Golf is a popular sport, most especially in older people. It is a great low-impact opportunity for many individuals to stay active. However, it does not mean that golfers are not at risk for injury. Knee injury is one of the most common injuries that can happen to a golfer. The golf swing places tremendous amount of torque on the structure of the knee. Inattention to knee injuries may not only result in physical disability but will also delay recovery from an existing injury or surgery.
How Golf Causes Knee Pain
The knee is one of the most common sites for injury in golf. Knee injuries have been associated with lack of warm-up, poor trunk flexibility and strength, faulty swing technique, and overuse.
Golfers are one of many athletes who are at greatest risk for knee injury. The sport is very demanding on a golfer’s joints and musculoskeletal system. It involves great amount of force that could cause havoc on a golfer’s body.
Golfers usually get knee problems in the patella or kneecap, often caused by excessive pronation, exaggerated by walking and rotation of the legs during the swing.
Generally, the most common knee injury in golfers is medial meniscus tear. Meniscus is a piece of cartilage that acts as a shock absorber. Once it is damaged, arthritis sets in.
The golf swing generates forces and torques which tend to cause internal or external rotation of the tibia on the femur, and these are resisted by the knee ligaments and menisci. Maximum muscle forces and the forces sustained during a golf swing are less than that required to cause damage to the ligaments.
Minimising Knee Injuries with Physiotherapy
The complex motion of the golf swing demands good technique to avoid injuring the knee joint. The knee is not designed well for the rotation and side-to-side movement, which usually happens during a golf swing. Therefore, precautions are important to ensure that there is no additional stress on the knees. Your physiotherapist can help you with measures for a good golf game without leaving your knee with excruciating pain.
A good measure to prevent knee injuries is to have flexible muscles in your hips, lower back, and middle back. When these areas are flexible, you’re able to allow full rotation through the hips and back. Stress is evenly distributed about the knee, which will not cause further injury.
Participating in strength training routines will reduce risk of injury and enhance performance. It is also essential to have strong muscles around the knee joint. This is to further protect your knee against injury.
Irish professional golfer, Paul McGinley, has won four events on the European Tour. In an interview, he said he use physiotherapists on tour. He also said that they’re very good and they know his knee as well. Besides doing low impact activities like swimming, he maintains his condition through proper physiotherapy, making sure that the muscles around his leg remain strong.
McGinley recommends being physically fit, mentally fit, and mentally tough. A golfer needs to have a good technical golf game, proper self-management, and a good people around.
A Perth physiotherapist can help you with flexibility and strengthening exercises to prevent knee pain caused by golf. Call us today at 9444 8729!