How to prevent golfing injuries related to the hand, wrist and elbow

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Golfer hitting golf shot with club on course while on summer vacation

Summer is in full swing which means so are a lot of golf clubs. Golfing is a great way to get outside, enjoy the weather and do something active. Both men and women, young and old enjoy golfing; however, some people may not realize that overtime golfing can cause someone a lot of injuries.

According to OrthoIndy hand and upper extremity specialist, Dr. Heather Williams (Bell), there are a few factors that could cause golfers some pain. These factors include: poor golfing technique, hitting too many divots, using your arms rather than your torso to power a golf club or overuse, such as playing more than the usual number of holes.

“The most common golfing injuries related to the hand and wrist are tendinitis of the wrist and elbow, carpal tunnel and hook of the hamate fractures,” said Dr. Williams. “Symptoms for these injuries include pain in the wrist with certain movements, numbness and tingling or sharp pain in the palm of the hand.”

If you seek treatment for golf related injuries usually the orthopedic specialist will perform a physical exam and possibly an X-ray.

“If symptoms are progressive, particularly the numbness, it is important to have your hands evaluated to avoid permanent nerve damage in the hands,” said Dr. Williams.

Depending on the severity of the injury the treatment options will range from splinting to a cortisone injection. With carpal tunnel treatment, surgery or release of a tendon is necessary. It takes four to six weeks to recover from most of these injuries.

“To prevent these injuries from happening a golfer should condition before the season starts,” said Dr. Williams. “A golfer should also warm up before playing and focus on using proper technique. Golfing can be a great form of exercise and recreation if proper techniques are used. Periodic assessments by a golf pro will prevent most injuries. Pro golfers do not often experience these same symptoms because their technique is so well perfected.”

Sponsored by OrthoIndy.

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