We chose this subject in honor of the recent Masters Golf Tournament in Augusta, GA last week – where Tiger Woods claimed his 5th win! What an exciting tournament, and an exciting time as people in Denver gear up for more golf!

Golf is a year-round sport in sunny Colorado, but springtime is when the frequency of injuries rise as there is more play time available. Typical golf injuries are due to repetition. Repetitive stress injuries occur within the body is subject to the same range of movement over and over.

One of the major causes of shoulder pain comes from inflammation – which causes stiffness. This problem can present during and after your round of golf. Sometimes these injuries are long-term repetitive stress injuries, or if they cause great pain they could be caused by an acute injury. Regardless both types of pain are symptoms to be aware of. When you experience these symptoms take action quickly to avoid further pain and discomfort – and to avoid furthering an acute injury.

What are some typical golf-related shoulder injuries?

Scapula: The scapula is also known as the shoulder blade. Although it is not recruited into the golf swing as deeply as other muscles, it can become sore through overwork and prone to more serious problems. Scapular complications are usually a secondary result of other golf injuries.
Cartilage: Cartilage is flexible connective tissue found all throughout the body. It exists in a particularly dense concentration in the shoulders. When damaged, the injury is referred to as a labral tear. This is most common during the backswing and usually occurs in the back of the shoulder.
Rotator Cuff: The rotator cuff is the most common shoulder injury to be aware of when you play golf. This is the part of the shoulder that’s responsible for stabilizing it overall, and it consists of four muscles and tendons. It is prone to injury from overuse, even in non-athletic situations.

How can you avoid these injuries?

Use good form and proper technique: Shoulder motion should come after the hip and trunk motions during a downswing. If you consistently have soreness following a round you might need to work on your form.

Use the right clubs: Make sure your clubs are the right length for your body height, weight and reach. If your clubs are well fitted you will be less likely to experience soreness.

Exercise to strengthen your core: Strength training that focuses on shoulder muscles and back muscles reduce pain. There are many exercises specifically designed to strengthen your pectoralis, rotator cuff and scapula muscles.

Don’t play through the pain: If there is acute pain your body is telling you something. Take a break and if the pain persists see medical treatment.

We hope you get in some golf soon! Enjoy your sunny Easter weekend Denver!

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