Golf Injuries

Anyone else have any nagging injuries from golf?

I’m 22 years old and my back is already killing me. Practice swings hurt 3x more than an actual swing at the ball for some reason.

Curious if anyone else has painful practice swings? I assume it’s the small adrenaline boost of actually going after the ball that makes it not hurt.

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we may have isolated the problem

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Yoga young man. You’ll thank me later.

Seriously, a lot of back problems are related to tight hamstrings, so yoga or deep stretching is what you should do to mitigate the issue. If it hurts at 22, it’s gonna hurt more at 30, then 40 if you don’t start doing things to prevent it now. If you do the right things, it may not be a problem for you later on.

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At the start of the season this year I developed a trigger finger in my left pinky finger. Had to take about 6 weeks off and focused on my grip more to try to not stress it as much. Still can flair up occasionally, but after a week or two it goes back to normal.

Unrelated to golf my fiance injured her neck, herniated disk with chronic pain and needed to have an artificial disk replacement. Surgery fixed it immediately (similar thing to Tiger’s final surgery but she got a titanium disk instead of a bone fusion). Don’t mess with your back too much, people are pretty fragile things.

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Another option is to make your back stronger. You can do this by deadlifting and squatting.

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What Flop said. Get a physio you like/trust to make sure you don’t have anything chronically wrong. Then once you’re at ground zero, work on strengthening the area with good form. Slow & steady.

I’ve mentioned it before (and got shouted down as Free Ads by Nandy) but look up something like the Fit for Golf programme. It’s Irish Mike if you listen to the Chasing Scratch podcast.

Pilates is also not a bad move.

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Left wrist always bothers me. Have had x-rays and nothing seems wrong. Not debilitating, just always there.

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I was hitting balls on the range about four or five years ago, and my left shoulder just gave out on me during my follow through. It was very painful, and I couldn’t play that day, or for several weeks after that.

Like a dumbass, I never got it checked out, mainly because it started to feel better over time. Here we are years later and I still have occasional soreness from whatever I did.

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Oh crap my left pinky has trigger finger as well. Any specific advice on how you changed your grip? My grip doesn’t feel like it’s hurting my pinky at all, but during periods of heavy play it really flares up.

lmaoo haha probably so!

I just started going to physio for back and neck issues. They isolated the problem pretty quickly and asked if I was a golfer - seems the two are related! Plenty of stretching and strengthening of my back and legs should sort out the issue

I am an athletic trainer so I feel I can speak on this and offer some advice. Not knowing your other symptoms and assuming you are only experiencing muscle tightness in the low back, stretching and strengthening is a good place to start. @Double_Bogey_Dave was correct in saying tight hamstrings can cause back pain but tight hip flexors can do the same. Those muscles will pull the pelvis into an anterior or posterior position causing the low back muscles to either be in a constant elongated state or contracted state, both causing pain and discomfort. I would look up stretches for quads, hamstrings, and piriformis, as well as hip mobility exercises. Yoga is a good option if you want to go that route as well.

I would also address the thoracic spine mobility as well. That is where most rotation in the spine occurs during the golf swing. If that is tight then the low back might be trying to pick up the slack to get you extra rotation. Contrary to what most people think, the lumbar spine does not rotate all that much, nor should it. T-spine mobility is very simple and easy to add to any workout or before a round of golf.

Now on to strengthening. In addition to muscle tightness, back pain can be caused by muscle weakness. If muscles are not strong enough to handle the load they are being asked to do, that will cause tightness and pain. Again, not knowing other symptoms, I would avoid back squats and deadlifts with a straight bar like the plague. You do not need to be loading your spine with weight while you are currently having back pain (or ever in my opinion). Deadlifting is in the same boat unless you are very aware of proper form (but also another exercise I would suggest avoiding for a lifetime regardless of back pain or not). There is an app you can download called “Back Doctor” that is really good and free. It address building core strength with very simple exercises that look very easy but are very challenging. Most people think they have good core strength but definitely do not. That program is a commitment though. It will take about 30 minutes to go through. Its not something you will have to do everyday but I would mix it in more often than not. Once you get in the routine of the program and advance through the different levels it is a good warmup for your workouts to get the core muscles engaged or after a workout as your core work as that is when most people do their core exercises. Hope this helps. Let me know if you have any questions. I know it’s a lot of information.

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It seems like I always have some sort of very minor issue. Minor enough to make me sound like a complete baby (I am) but noticeable enough to bother me in the golf swing.

I’ve had what I believe is some tendinitis in my right elbow/triceps that has been nagging me for a few years. It kind of comes and goes. At the end of last season my left hand/wrist randomly started hurting at impact and when holding my putter. Golf was about the only activity where I noticed it, oddly enough Recently I’ve had this lingering crick in my neck when turning my head to the right, so I’m hoping that is gone by the time I start getting back into the swing of things next year.

Usually EVERYTHING hurts after playing. I am assuming I have carpal tunnel syndrome so after a round (especially when I sleep) my hands act up. The next day I am a lot slower getting out of bed, but a hot shower and some stretching helps. I have a ton of nagging injuries. shoulder, back, neck etc. I just chalk it up to being old and fat…

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I am happy to have a conversation about this in a private message if you’d like to discuss further or we could discuss it here. But I’m curious as to why you would advise people to avoid these.

It seems as though what you’re saying is that people are very fragile beings and should avoid the exercises that could improve their strength.

I’ve tried to strengthen my grip and completely remove my pinky from the club (like I’m drinking tea). It hasn’t worked miracles, but it hasn’t been as bad recently. I’ve thought about getting the rubber finger stretching bands, but haven’t pulled the trigger on that yet.

I will gladly discuss this with you in a private message but based on the phrasing of your comment I’m not so sure you’re open minded to my point of view. If I am wrong send me a private message with why you think these are beneficial to the golfer or the average person.

This discussion might be beneficial to those following along here. I do vow to keep our discussion civil.

You’re asking why doing a squat or a deadlift is beneficial to the average person, yes? Because strength matters – in golf and in life. By lifting, you are learning how to produce force.

Squatting is a way to produce a lot of force against the ground. In an ideal world, we could use our hips to stand the weight up. We can’t put the bar on our hips, so we have to place it on our backs. The distance between the hips and the bar is the back, which means the back is helping to transmit force to the bar. As you train, your back gets stronger as a result. If you’re assuming the hamstrings are tight and pulling the lower back, wouldn’t you want your lower back to “pull” back?

Both the squat and the deadlift produce strong “core” muscles because in both movements, the midsection has to remain tight in order to most efficiently produce force.

Another benefit of training “big” movements is the fact that your body works as a system instead of each individual group working independently.

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I’ll put aside my disbelief for a second and humor you, what would you replace these exercises with?

just to give @BCates some backup here since it seems like everyone is ready to jump him, one of my best friends is a physical therapist in sports medicine and he also generally doesn’t want people doing weighted squats or deadlifts with significant weight (what he told me back when I was taking lifting more seriously is that he limits his clients to deadlifting their bodyweight or less)