Addressing Three Common Golf Injuries: What Could Happen and What to Do

Golfer hitting golf shot with club on course

The Best Orthopedic Surgeons in Wichita, KS Can Help You Recover and Get Back to Your Game

Although golf is a no-contact sport that’s suitable for all ages, this legendary game that originated in the 15th century has a way of getting the best of us in terms of injuries. Play the game long enough, and you’ll experience a tweak here or a twinge of pain there.

Most golf-related injuries aren’t sudden in nature like football or basketball. In fact, the majority of golf injuries start off as minor annoyances and grow into something bigger as golfers attempt to “tough it out” and play through their respective injury.

So, what are the most common types of golf injuries? And when exactly should you get an orthopedic doctor or orthopedic surgeon involved?

After we break down the three most commonly occurring conditions, we’ll provide some best practices on how to address them, along with info on where to find orthopedic surgeons in Wichita, KS.

#1 – Rotator Cuff Injury

The rotator cuff is a series of tendons and muscles located in the shoulder that keeps the shoulder joint in place and affords movement. However, by executing the same movement over and over – a golf swing, for instance – the muscles in the rotator cuff may potentially swell and become pinched in between bones. A more severe scenario is when the rotator cuff muscles become torn. Whichever condition a golfer experiences, the result is intense pain in the shoulder that is only made worse should they try to play through it.

#2 – Golf Elbow

Tendinitis is most commonly associated with tennis (usually called tennis elbow); however, tendinitis in golf is also quite common. Whereas tennis elbow refers to inflammation that occurs in the outer tendon, golf elbow refers to an inflamed inner tendon. Golfers will notice a feeling of shooting pain in the elbow during a certain point in their swing. It’s typically caused through overuse, improper swing technique, or a combination of the two.

#3 – Knee Pain

A common misconception with golf-related knee pain is that it’s caused by walking the course. The average 18-hole course is about a 5-mile walk, which may have a moderate effect on the knees, depending on the individual. However, a lot of knee pain cases originate from the failure to properly transfer weight during a golf swing. Rather than letting weight transfer from one foot to the other during their swing, golfers instead keep all their weight in one leg. This type of improper technique can quickly add up to a case of knee pain.

Common Ways to Avoid and Relieve Golf-Related Pain and Injuries

The good news for golfers is that these conditions typically don’t require the intervention of an orthopedic surgeon. In fact, golfers can employ best practices to ensure their bodies remain healthy and pain-free both on and off the course. Some of the most effective ones include:

  • Making sure to thoroughly stretch before and after golfing.
  • Performing exercises that strengthen the affected area.
  • Correcting improper technique that is causing pain.
  • Resting to allow the joint/muscle group to recover.
  • Applying heat or ice therapy to help with pain and inflammation.
  • Taking over-the-counter pain and anti-inflammatory medications.
  • Receiving a massage from a licensed massage therapist (LMT).

How to Locate an Experienced Orthopedic Surgeon in Wichita, KS

If you are suffering from any of the golf-related conditions we mentioned, your first order of business should be to get professionally diagnosed. You can do that by contacting our team of experienced orthopedic doctors at Mid-America Orthopedics in Wichita.

During your first appointment, an orthopedic doctor will collect a full medical history, examine the area in question, and may even order tests such as an X-ray or an MRI, depending on your condition. Once they have a better idea of what’s causing your pain and discomfort, they will develop a treatment plan that’s specific to you and your condition. More than likely, behavior modification and holistic treatments should help you find relief.

It’s also worth noting that Mid-America Orthopedics has a full team of physical therapists, athletic trainers, and sports medicine doctors all under one roof. This makes referrals far more convenient for the patient and ensures all medical professionals are on the same page when developing treatment plans. Although golf injuries rarely result in the need for surgical treatments, you can rest assured that Mid-America Orthopedics has the best orthopedic surgeons in the Wichita area.

To get your golf-related injury or other orthopedic issue properly diagnosed, please contact our practice to make an appointment. Mid-America Orthopedics can also be reached by phone at (316) 630-9300. For the convenience of our patients, we are typically able to offer same-day or next-day appointments.