Orthopedic surgeon and sports medicine specialist Edgar Michael Eufemio named golfer’s elbow as the most common injury in golf caused mainly by a bad swing.
Golfer’s elbow is mainly characterized by pain on the tendon medial epicondyle located inside the bump of the elbow. Most of the wrist flexors (muscles of the forearm that pull the hand forward) are attached to the medial epicondyle. Overuse of the muscles and tendons of the forearm and elbow are the most common cause of golfer’s elbow.
Golf may be a low-impact sport but a player can sustain injury by playing with a bad form.
“So those who are beginning, who cannot follow the form properly, they try to do things in certain ways then injury happens. We have to study the proper form to avoid getting injured,” Eufemio told The Manila Times in an interview.
“Let’s say the golfer is right-handed but you swing with a left hand doing a backhand as you hit the ball. But since you are a right-handed, you’re left hand is not used to it so it resulted in wrong form,” added Eufemio.
“It will injure the right elbow resulting in golfer’s elbow. It won’t happen if the swing is executed properly.”
Eufemio advised not to overemphasize wrist movements when performing a swing. He added that in playing golf, there is a tendency to use only one side of your body, “In golf, you only swing one way. The main thing is when you swing, it is just one way and you don’t swing in both directions.”
“It is one way all the time, so the muscle’s development obviously will favor only those muscles that are needed for the swing to be done properly. Your arms and shoulders are included in the movement, but it has to follow a strict form.”
Eufemio stresses the importance of warm-up before and after a game as well as proper body mechanics to prevent injuries – maintain the proper posture, avoid hunching over the ball, stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, spine should be tilted forward and most movements should come from the hips.
In addition, he also said that beginning golfers should educate themselves on the proper ways of picking and carrying clubs. A golfer must also wear eye protection like visors, and sunglasses, and use sunscreen to prevent sunburn.