• Dr Kendra Clifford ND

5 Most Common Golf Injuries...

Golf may seem like a gentle sport but that doesn't exclude it from injuries. These can range from minor to severe - look at Tiger Woods (required lower back surgery). Today we're going to look at the 5 most common golf injuries.


1 - Lower Back Pain

At some point in their lives 85% of Canadians will experience at least one episode of back pain. In golfers this number can range from 15-34%, making it the most common golf injury. What can you do to prevent low back pain?

  • Warm up: warming up is one of your best defences against lower back pain. Perform a few stretches, and take a few gentle swings before going to the first tee.

  • Practice your swing: golf is about good mechanics. Hire a coach or head to the range to get some expert advice to help you get that easy, fluid swing.

2 - Rotator Cuff Injury

The rotator cuff is a group of muscles and tendons that surround your shoulder. The purpose of these muscles is to raise your arm above your head, while also stabilizing your upper arm bone in the shoulder socket! These muscles include the Supraspinatus, Infraspinatus, Teres minor, and Subscapularis. Rotator cuff injuries come in two forms:

  • Impingement syndrome: This is where the muscles of the rotator cuff swell and become pinched between the bones of the shoulder or arm.

  • Strain or tears: muscles that are stretched too far can become strained or even tear.

Regular strength training of the shoulders, back and abs, stretching, and proper golf mechanics can help you avoid a rotator cuff injury.


3 - Golfer's Elbow (or Tennis Elbow)

Golfer's elbow and Tennis elbow are the terms used for tendonitis of the elbow tendons. Golfer's elbow refers to inflammation of the inner tendon, where Tennis elbow refers to inflammation of the outer tendon. Golfer's can suffer from inflammation of either tendon. These injuries typically occur when the tendon is overloaded, and from overuse. The best way to prevent elbow tendonitis is to ensure proper golf mechanics to prevent strain, and to switch up your practice regiment to prevent overuse.


4 - Knee Pain

Stabilizing the hip through your swing can cause extra strain on your knee joints. Unfortunately our knee joints wear as we age, so don't let knee pain go too long. Knee injuries can vary in terms of severity so see your Doctor right away if you are feeling regular knee pain. To prevent knee pain stretch your leg muscles (calves, hamstrings, quads) prior to picking up your club.


5 - Wrist Injury

Constant motions of the wrist during golf can create inflammation of the wrist tendons similar to golfer's elbow. If not treated this can result in pain while moving your wrist or even an inability to hold your club! Making sure to stretch the wrist muscles prior to your game, and training them during the off season can limit your risk of wrist injury.


The moral of the story is three fold

  • Golf is a full body sport

  • Proper body mechanics can limit injury

  • Stretch, stretch, stretch!





If you should experience any of these injuries Naturopathic Medicine is here to get you back on the course as soon as possible!

  • Acupuncture to relieve pain

  • Supplementation to relieve pain and support muscles

Book an appointment today to see how Naturopathic Medicine can improve your golf game!


The information in this post is for educational purposes only and should not be substituted for medical advice

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