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golf injury prevention

Golf Injury Prevention

Although golf is usually thought of as a rather benign activity by comparison with rugby, football, running, surfing – indeed, practically all other sports – it carries a fairly high risk of injury, according to a new study from Australia (‘Golf injuries – common and potentially avoidable’, J Sci Med Sport 2005; 8:2:163-170).

The study was set up to explore the injury profile of female golfers – including treatment sought and the impact of the injury on performance and participation – by means of a questionnaire completed by 522 golfers involved in the Victorian Women’s Pennant Competition, which is held over seven weeks each year in Victoria, Australia.

The key findings were:

  • More than one-third of the participants (35.2%) reported having sustained a golfing injury within the previous 12 months;
  • The lower back was the most commonly injured body region (31.5%) and strains the most frequent type of injury (67.9%);
  • The most common self-reported mechanism of injury was overuse (43.6%), followed by technical error (18%), contact with a static object, eg the ground, (11.3%) and a sudden or rapid change of club speed (9.8%);
  • Of the 184 injuries reported, 154 required treatment from a health professional, with physiotherapists most often consulted;
  • Performance was affected in 78.9% of cases, with 69.7% of injured golfers missing games or practice sessions due to injury.

The researchers point out that, while golf does not require extreme strength or flexibility, it does call for the coordinated movement of conditioned muscles throughout a large range of motion in the basic swing.

They suggest that the injury incidence could be reduced by effective preventive measures, including (measurement of migration of the centre of gravity) and measurements of maximum strength of ankle isokinetic concentric flexion and extension.

golf injury prevention