If you’re a golfer, chances are you’ve been anxiously watching the weather change and the grass to turn greener and greener. By this point in the year, many golfers are itching to return to their favorite courses. In addition to looking forward to the first rounds of the season, many golfers are also bracing themselves for incoming shoulder pain.
If you’ve experienced shoulder pain from golf, you’re not alone. Shoulder injuries are one of the most common golf injuries in amateur players, with up to 18% of all golf injuries involving the shoulder. Even professional golfers like Tiger Woods with professional trainers and impeccable form have suffered from shoulder injuries during their careers.
Why Golf Puts Your Shoulders at Risk for Injury
Despite the common perception that golf is a low-risk sport for injury, research indicates that due to the potential for overuse and poor technique, golfers–especially amateur golfers–may be more likely to suffer an injury than athletes that play contact sports like rugby or hockey.
The repetitive action of swinging can place significant stress on the shoulder’s muscles, tendons, and connective tissue, particularly as the swing is limited by the pelvic rotation. Over time, this stress can lead to injuries such as rotator cuff tears. Other common shoulder injuries experienced by golfers include shoulder instability and frozen shoulder.
Preventing Shoulder Injuries this Golf Season
While shoulder injuries might be common in golfers, there are steps you can take that may prevent pain before the season is over. Here are a few ways that might help you avoid a shoulder injury:
- Practice Good Form: Proper form and technique are critical for reducing the risk of injury. Make sure you’re using the correct posture and alignment, and that you have a strong grip on the club. Additionally, avoid swinging too hard, as this can put additional stress on the shoulder muscles.
- Use the Right Equipment: Club length and weight are important factors to consider when choosing the right equipment. Choose clubs that aren’t too heavy and that you feel comfortable using regularly. It’s also important to ensure the clubs are properly fitted for your body type and swing.
- Be Mindful of Overuse: Overuse is a common cause of shoulder injuries in golf. To help avoid this, pay close attention to how your shoulder feels when you’re playing. If you start to feel discomfort, take a break from golf for a few rounds until the pain subsides.
- Warm-Up and Stretch: Proper warm-up and stretching routines may help prevent injury by increasing blood flow and flexibility in the shoulder muscles. Before playing, take a few minutes to stretch your shoulders and back.
- Strengthen Your Shoulders: Strengthening the shoulder muscles may help prevent injury by providing greater stability and support during the golf swing. You can do exercises like shoulder rotations, lateral raises, and external rotations to build strength in the shoulders.
Taking preventative measures like those listed above may help keep your shoulders feeling great throughout the upcoming golf season. If you do injure your shoulder or find yourself struggling with pain, a chiropractor may be able to help.
The team at Cianci Chiropractic Clinic is here to help. Book an appointment today.