Techniques To Help Golfers With Pain Management
Golf is a popular sport in the world. Some of the reasons for this popularity include the fact that it is leisurely and non-combative, which appeals to people of different ages and health status. With golf, injuries experienced may not be as pronounced as those seen in sports such as soccer or wrestling. However, injuries do happen and they can be debilitating.
Musculoskeletal pain is a common and an often recurring symptom in both amateur and professional golf players. This can occur due to the need to practice over and over again in order to attain that desirable perfect swing. This often leads to:
- Repetitive over-use of certain groups of muscles
- Undue stress on the shoulder, spine and pelvis.
- Muscle tightness with decreased flexibility and mobility
These and other factors might lead to specific pain areas that include the following,
- Neck injuries. This is often due to muscle spasms that are commonly seen in poorly conditioned neck muscles especially in new golfers.
- Back pain is the most common type of pain among golfers. This is often due to repeated rotational forces and time spent bending. With this, micro injuries occur and with time this can accumulatively lead to serious back pain.
- Pelvic injuries. These can be due to an extension of the back’s golf-related injuries. The swing and force applied with it may lead to gluteal muscle spasms and in some cases golfers have had hip joint replacement.
- Hand problems. The shoulder and elbow muscles and tendon are the most commonly affected. The rotator cuff muscles are prone to more pronounced injury when the swing is suddenly brought to a stop as in hitting the ground. On the other hand, the source of pain in the elbow is similar to that of tennis players (tennis elbow). Repeated stretching of these tendons leads to irritation and inflammation.
- Wrist injuries. The etiology of this source of golf pain is the same as that of the elbow injuries. That repeated high-speed swing also increases the risk for repeated stress injuries to the fingers
- Lower limbs injuries involve the feet, ankles and the knees. This occurs mostly due to the stress applied on the foot and the need for the feet to move in different directions during the swing. With time, the stress can cause irritation and inflammation of the tendons.
How To Manage Golf Pain
This is the best golf pain management strategy. Managing the pain before it occurs or before it progresses to a morbidity causing level, is desirable.
- Stretching enables you to move through the full range of movement. It also helps increase range of motion and flexibility in general. It reduces the chance of injury by gradually elongating the muscle. It helps to ease up the muscle and tendon. It can warm the muscles and provides the muscles with oxygen supply as well as nutrients in order to help them to keep going. It helps to improve your posture and alleviating pain.
- Muscle strengthening to help keep your muscles, which support your back, abdomen, knees, chest, shoulders, neck and wrists strong and less likely to get injured. Strong muscles mean greater endurance, energy and better posture.
- Choose the right garments and accessories. I recommend reviewing the garments and accessories you use if you experience persistent pain despite repeated therapy sessions.
Have regular body check
After learning about the common injuries related to golf, it is much easier to prevent them because we know how, why and where they occur. Just as you are keen on caring for your hair, face and teeth daily to prevent decay and the way you are keen on checking your car’s tyre pressure regularly, you should be as vigilant in protecting and preventing your body and health.
Good body balance is important as overzealous conditioning might lead to problems just as no conditioning will lead to its own type of health issues.
As you endeavour to keep physically fit and prevent golf injuries, learn to ‘listen’ to your body. Mastering this will help you to be more aware of and know when your body is out of sync either due to doing less or doing too much.
A physically well-conditioned and balanced body prevents golf pain in a number of ways. The results are achieved by the synergy created by these combined benefits. This is through:
- Improved muscle alignment and body structure balance
- Faster healing and recovery
- Better blood circulation
- Enhanced lung capacity
- Better tissue oxygenation
- Balanced and positive mental attitude
Without pain, performance and overall personal satisfaction in golf are improved. Being pain-free enhances overall performance, personal satisfaction and most likely improves the golf game. Above all, long-term health is enjoyed.
Active Management Of Golf Pain
What do you do when golf pain has already occurred?
Take an active approach in order to prevent any further damage to the muscles, tendons and underlying structures in order to reverse the situation. One of the approaches in doing this includes the use of an all-purpose gel pack. This pack can be used in three ways depending on the type of injury causing the pain.
- Hot-warm all-purpose gel pack application.
Where an old scar is complicating golf pain, covering the scar with a pack in a way that the client is comfortable improves circulation. This, in turn, helps to promote the body’s natural pain relieving mechanism. When this application is followed by applying Bio-Oil, the results are better and faster.
- Cold all-purpose gel pack application.
This is good for minor golf aches and pains. The desired temperature is about 5 degrees Celsius and it is achieved by placing the gel pack in the fridge for about 2 hours. The expected results include reduced inflammation and swelling. This will subsequently reduce pain.
- Frozen all-purpose gel pack application.
This is used for moderate acute injuries. The pack is frozen and the affected area is bound up to prevent the pack’s direct contact with the skin. It is left in place for 10-20 minutes or for a period of time that the patient is comfortable with – (without exceeding 20 minutes).
The reality is that you can return to your best and enjoy an active pain-free golf game.
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