Golf is a popular sport, especially during the summer months, but wrist injuries in golf are common, and they can really wreck your game, leaving you unable to enjoy a round at the weekend with your family and friends.
A Common Golf Injury – Wrist Problems
For golfers that we see in clinic, wrist injuries are probably the second most common golf injury (behind lower back pain and closely followed by golfers elbow) and can either spoil the enjoyment of playing golf, or keep you from playing it entirely.
During a swing, particularly driving off the tee, the lead side of the body is the main generator of power, and the wrist on the lead hand (the hand you place highest on the club) often takes the brunt of any poor technique, or can suffer from what people often refer to as wear and tear.
Causes of Golf Wrist Injuries
There are generally two ways that a golf wrist injury can occur – either through overuse, or through trauma.
Overuse Related Wrist Injuries In Golf
As a simplified explanation, during a golf swing, the wrist moves from one extreme to the other – it will bend to one side as you bring the club back, and as you move through the swing, the wrist will bend to the other side as you hit the ball and follow through with the club.
During a round of golf this action could happen 70, 80, 90 or 100+ times and this repetitiveness can create tiny tears in the muscles and tendons around the wrist which lead to inflammation, swelling and pain.
If you only play golf once a month, this minor irritation of the wrist may heal by itself in time for your next round however if you play more frequently, the damage to the wrist may not recover in time, and ultimately build up to a bigger problem that affects you in your daily life and become extremely painful.
Trauma Related Wrist Injuries In Golf
Alternatively, you may hurt your wrist, either creating a new injury or aggravating an existing problem. This could happen as a result of striking a rock or a root during a swing, or making a large divot while swinging.
How To Avoid Wrist Injuries In Golf
Before any physical activity, not just golf, it is always a good idea to warm up and stretch the muscles that will be working. By doing this, you reduce the risk of any injuries occurring, or getting worse.
In addition, other good strategies are to gradually increase the amount of golf played after a period of inactivity (such as if you don’t play over winter) rather than jumping straight into 18 holes three times a week after months of not playing. Instead, over the course of a few weeks, increase your play time with a short time at the driving range, then a 9 hole round before taking on a 18 hole round.
Other ways to avoid wrist injuries in golf are to ensure that your technique is safe, with proper hand position, grip and movement patterns. Trying to strengthen the upper body and core muscles can also improve swing mechanics which may lead to less discomfort after golf.
Golf Wrist Injury Treatment
Wrist injuries in golf are commonly caused by overuse, and therefore prevention is the best cure. The early signs of golf wrist injuries are discomfort, swelling or weakness and treating the issue at this point will ensure that you can get back on the golf course fast.
Alternatively, if you have a trauma related golf injury, the same advice would apply and here are some simple, effective ways to relieve discomfort without resorting to painkillers.
If you are experiencing pain, our advice would be to stop what you doing to avoid making the affected area worse. If you play through the pain, you might turn a minor sprain into a more severe injury which means you spend the summer recovering, rather than on the golf course.
A fantastic medication free way to reduce wrist pain fast if to alternate heat and ice packs. Typically, we would recommend 15 to 20 minutes of ice or heat applied to the area several times a day, allowing the skin to return to normal temperature before applying again.
- Your wrist pain from golf does not go away after 2-3 days
- You experience numbness or tingling
- You had a sharp and sudden pain when playing (perhaps after hitting the ground during a swing)
- Intense pain during movement (perhaps when you are driving home from the golf club)
You should call us at 989-573-8588 to schedule a free consultation with our team to fully diagnose your injury, and create a personalized recovery plan to avoid the pain getting worse, and to ensure you get back on the golf course quickly. You can learn more about our free consultations by clicking here.
Hear From Someone Who Has Been Through It Before...
"I had pain and immobility in my right elbow and wrist. I could not golf or perform routine tasks such as turning a key or doorknob, opening a jar, curling my hair, ect. I waited approximately 2 weeks following my doctor's orders to wait until the swelling and inflammation subsided. I did not want to further the problem with physical movements.
I came to Functional Advantage based on a referral and great experience of others that this clinic has helped. I liked the specialization with athletes and 'sports-minded' people. I am now back to all my normal activities without pain and at 100% movement. I am restored to full capacity with an excellent plan to continue exercise and flexibility routine on my own.
Functional Advantage provided an overall wellness plan geared to maintain and improve flexibility, muscle-tone, and general health; and provide for the best quality of life as we age!"
-Lori R. from Saginaw, MI