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  Golf


Golf seems like a gentle sport. You don't get punched or tackled-unless a member of your foursome is having a really bad day. Your body isn't jarred or jostled and your legs aren't pounding pavement. Though the inherent dangers of golf aren't obvious, golfers may be injured-and sidelined by the pain.

Luckily, with a little prevention and good form, most golf injuries are avoidable. According to experts, the biggest issue with golf is the image that it's sedentary. People don't realize that you need good flexibility, strength, and proper technique or you could get hurt.

The list of possible golf injuries is surprisingly extensive. Many result from some aspect of the swing-which involves an explosive forward motion and violent muscle contractions. Because you're holding a club with a relatively heavy head that acts as a long lever arm, the forces are magnified. Other injuries result from improper form and from the repetitive nature of the sport.

The back

The wrists

The hips

The hands

The shoulder

The hamstrings

The elbows

 


The back
Back problems are common among golf professionals. The twisting motion of the swing, the movement of the spine, and repeated bending to make putts contribute to the problem of low back pain.

Golfers are also likely to have muscular imbalances since most of the stress is on one side of your body, according to the American Council on Exercise. Many back problems can be prevented with strong trunk muscles (abdominal muscles and back muscles), which control the twisting mechanism, and good flexibility, which helps prevent overstretching of back muscles.

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The hips
As you rotate your body, you risk pulled muscles in the hip area. Make sure to stretch your hip muscles well after warming up.

The shoulder
You engage your shoulder in both the take-away and follow-through of your swing, and it's an area at risk for strains and sprains. Experts recommend stretching this area well before playing, and strengthening the shoulder off the course. Try lateral shoulder raises with dumbbells or rotator cuff exercises (such as internal and external rotations with a dumbbell).

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The elbows
The shock at impact - between the club and the ball or the ground- is largely absorbed by the elbow muscles and tendons. Tendinitis at the elbow is a risk that increases if your technique is poor.


The wrists
Like tennis players, golfers sometimes suffer from tendinitis of the wrist as a result of repeated dorsiflexion. And if you miss the ball and hit the ground, the muscles and tendons of your wrist absorb much of that impact, as well.

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