Get Back On Course After A Golf Injury – Part 1
By Lisa Holtan
Golf injuries are very common. 80% of golf injuries are due to overuse. Injuries in golf typically center on low back, shoulder, wrist and elbow. This article will focus on how to stretch those tight muscles and next month we will focus on how to strengthen the weak muscles that lead to imbalances and injuries.
For low back pain we want to focus on stretching out the tight hip flexor muscle. Here is an easy stretch you can do at home or even before you tee off. Kneel on the ground, put your right foot on the floor, and gently push forward until you feel a stretch in the left leg in the front of the hip. Hold the stretch for 30 seconds then repeat on the other side. Do this stretch 1-2 times a day. It’s a great way to loosen up that lower body before taking your first swing.
For shoulder pain we are going to work on stretching the latissimus dorsi and the chest muscles. This simple move will really loosen up those lats and chest. To start the ball lat stretches kneel on the floor with a stability ball in front of you. Place your left hand on the floor and the outside of your right hand on the stability ball. Gently push the ball away from you straightening your right arm. Hold the stretch for 30 seconds and repeat on the left side. Do this stretch 1-2 times a day. Keep breathing while you hold the stretch.
If you have elbow pain it could be a sign you may have some level of golfers elbow, which is pain in the bottom part of the elbow, or tennis elbow, which is the top part of the elbow. Golfers elbow is usually from the bicep being too tight and the triceps being weak.
To stretch the bicep muscle stand with your right shoulder facing a doorway. With your right hand hold on to the doorway or wall and gently turn away from the doorway or wall until you feel a stretch in your bicep (front of the arm). Hold the stretch for 30 seconds. Repeat on the other arm. Do this stretch 1-2 times a day. This is another good one to do before and even after your round.
The key to minimize your risk of golf injuries and overuse is to continue to stretch daily. Next month’s article we will talk about ways that you can work on strengthen those weak muscles. Until then stay healthy and play well.