After a long winter, spring is finally in the air as indicated by the warm (summer-like) temperatures last week. While your mind may be ready to play golf (and other outdoor activities), however, it is important to remember that without proper warmup and preparation, the risk of injury can increase substantially. PGA professionals benefit tremendously from sport science, physical therapy and fitness programs on tour year round. Amateurs in northern climates require diligence and planning to prepare for the game after 4-6 months off to avoid injury.
Muscle strains, ligament sprains, neck and LBP is prevalent in the early season for golfers, especially for the amateur. The reasons are many: general deconditioning after winter inactivity, poor golf swing mechanics, excessive practice, inadequate warm-up and poor flexibility and conditioning. The very nature of the golf swing can create great stress on the body, especially after time off.
Get to the course early enough to make time to stretch before you play and hit a few balls at the range. Always start with low irons and work up to driver. Take a hot shower before an early morning round and use compression shorts and shirts on cool days. Do Not Bounce or Overstretch! Stretch slowly, holding for 10-20 seconds:
Visit your doctor regularly and listen to your body.
NEXT MONDAY – Read Dr. Paul J. Mackarey “Health & Exercise Forum!” Next Week: Part II - Preseason Golf Tips.
This article is not intended as a substitute for medical treatment. If you have questions related to your medical condition, please contact your family physician.
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Paul J. Mackarey PT, DHSc, OCS is a Doctor in Health Sciences specializing in orthopaedic and sports physical therapy. Dr. Mackarey is in private practice and is an associate professor of clinical medicine at GCSOM.
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