Wrist injuries can occur not only in the beginners but also in the professional golfers so much so that the wrist has become the subject of discussion among golf enthusiasts. Golf injuries of the wrist are rare, but when they do occur they can be devastatingly similar to that of frozen wrists in people who work for long hours on the computer.
The pain is excruciating and can cripple your hand movement if not given timely attention. In case of a back spasm, it is still possible to play with a corset brace. In case of an ankle sprain, it is still possible to take the cart practically up to the ball and play. In case of an elbow injury, it is still possible to swing the club and hit the ball. Whereas, incase of a wrist injury, it is simply not possible to pick the club. Even if an injured golfer picks the swing it, his fear will prevent him from going further and he will flinch or drop the club. Wrist pain can be very disabling and can make playing golf impossible.
The 2 major types of injuries of the wrist in golfers are:
1) Tendonitis (inflammation of the tendon). Due to overuse of the wrist flexor muscles the tendons get stretched out causing chronic pain, tenderness and inability to move the wrist. Apart from age, bad golf mechanics or inadequate strength or a wrong grip, too much stress on the collagen fibers of the tendons around the wrist causes a micro-rupture of the fibers.
2) Ulnar-Carpal (wrist) joint injuries. The strain arising out of over swinging of the club can tear or over-stretch the ulnar (outside) ligament causing pain. As long as the wrist is locked when you hold a club, it doesnt hurt but once you swing the club, the pain arises.
How do wrist injuries occur and how to keep them at bay while playing golf?
Over swinging: of the club and exerting your wrists to its maximum capacity.
Casting the club: In an attempt to get more power and distance, there is a conscious attempt to hinge or cock the wrist this quick rolling has an impact on the forearm.
Weak grip: Most beginners who have not developed adequate forearm power end up with a weak wrists or grip strength. This is because the tendons work harder to keep the wrist steady during the swing.
Like any other form of exercise, sufficient warming up and stretching is mandatory before and after a game of golf to keep the muscles in shape. If you hurt yourself while playing, stop immediately and apply ice on the area. Continuing to play can cause more harm. It is advisable to start with the most reliable RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation) method of treatment to relieve pain. Other possible treatments for a speedy recovery include pain relievers, absolute rest of the injured area, physical therapy, ultrasound and surgery in worst cases.
Some quick tips on rehabilitation:
It is important to consult a chiropractor more specifically, one who specializes in golf and related injuries.
Change of equipment from a heavier to a lighter one, will decrease the weight of the club and thereby reduce the stress.
Developing strong core muscles will engage the larger muscle groups and enable the body to help swing the club.
After recovery from golf injury, visit a chiropractor to make sure that you are completely healed and also for tips on injury-free golfing.