The injury risk associated with the golf swing derives from the repetitious nature of the motions involved, motions that allow players to generate clubhead speeds of 160 or more km/hr.These movements are also highly ballistic in some parts of the swing, because the club acceleration phase before striking the ball can be as brief as 0.2 seconds.
Once the individual is prepared to return to playing, professional teaching should also be considered to prevent reoccurrence of injuries resulting from poor swing mechanics
Education about backcare is highly recommended for all golfers, with increasing emphasis on set-up posture, swing adjustments, or club modifications for those at greater risk. Appropriate postural recommendations for the set-up of the golf swing are shown in Figure 2. It is also important to be aware of proper lifting and carrying techniques for the golf bag, which can become quite a heavy, awkward load when filled with clubs and accessories.
Thus the purpose of this paper is to review current knowledge regarding the key health issues for physical therapists to consider when dealing with an older person who wishes to participate fully in an active sport.
Despite the fact that a majority of the studies examining flexibility have used primarily strengthening interventions and as a result have the greatest effect on clubhead speed, educational programs directed at senior golfers about the potential injury prevention benefits of proper warm up can potentially contribute to improved performance on range of motion and sport performance.
Assistance from a properly credentialed golf professional, both in terms of appropriate matching and adjustment of the golfer's equipment to his or her body (called 'club fitting'), as well as instructing the individual on proper swing mechanics, also play a key role in increasing swing efficiency while further reducing the risk of injury.
Rehabilitation from golf-related injuries should incorporate multidisciplinary approaches and be centered on 4 key concepts: clinical rehabilitation of the injury itself, education on swing mechanics, specific warm up practices, and conditioning (Figure 1).
Education should also be given concerning adequate warm up practices and back care. Finally, the development of a conditioning program for golf, emphasizing the key body structures involved, should be designed and followed to prevent further injury and prepare for each new season.
Less than 25% of swing related injuries occur during takeaway, and the most commonly injured body structures during this phase are the back and wrist.
These powerful contractions occur with the muscles and shoulder joint in a fully stretched position at the top of the backswing which can lead to injury as movement direction reverses.
The most commonly injured body structures during the impact phase are the back, wrist, elbow and hand, and the prevalence of injuries in the upper limb reflect the stresses applied by the resisting forces of the ball and the ground at impact, transmitted through the club.