“How you can beat aches and pains if you’re a golfer”
by Nathan Wei, MD, FACP, FACR
Nathan Wei is a nationally known board-certified rheumatologist and author of the Second Opinion Arthritis Treatment Kit. It's available exclusively at this website... not available in stores.
Click here: Second Opinion Arthritis Treatment Kit
Remember the old Wide World of Sports where the skier jumper comes down the ramp and crashes and you hear Jim McKay talk about the “thrill of victory and the agony of defeat?”
Well, there are very few hobbies that exemplify this range of feelings more than golf.
Talk to any golfer and you’ll hear them wax poetic about their great shots and moan and groan about their bad ones.
For golf, you need mental fortitude for sure. Play within your capabilities. Remember… there is only one Tiger Woods. So the first thing to do is this: Don’t beat yourself up. Remember… you’re out there because it’s supposed to be fun.
Stretch before and after you play. When you swing a club, it’s a total body involvement. You’re using your legs and hips more than the arms to drive that ball.
Make sure you’re in good condition before you go out on the links. I know some people pop over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medicines before they play. I’m not going to condone this but I do it myself before I play sports.
The spine- both the neck and low back- are important to proper golf stroking. A tremendous amount of torque goes into a long drive. This places a lot of pressure on the muscles in your low back. Make sure you know the proper stretching techniques for these areas. In addition to the neck, and low back, you need to stretch the hamstrings and quadriceps muscles. Should you be unfortunate enough to strain your neck or low back, make sure you ice that area down as quickly as possible. There is no substitute for rest and ice for an acute injury. Sometimes massage is helpful.
When putting, you may want to consider using a longer putter if you have low back problems.
Your hips allow you to get the distance on your drives. Learn the proper way to stretch. And work to strengthen your hips. The stronger your hips the less likely you are to overstress other areas.
Because golf courses are not level, you need to watch your knees as you stroll the course. Walking is good exercise so take this opportunity to walk instead of using a cart. However, if you already hurt, use a cart. Don’t punish yourself.
Your ankles and feet will also go through a workout as you walk the course. Make sure your shoes and sox are good quality, well padded, and supportive.
The shoulders also play an integral role in producing ideal golf shots. Rotator cuff stretching and strengthening should be apart of any golfer’s exercise regimen.
You may want to consider pushing instead of pulling your cart to minimize the stress on your arms and shoulders.
Finally, the wrists and hands are crucial to the fine motor part of the golf swing. Wrist strengthening exercises will help you get better power and control on your shots. If you already have arthritis, it may be necessary to build up the grips on your clubs to relieve some of the stress on your fingers. As for your other body parts, finger stretching and strengthening are helpful.
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