How To Avoid Shoulder Pain While Golfing
If you’ve been hitting the links this summer (or are planning to, d be putting yourself at risk of repetitive stress injuries. These injuries occur in any part of the body that is put through the same range of motion consistently, which means that the shoulders are a particularly high-risk area for golfers.
WHAT AREAS OF THE SHOULDER ARE MOST AT RISK?
Since the action of swinging a club involves almost every part of your arms and shoulders, injury can occur almost anywhere in these areas. However, some of the most common golf injuries occur in:
The Rotator Cuff
Your rotator cuff is made up of four muscles and tendons that stabilize your shoulder and help you raise and rotate your arm (critical for a golf swing). Because of the significant role the rotator cuff plays in swinging a club, it is the most common place for golfers to get injured.
Cartilage is connective tissue that is much softer and more flexible than bone. It is a crucial structural component of the body, and is found in dense concentrations particularly in the shoulders. Cartilage tears (referred to as labral tears) usually occur in the back of the shoulder, and most commonly happen during a backswing.
The scapula (known as the shoulder blade) is not usually directly injured by going through golfing motions, but can become overworked. Other golfing injuries can result in scapular complications down the line.
HOW TO HELP MITIGATE THE RISK OF SHOULDER INJURY
Swinging with Good Form
As with other activities that involve repetitive physical movement, bad form can quickly lead to an injury. Practicing your swinging form can greatly reduce the risk of common golf-related injuries, and improve your gameplay to boot.
Don’t “Play Through the Pain”
If you are sore or experience pain while playing, don’t try to play through it. In many cases, discomfort can resolve itself with rest, but can quickly manifest into serious injury if left ignored.
Use the Proper Equipment
Using the right equipment is another important part of ensuring that you don’t hurt yourself on the course. For example, playing with clubs that are too short will lead you to swinging with bad form. This, in turn, can lead to strain and other injuries that could otherwise have easily been avoided.
WHEN SHOULD YOU SEEK MEDICAL ATTENTION FOR SHOULDER INJURIES?
Shoulder injuries can be incredibly painful and interfere with your work and everyday life. While some aches acquired after playing a game of golf can resolve themselves, it is important to seek a consultation from an orthopaedic professional if the pain persists.
If you find yourself unable to pick up objects, do not have free range of motion, or are experiencing persistent symptoms, call the team at Excelsior Orthopaedics. Our dedicated shoulder specialists have been serving the Western New York area for years, and will find a treatment solution to get you back out on the course as soon as possible.