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Golfing Injuries and Goodall Healthcare Group

Whilst golf could be considered a low-impact sport compared to many others, it does present with its own risks for injury, this is mostly due to the repetitive nature of the sport.

Some injuries to consider would be:

Medial Epicondylitis (Golfer’s Elbow)
Back Pain
Rotator Cuff (Shoulder Injuries)
Wrist & Finger Injuries.

In this blog post, we are going to delve further into the mechanism of action of these injuries and how our MSK services can help recovery and prevention.

Medial epicondylitis, whilst not limited to golfers is an overuse injury, with the mechanism of action being the repeated strain on the wrist flexor tendons that attach to the medial epicondyle, which is the bony prominence on the inner side of the elbow. This leads to inflammation and therefore pain in the tendons attached to this epicondyle.

You may find tenderness on the inner side of the elbow, which may radiate down the forearm with weakness in the wrist and hand grip which worsens with lifting. Whilst resting and icing is essential post injury, manual therapy and isometric rehabilitation forms the mainstay of treatment. At GHG, we have also found that radial shockwave therapy adjunct to manual therapy delivers excellent results for improvement in range of motion and reduction of pain. We also advise the use of a splint, such as an Air Cast to help rest the forearm muscles and reduce unnecessary overuse.

You may think back pain may be an uncommon golfing injury, but this certainly isn’t the case!

The repetitive nature of the golf swing involves a combination of bending, twisting and extension of the thoracic and lumbar spine. This is due to the torque as the golfer winds up and releases the swing, placing stress on spinal discs, facet joints and extraspinal muscles. Golfers undergo hyperextension specifically at the lumbar spine, this is excessively affected if a golfer has weak core muscles as this leads to lack of stability and lower power generation. Technique issues are the main reason that golfers tend to swing through the torso instead of through the hip, leading to increased back stiffness, pain, and restriction.

At GHG, through manual therapy and personal training, we can ensure recovery from pain in the lumbar spine and help the strengthening of core muscles which allows for prevention for further injury.

Two significant wrist/finger injuries to consider would be Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and Trigger Finger.

Tight grip on the club or the incorrect hand positioning can lead to median nerve compression which may present in tingling, numbness of the thumb, index, and middle parts of the ring fingers. Our goal is to improve range of motion and decrease pain and the avoidance of surgical intervention for median nerve compression release. At GHG, we aim to achieve this using shockwave therapy, manual therapy and wrist strengthening and tendon gliding isometrics. A splint may also help with minimising overuse.

The Rotator Cuff (RC) is made up of four muscles: supraspinatus, infraspinatus, teres minor and subscapularis and their tendons that provide stability and power for the golf swing. Forceful swings, poor swing mechanics and general wear and tear can lead to RC tendinitis (inflammation), RC tears which we treat according to the correct grading system and impingement. Again, the mainstay of treatment is manual therapy, rotator cuff isometrics and progressive strengthening with adjunctive shockwave therapy or laser therapy, all of which GHG professionals are proficient in.

Every treatment pathway is tailored to the individual. At Goodall Healthcare Group, we use all the treatment pathways described above based on each patient’s presentation, their symptom progression, and an understanding of their lifestyle priorities. All first line treatments have a tailored pathway inclusive of manual therapy to address any biomechanical issues, improve flexibility and decreased painful symptoms alongside prescribed exercises to progressively strengthen, alongside various adjuncts such as taping.

Where symptoms are resistant and/or stalled we will employ various second line treatment such as shockwave, laser, or injection therapy. Technique is closely monitored and through aspects of personal training, adequate rest and activity modification, prevention is considered.

We are actively involved in all aspects of your recovery and simply don’t discharge on symptom reduction; we believe in maintenance and prevention to ensure long-term positive prognosis for any MSK conditions.

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