingement syndrome occurs when the rotator cuff tendons rub against the roof of the shoulder, the acromion. 

Impingement occurs to some degree in everyone's shoulder. Day-to-day activities that involve using the arm above shoulder level cause some impingement. Usually it doesn't lead to any prolonged pain. But having poor posture, continuously working with the arms raised overhead, repeated throwing activities, or other repetitive actions of the shoulder can cause impingement to become a problem.

Impingement syndrome causes generalized shoulder aches in the condition's early stages. It also causes pain when raising the arm out to the side or in front of the body. Most patients complain that the pain makes it difficult for them to sleep, especially when they roll onto the affected shoulder.

A reliable sign of impingement syndrome is a sharp pain when you try to reach into your back pocket. As the condition worsens, the discomfort increases. The joint may become stiffer. Sometimes a catching sensation is felt when you lower your arm. Weakness and inability to raise the arm may indicate that the rotator cuff tendons are actually torn.

Furthur Details

For more informaiton about the diagnosis and treatment of these injuries along with a detailed list of common lower back injuries please visit ProActive Rehab's Official Injury Overview

ProActive Rehab & Sport Injury Centre is your centre of choice for effective injury management and prevention in a professional, relaxed, motivating environment .  We will guide you along your way to reaching your full potential! ProActive Rehab is a multidisciplinary rehabilitation facility located in the heart of downtown Huntsville Ontario. We offer a wide range of services including physiotherapy, massage therapy, occupational therapy, aquatherapy and post-rehab aquacise, cardiac rehabilitation, custom foot orthotics, braces, supports and rehab products. We pride ourselves in being the centre of choice in north Muskoka for exemplary customer service, professional and effective rehab programs and experienced staff all in a relaxed and motivating environment!