GOLF AND WHAT WE CAN DO TO HELP OURSELVES!!
Golf has become one of the most popular sports. Fifty years ago there were estimated to be about 5,000 golf courses worldwide, whereas now there are in excess of 15,000 and approximately 55 million golfers worldwide. Golf is unique as the age profile of those that play is higher than almost any other sport (25% of players are over the age of 65). Tom Watson in 2009 at the age of 59 was within one shot of winning a major championship. However whilst performance and skill are not necessarily dictated by age, the ability to adapt to stress in an ageing body is. Given all these statistics it comes as now surprise that chronic repetitive strain type injuries within this sport are also growing exponentially.
Participation in golf does promote healthy successful aging as it involves regular walking activity, however the risk of musculo-skeletal injury from an overly vigorous swing or inadequate warm up or faulty body mechanics is always present. It is therefore highly recommended that golfers access professional coaching to help them prevent injury resulting from poor swing mechanics. Education is also key as adequate warm up practices are integral to lower back care. The golf swing can generate compression loads comparable to forces produced in rowing and whole-body weight-lifting movements.It has been reported that golfers who perform a thorough pre-game warm up routine experience less than half the injuries per player than those who do not.In the upper limb injuries often involve the lead shoulder often due to hitting a divot or due to the high forces applied during the transition between the back and down-swing. This often leads to long term rotator cuff issues so basic scapula (or shoulder blade) stabilizer strengthening programs should be a regular component of any senior golfer’s rehabilitation or training program.