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Orthopaedic Golf Tips

J. Clark Butler, MD

Written By: J. Clark Butler, MD

Due to the rapidly increasing popularity of golf millions of athletes of all ages and abilities are hitting the links. As a result, some are discovering that what appears to be a noncontact sport can take its toll on the body.

Golfers who have difficulty with their drives are at greatest risk of severe injuries. I am referring to the driver of the golf cart, not the tee shot. Some of the most severe golf related injuries occur when a dangling left foot meets an immovable object, such as a tree or post causing a significant trauma to the foot and ankle.

Fortunately, most of the golf injuries seen at Strand Orthopaedic Consultants are minor and related to repetitive stresses on the elbow, shoulder and back brought on by the unique demands of the golf swing. Most of these over-use conditions are successfully treated with simple remedies such as rest, ice and anti-inflammatory medications. Although we do not profess to be swing doctors, the skilled physicians at Strand Orthopaedic Consultants are very experienced at recommending exercises that will assist you in getting back to a pain-free golf swing. Most of these stretching and strengthening exercises can be performed conveniently and inexpensively in the comfort of your own home. For the occasional patient a formal physical therapy referral may be necessary.

For the arthritic patient whose occasional flare ups take the enjoyment out of their rounds, relief is also available. Frequently more invasive treatment such as injection or surgery may be required. Many patients who had previously given up the game because of their arthritis, are now pain-free and playing the game better than ever.

Although only trained golf professionals should be solicited for golf tips, here is a guaranteed method to lower your handicap. For every thirty minutes spent on the driving range trying to reach the fence with your Great Big Bertha, spend one hour around the green perfecting your short game. Your scores will certainly go down.