No matter how good you may be at golf (we know it takes time!) anyone can get a hand or wrist injury from playing the game. The golf swing is a complex, coordinated series of motions (but you already know that!). While poor technique can cause golf injuries, many are caused by overuse. Sometimes, but less often, injuries are caused by a single direct blow, such as hitting a tree root.
How To Avoid A Golf Injury
Proper warm up and stretching are critical to decrease the chance of injury while golfing. Gradually increasing the length and intensity of your play as the season progresses can help you avoid overuse injuries. Conditioning and core muscle strengthening can improve swing mechanics. Got a golf pro at your club? Enlist them to give you Instruction on proper techniques.
Hand and Wrist Injuries
Golf injuries can include tendonitis, sprains or fractures. The repeated stress of practicing your golf swing, or similar gripping activities such as hammering and heavy lifting can cause these injuries. Here are some common golf injuries:
Wrist Pain: Pain and a popping sensation in the wrist can indicate a sprain or injury to a ligament in the wrist.
Tendonitis: Tendonitis occurs most commonly in the leading hand (the left hand for a right handed player). “Golfer’s Elbow” is the common name for medial epicondylitis, which is a painful inflammation of the tendons on the inner side of the elbow where the muscles that bend the wrist and the fingers attach. You can also get tendonitis on the outer side of the elbow, a more common condition known as “Lateral Epicondylitis.”
Wrist Fracture: A fracture of a small bone in the wrist, known as the Hamate bone, can happen when the club strikes the ground forcefully. This drives the handle against a hooked portion of the bone, and can cause it to break – making it very painful in the heel of your hand.
Finger Pain: Chronic, repetitive trauma from the club handle striking the palm can damage one of the main arteries that supply the hand. This weakens the artery wall and can result in an aneurysm in the hand, or in a blood clot. This can disrupt blood flow to the fingertips, leading to painful fingers.
Treatment for Golf-Related Hand and Wrist Injuries
The initial treatment for most injuries consists of rest, ice, splinting and anti-inflammatory medications. Tendonitis can be improved by exercises designed to stretch and strengthen the muscles and tendons, which can be recommended by a certified hand therapist. Changing your grip on the golf club may also help.
When symptoms persist, a cortisone injection may be used to reduce the painful area. Some conditions require surgical intervention, and it is important to seek consultation with a fellowship-trained hand surgeon if you have symptoms that don’t get better with conservative measures.
The board-certified hand surgeons at Advanced Specialty Care are specially trained in conditions of the hand and can help to determine a correct diagnosis and treatment plan. Visit our offices in Danbury in Fairfield County, CT.
Source: American Society for the Surgery of the Hand (ASSH)