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Orthopedic Institute of PA \ The Arlington Group Safe Summer Fun Series: Golf

Safe Summer Fun Series: GolfDo you plan to hit the links this summer? If so, we want to help you tee off in the right direction! In the year 2015, more than 130,000 golf injuries sent people to the ER. We found some helpful information and safety tips from the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, and we want to make sure you are ready to play. Typically, the most regularly-injured body parts are the spine, the arm and leg joints, and the pelvis. Golf involves performing many activities/movements again and again, and this leads to something called “overuse injuries.”

  • Golfer’s elbow, technically called medial epicondylitis, happens when the forearm muscles that connect to the elbow bone become aggravated and sore. Some year-round exercises that can help include squeezing a tennis ball as well as doing wrist curls/reverse wrist curls. Wrist curls are performed by placing a light weight (dumbbell) at your fingertips and rolling it back to the palm. You can also raise your wrist to elevate the weight by an inch or so and do the exercises again. Alternate arms and do 10 of these rolls in a set. Reverse wrist curls are done by placing a light weight on the back of the hand while having it extended in front of you. Raise and lower the weight using only the forearm. Brace your arm with the other arm to help limit your motion. These can also be done in sets of 10.
  • Low back pain is many times the result of improper form, decreased strength, or due to a lack of flexibility. Some activities that can help include rowing, pull-downs, and yoga/pilates. To perform some basic rowing and pull-down activities, securely tie some rubber tubing and place it around a shoulder-height object, such as the hinge of a door. Keeping arms extended in front of you, slowly pull the tubing toward your chest and then slowly release. You can also kneel and pull the tubing down to your chest slowly and return it slowly. Be sure to bend the elbows as you pull. Three sets of 10, three times per week will get you off to a great start.
  • Other things to keep in mind are to do some warm-up exercises, stretch, and hit a few balls on the driving range before heading out to the course.
  • Wear sunscreen, avoid golfing during storms, stay hydrated, and always follow proper cart safety.
  • Be vigilant of the activity of other golfers; you can be injured by a wayward golf ball.

Have fun and be safe!

AAOS. “Golf Injury Prevention.” OrthoInfo. American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. 1995-2017. Web. July 2017.