Golfing Safety for Injury Prevention
What a blessing for Plano residents! There is no shortage of excellent golf courses to choose from in and around Plano, but, wherever you decide to meet up with friends or business partners for a round of golf, the one thing you need to keep in mind is golfing safety.
Golf is a great way to relax and spend time outdoors, but, we cannot overlook that it is also the cause of many injuries. Golf related injuries are more common than you think, but, they are easily avoidable.
Why is Golf Safety Important?
As a sport, golf offers a range of benefits; on average, playing an 18-hole game means you will walk a little over 4 miles, and regularly walking this much will help improve your stamina, cardiovascular fitness, and muscular endurance. There are also mental benefits given that golf is challenging and highly competitive, but, it is also a social activity, providing emotional benefits as well.
Compared to other more physically demanding sports, the risk of injury from playing golf is lower. However, even though golf is a low-impact sport, it is associated with a significant number of injuries, mainly involving the lower back, the elbow, the hand, and wrist, as well as the shoulder.
Being mindful of safety measures means you will stay healthier and able to enjoy this great sport and its many benefits. We asked our medical staff for some expert golfing safety tips on how to stay healthy while on the golf course, here are some of their secrets revealed.
Golfing Safely Tip #1: Warm Up and Stretch
Most people think that because golf is not a high-impact sport, there is little risk of pulling a muscle, but, not only is it possible, it happens regularly.
Before you tee up, warm up by walking or jogging a little, even a few jumping jacks will do the trick. Then do some slowly controlled trunk twists, move onto some reaching lateral side stretches. To stretch your shoulders, bend your right arm to an L shape and bring it across the body with the use of your left arm, then do the same stretch exercise for your left shoulder. Finally, stretch your hamstrings by placing your feet together and bending at the hip, try to reach the ground.
Golfing Safety Tip #2: Use Proper Form
Many golfing injuries are produced by bad posture before you take your next swing, remember to:
- Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and rotated slightly outward
- Your knees need to be slightly bent
- Hold your spine relatively straight; your trunk should be tilted forward
- Remember, most of the movement should come from your hips
- Avoid hunching over the ball, to reduce neck and back strain
Golfing Safety Tip #3: You’ve Got to Let It Flow
A great golf swing requires fluid movement involving all muscle groups. Rigid stances or depending too much on one body part will increase the risk of injury. As an example, overemphasizing your wrists during your swing can lead to what is known as golfer’s elbow, a strain of the muscles on the inside of the forearm.
Golfing Safety Tip #4: Don’t Overswing
Swinging the club too hard or too fast increases joint strain, which over time can lead to overuse injuries. When you get ready to swing, remember to relax, and take a nice smooth swing at the ball. If you analyze today’s top golfers, you will realize the best are not necessarily those with the fastest swings, but they all do have a consistent swing tempo.
Golfing Safety Tip #5: Hydrate
You might not be walking fast on the course but will be walking great distances. Hydrate regularly with water or on hot days consider hydrating with an energy drink to replace lost electrolytes and salt. Avoid alcoholic beverages and soda as these can cause even more dehydration.
Golfing Safety Tip #6: Protect Yourself from the Sun
Overexposure to sun rays can have serious consequences over time. To avoid sun damage, remember to:
- Wear clothing that covers as much skin as possible
- Wear sunscreen with a minimum of SPF 30 and reapply every 2 hours
- Look for shaded areas such as trees when you are not playing
- Wear a hat
- Protect your eyes by wearing sunglasses
Golfing Safety Tip #7: Treat A Golfing Injury Promptly
If while you are on the golf course, you feel a sudden pain in your joints or muscles, here is what you should do:
- Stop playing immediately, playing with pain will only serve to exacerbate the injury
- Regardless of how small you think your injury is, always seek immediate medical attention, remember Prestige ER is open 24/7/365, and we have minimal wait times.
- Treat all soft tissue injuries (ligaments or muscle sprains) with the RICE method – Rest, Ice, Compress, Elevate.
- Don’t return to the golf course until your injury has healed completely, ask your doctor if you are healthy enough to return to the game.
Golfing has become a part of our daily lives here in Plano, and with good reason, this sport provides benefits for our bodies, mind, and soul. At Prestige ER we understand how important golf is to some of you, which is why we are committed to helping you stay as healthy as possible, so you can enjoy this sport for years to come.
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