Expert Health Articles

Golf Injury and Prevention for All Ages

*Through a collaboration between Blanchard Valley Health System and Nationwide Children’s Hospital, the content of this article was provided courtesy of Nationwide’s 700 Children’s® blog by pediatric experts.

Whether you and your child play golf to relax on the weekends or to be competitive, a risk of injury exists just like in other sports. It is important to take precautions against getting hurt and to seek medical attention in the case of injury.

An important factor in preventing golf-related injuries is a proper warm up. A dynamic warmup is preferred over static stretching, as it prepares the body for action. It is also important to warm up on the driving range before playing a round. Your child should start with wedges and then work their way up to their woods and driver. This will give your child the ability to progressively warm up instead of the first swing of the day being a drive off the first tee. 

Some of the common golf-related injuries include lumbar strain, spondylolysis (Stress fracture in the vertebrae), cervical strain, shoulder impingement, medial/lateral epicondylitis (golfer’s/tennis elbow), hip impingement, patellofemoral pain.

Back pain is the most common diagnosis in golfers. The golf swing requires a combination of both mobility and stability. This, coupled with the rotational and repetitive nature of the swing, place increased demands on the spine. Factors that can lead to back pain include limited trunk and hip mobility, insufficient core and hip strength, and poor posture during the swing. Lower back injury can also be induced by specific swing mechanics, such as reverse spine angle, early extension, and hanging back. All of these can be common in golfers of any age.

To treat a golfer, a sports medicine physician will evaluate for common injuries seen in all athletes, as well as those specific to young golfers. If an injury is limiting them, a physical therapist and athletic trainer will provide a comprehensive rehab program to get them safely back on the course as soon as possible.

Shaun Coffman, PT, DPT, OCS
Sports and Orthopedic Physical Therapy
Nationwide Children’s Hospital