Get in the swing of golf, this spring. Orthopaedic surgeons offer safety tips
ROSEMONT, Ill.—Golf is considered a year-round sport but for many golfers living in
cold-weather states, spring has become the kick-off season to hit the green. Before teeing off, the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) encourages participants to ease into the sport and prepare their bodies for those 18 holes.
According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, more than 114,000 people were treated in emergency departments and doctors’ offices for golf-related injuries in 2013.
“Golfing often places significant stress on the same muscles, tendons, and joints as a result of the repetitive swinging motion used throughout the sport,” said Kevin Setter, MD, Shoulder and Elbow surgeon at Upstate Orthopedics. “To prevent injury, simple exercises during the off-season to build up forearm muscles and strengthen lower back muscles is a good idea for those who enjoy playing the game of golf.”
The AAOS suggests the following exercises to help strengthen arm and back muscles.
Squeeze a tennis ball. Squeezing an old tennis ball for 5 minutes at a time is a simple, effective exercise that will strengthen your forearm muscles.
Wrist curls. Start with your forearm laying on a flat surface, palm up. Use a lightweight dumbbell (a half- pound to one pound weight to start and increase weight as you improve). Lower the weight to the end of your fingers, and then curl it back into your palm, followed by curling up your wrist to lift the weight an inch or two higher. Perform 10 repetitions with one arm, and then repeat with the other arm.
Reverse wrist curls. Use a lightweight dumbbell. Place your hands in front of you, palm side down. Using your wrist, lift the weight up and down. Hold the arm that you are exercising above your elbow with your other hand in order to limit the motion to your forearm. Perform 10 repetitions with one arm, and then repeat with the other arm.
Specific exercises and illustrations are available in the AAOS low back pain exercise guide.
Wall squats. Stand with ball between your low back and wall. Slowly bend knees 45 to 90 degrees. Hold five seconds. Straighten knees. Repeat the process raising both arms over head.
Lying on a ball. Lie on your stomach over ball. Slowly raise alternate arms over head. Slowly raise alternate legs two to four inches from floor. Combine one and two, alternating opposite arms and legs. Bend one knee. Slowly lift this leg up, alternating right and left legs.
Yoga and pilates. These exercise programs focus on trunk and abdomen strength, as well as flexibility.
Remember to stretch your back, shoulders and legs prior to a round of golf.
Provided by the Orthopedic Upper Extremity Surgeons at Upstate Orthopedics, LLP
Brian Harley, MD, Jon Loftus, MD, Josh Pletka, MD, Kevin Setter, MD
Upstate Orthopedics is affiliated with Upstate Medical University and University Hospital. We provide expert and personalized orthopedic care for the bone and joint problems that threaten the comfort and function of thousands of individuals each year. Upstate Orthopedics is located at the Upstate Bone & Joint Center. The Upstate Bone & Joint Center is the region’s most comprehensive center for orthopedic medicine. This facility, located at 6620 Fly Road in East Syracuse.