Golf Related Injury

Golf requires much more athletic ability than many imagine.
Golf is a sport with many health and wellbeing benefits. A reported 60 million people of all ages play golf across the world, sometimes into their 80s and 90s.

The health benefits have been widely reported in recent years with an 18 hole round amounting to 6-8 km of walking, requiring over 8,000-12,000 steps and a calorie burn of 1,500.

Golf Related InjuryHowever, golf can be very demanding; requiring strength, endurance, explosive power, flexibility and athletic ability to perform a movement that produces some of the fastest club head and ball speeds of any sport.

The effect of these repeated large forces on the body can lead to many different types of golf related injury, which are often specific to certain areas and sides of the body in golfers, depending on their lead side.

Much research has been done on the types and likelihood of injuries experienced by golfers with the main areas of the body prone to injury being the lower back, shoulder, elbow, wrist and hips.

Lower back injuries – Non-specific low back pain (NSLBP) What is it?

Golf Related InjuryLower back injuries account for roughly 30% of all golfing injuries, with poor technique and lack of flexibility in the mid spine and hips possible causes. Often it presents as an aching and discomfort on moving into certain positions and doing certain activities. However, the soreness and stiffness that people often present with is called ‘non specific’ as it is not usually clear which structure is causing the problem/pain.

How does physiotherapy treat this type of condition?

Trying to remain active and avoiding extended periods of rest is important in people with NSLBP. Whilst it may be a good idea in the very initial stages of the problem to reduce or avoid significant movements or activities that aggravate the symptoms, it is a good idea to keep mobile and try to do stretches and exercises that relieve the symptoms and promote normal movement. These are often specific to each individual and your physio will discuss the best options for you. Often in the initial phases the use of heat through hot packs and baths can help as well as manual therapy treatments, soft tissue massage, TENS and advice on the best ways to lift, bend, sit and move in out of the car and bed.

Shoulder injury –

Golf Related InjuryRotator cuff injury The shoulder is a complex joint and there is a large range of injuries that can occur within it and its structures. We will concentrate on the rotator cuff.

What is it?

The rotator cuff is a group of 4 muscles in the shoulder that are involved in movements and control of the shoulder joint. There are two main causes of injury to this structure, acute trauma and degeneration. The amount of stress needed to cause an injury to the rotator cuff tendon will often depend on factors such as the person’s age, general health and underlying condition of the tendon prior to the stress elicited on the tissue. Tears can occur from injuries such as a fall onto the arm, sudden lifting or rapid movement of the arm (such as in the golf swing) or deceleration of the club head suddenly when unexpected (hitting a tree root or getting the club head stuck in thick rough). Repetitive movements of the golf swing combined with poor technique and/or flexibility and control issues can lead to injuries to the shoulder and rotator cuff.

How does physiotherapy treat this type of condition?

The type of injury, its severity and stage will affect the physiotherapy management of the condition and the time of recovery. TENS, manual therapy techniques that can help with pain relief. The aim of physiotherapy will be to return optimum function and control to the shoulder complex through structured exercises rehabilitation. Physiotherapists often use various techniques to also help in the treatment of shoulder injuries. Advice on ergonomics, activity and lifestyle can help identify ways to reduce positions and aggravating factors that may slow the recovery or worsen the injury​.


To conclude, golf requires much more athletic ability than many imagine and the consequences of this mean many people suffer injuries through poor general conditioning, lack of warm up, poor technique and practice and playing habits. But with regular conditioning, improvement in technique, warm ups and structured practice the improvements in a golfer’s performance and reduction in injuries can be significant.

​We can help you with this as well as provide you with effective treatment should you suffer with any injuries.