Plenty of sports can cause pain and injury, but what about those we don’t normally think about? Though many people consider the possible injuries that can occur during sports like football and basketball, so-called low-impact sports like golf and tennis can also potentially lead to injury, especially in the area of the back and joints.
Dr. David Berkower is a physical medicine and rehabilitation physician with lots of experience treating people with sports-related injuries. Of course, his preferred method of dealing with these issues is by preventing them from happening, which you can practice with a few simple techniques.
Potential injuries associated with low-impact sports
Just because you aren’t experiencing constant contact or other, high-impact outcomes of a sport doesn’t mean you are safe from possible injury. Different parts of the body are almost always at risk when playing sports that require repetitive motion, such as tennis and golf.
Twisting your back during golf can easily lead to a repetitive impact injury, as stated by Spine Health. Tennis can also require stopping and starting as well as arching motions that could lead to a back injury. According to the National Library of Medicine, skiing, running, and swimming could also lead to low back injury.
Rotating the upper back repeatedly can potentially lead to a thoracic spine injury. Although this area is often stable during most sports, tennis and golf require constant rotations that can cause you to overextend the area.
The joints can often become injured during these sports as well. Golfer’s elbow is a common condition that causes pain on the inside of the elbow, while tennis elbow causes pain on the outside of the same joint. However, you don’t necessarily have to play the sport the condition is named after to experience the problem. For example, tennis players who overextend their wrists can experience golfer’s elbow (Mayo Clinic).
Preventing injuries in tennis and golf
Your joints and back are at risk if you like to play golf and tennis often. Even if you have near-perfect form, you might still experience problems if you play all the time, as is possible with any sport. As such, it is important to be aware of the best prevention techniques so you can avert the need to seek help from rehab physicians like Dr. Berkower. Below are some of his favorite injury prevention techniques for tennis players and golfers.
- Always warm up before you exercise. This is not just limited to those who play high-impact sports. Warming up will make your muscles and joints more limber and decrease your chances of injury.
- Begin your sports activity slowly. Don’t jump right in. Instead, do a few practice swings on the green or serve the ball a few times to make sure you’re feeling ready for higher stakes movements.
- If you don’t know the best form or stance to use in tennis or golf, ask someone with better experience. Request that they watch your form and give you pointers on how to avoid injury.
- When bending down to pick up the ball in either sport, make sure you bend with your knees instead of stooping over completely.
- In tennis, keep your abdominal muscles tight and bend your knees while playing. This will reduce the stress you put on your back and spine.
- In golf, make sure you use a pushcart or a golf cart when carrying your bag to reduce the amount of weight you put on your back and knees.
What if I experience an injury?
If you do become injured while playing one of these sports or if you simply have more questions about ways in which you may prevent injury, call 954-430-9972, or book an appointment online today. Dr. Berkower would be happy to discuss your situation and to treat any injury, from mild to severe, safely and effectively.