Many consider golfing a relaxing pastime. Then there are those who would disagree about the relaxing part. Whichever side you are on, you should still take precautions to prevent common shoulder injuries. We have compiled the following tips to protect your shoulder from common injuries playing golf.
Common Shoulder Injuries From Playing Golf
Since swinging a golf club involves almost every part of the arms and shoulder, they become particularly susceptible to injury. There are some common shoulder conditions and injuries you want to avoid. Rotator cuff tears, impingement, shoulder joint instability, AC joint disease, and osteoarthritis can occur if you’re not careful.
In addition, you can damage cartilage which is softer and more flexible than bone. Labral tears occur in the back of the shoulder and usually happen during a backswing.
The scapula, or shoulder blade, can be overworked from repetitive motion causing pain and discomfort.
The rotator cuff stabilizes your shoulder and helps you raise your arm and rotate it in order to swing a club. It is the most common place for injuries.
Tips To Protect Your Shoulder
Use Good Technique
Be sure you have correct overall form and muscle activation patterns to help the shoulder muscles work properly. If your shoulder is sore after a game, you may need to refine your swing.
Overuse injuries can occur from hitting too many golf balls in practice. If your shoulder starts to hurt during a game, stop playing. Don’t resume playing until the pain stops, and see Dr. Samuel Koo if the pain persists.
Consider Some Obvious Basics
Don’t carry a heavy bag with a sore or aching shoulder. Use the right equipment, and be sure your clubs are at the right length and weight for you. Playing with clubs that are too short can cause you to swing improperly resulting in strains and injury.
Swing With Good Form
Golf is an activity that involves repetitive motions, and bad form can lead to injuries. Take time to practice your swinging form, and it will help to reduce the risk of shoulder related injuries.
Transfer Weight Consistently
Use the larger parts of your body like your legs, hips, and trunk to transfer weight. Shoulder motion should occur after the hip and trunk motion during the downswing.
After Shoulder Surgery
Modify your swing by shortening the backswing or reducing follow through. If shoulder rotation becomes limited, you may need longer clubs. Use a rolled up towel under your right arm during practice swings to keep the elbow close to your body and limit strain on the shoulder.
Most patients who suffer a golf related shoulder injury respond successfully to non-surgical treatments. Rest and physical therapy are usually recommended before surgery.
Contact Dr. Samuel Koo if you are experiencing shoulder pain while playing golf or after.
As always, if you have any further questions or would like to schedule an appointment, please call (425) 823-4000 or request an appointment online today!