Golf is one of the most popular sports in the world and it is played by people of all ages, the vast majority of whom never think to properly warm up before belting one down the 1st fairway. A few practice swings and away they go.

Golf places great strain on your muscles, from the neck and shoulders, all the way through to the calves, ankles and feet. The repetitive nature of the golf swing means that injuries through over-use are very common. The explosive force necessary to propel a golf ball 250 yards or more means that muscle strains and tears are always possible. Warming up properly before every round, and looking after your muscles in between times, will go a long way towards avoiding some of the most common golfing injuries. But remember, if you do pick up an injury, get it treated early! SMART Sports Massage, based in Churchtown Business Park offers you Sports Massage at convenient times that suit your schedule and at very reasonable prices.



Back Pain


As a golfer, you’re keen to improve your swing and you probably practice every chance you get. But spending several hours hunched over your club, and the rotational stresses you put onto your back as you swing, can add up to serious back pain. Although lower back pain is the most common, shooting, stabbing pain between your shoulder blades is not to be ignored.

Give your back a chance – work on correcting your form and regularly exercise the muscles of your back (focusing specifically on trapezoid and pectoral muscles). Flexibility exercises such as yoga can also help to prevent back injuries.

If you develop back pain, make sure first of all to Rest. You might try alternating between hot and cold applications. Regular deep tissue massage is also good for smoothing out the knots and getting some flexibility into your back muscles. SMART Sports Massage offers a 30 minute treatment of Back, Shoulders and Upper Arms for €30. If the pain persists, consult a medical practitioner.



Rotator Cuff Injury


The four stabilising muscles located in each of your shoulders are collectively known as the rotator cuff. Regular golfers are always susceptible to rotator cuff impingements, when the muscles swell and pinch the space between the arm and shoulder bones. Another type of injury occurs when one of the tendons or muscles tear. Both common types of rotator cuff injuries cause pain and inhibit your game.

To prevent rotator cuff injury, again, work on your form and regularly do some strength training and stretching the muscles of the shoulders, backs, and abs.

To treat injuries to the rotator cuff, use the RICE method – Rest (give it time to heal), Ice (to reduce swelling), Compression (injury-specific taping techniques are available) and Elevation (keep the injury above the level of the heart). Follow up with exercises designed to strengthen shoulder and back muscles.




Tenis Elbow & Golf Elbow


We often use sports terminology to describe certain injuries. “Tennis elbow” is a form of tendinitis and refers to irritation and inflammation of the outer part of the elbow, while “golf elbow” refers to irritation and inflammation of the inner tendon. Oddly enough, golfers tend to suffer more from tennis elbow than golf elbow, but the result can still be very painful.

To prevent tendinitis of either sort, concentrate on your swing technique when you practice. Because overuse of the tendons involved can lead to tendinitis, make sure to vary your practice to allow your elbows and arms get adequate rest.

Treating tendinitis is usually fairly simple, and while some favour wearing a tennis elbow strap, it’s always best to treat the injury rather than try to live with it. Rest is the best medicine, and ice/cold packs help to reduce the inflammation.



Knee Pain & Damage


Do you remember when you used to simply refer to your knees as “the left one” and “the right one”? As we get older, knees suffer more than other parts of the body, and swinging a golf club can put a lot of stress and strain on a week knee.

To prevent knee pain, gently but thoroughly stretch your calves, hamstrings, thighs, and core muscles before heading out for a round. Wear quality shoes with good arch support, and use a brace if you feel weakness or twinges.

If you already suffer from knee pain, you’ll need a physio to diagnose the exact problem and help you decide on a course of treatment. If you ignore knee pain, you can end up doing incredible damage, which has the potential of greatly affecting your ability to play.




Tendinitis in the Wrists


Like the tendons in the elbows, wrist tendons can become overly fatigued and inflamed from overuse, which can affect your ability to hold your club correctly (or at all, in serious cases).

To prevent wrist tendinitis, take time to condition and strengthen your wrists and forearms. There is a variety of exercises designed to strengthen the wrists and forearms, some involve small weights but most can be performed while sitting down in front of the TV.



SMART Sports Massage

For more information, or to book a deep tissue massage specifically tailored for golfers, call Sean at Smart Sports Massage Churchtown, 087 262 0319, email or visit his website here.