Monday, January 16, 2012

How to Reduce Neck and Back Injuries in Golf?

While golf is not a high-impact sport like running, being an avid golfer does not mean you are immune from injuries. The frequent repetitive swinging position can make back and neck pain a common side-effect of golf. This does not mean you have to experience these injuries, however. You can take steps to minimize the risk of injury.
Overuse Injuries -- Back
Some of the most common spinal injuries while playing golf are overuse injuries. The repetitive motion caused by swinging the golf club and bending down to pick up your golf ball and tee can contribute to muscle or ligament strains, according to Dr. William Mallon, a physician writing on Failing to rest after experiencing an overuse injury can increase the severity of the pain and increase your potential for further injury. If you experience back pain, ice and rest your back until your pain subsides.
Overuse Injuries -- Neck
The cervical spine that makes up the neck portion of your body also is subject to injury from overuse, according to Dr. Anthony Alessi in a May 2010 article in the “Norwich Bulletin.” The main source for overuse injury in the neck stems from having a powerful swing that can place extra stress on your neck. You also twist the neck frequently to view the length of a tee shot or put your neck down to look at your putts.
A proper warm-up before teeing off can help to reduce back and neck pain. Examples include stretching your back, shoulders and neck and taking some easy swings to help warm your back. You can use your golf club to stretch your neck and shoulders by placing the club behind your neck and stretching your arms. You also can consult a golf professional or occupational therapist to review your posture while swinging the club to ensure you are practicing proper positioning. Additionally, you might wish to review safe carrying posture when holding your golf bag.
See Your Physician
Signs you might have experienced a serious injury include pain that does not subside after two to six weeks, according to the website Spine-Health. Tell your physician if you have tried conservative treatments, such as resting and taking pain medications, yet not experienced relief over time. Your physician can evaluate your spine and neck health and make recommendations for treatments.

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