A recent article in the Wall Street Journal (WSJ.com - Health Matters ) on June 14, 2008 on golf injuries initiated this blog.
Nearly 16% of Australian amateurgolfers may expect to sustain agolf-related injury per year. Theinjuriesingolfare most likely sustained in the lower back region as a result of thegolfswing. The lower back was the most common injury site (18.3%), closely followed by the elbow/forearm (17.2%), foot/ankle (12.9%),andshoulder/upper arm (11.8%). A total of 46.2% of allinjurieswere reportedly sustained during thegolfswing,andinjury was most likely to occur at the point of ball impact (23.7%), followed by the follow-through (21.5%). Based on statistical analysis, only the amount of game playandthe last time clubs were changed were significantly associated with the risk ofgolfinjury. Other factors such as age, gender, handicap, practice habits,andwarm-up habits were not significant. (McHardy A. Pollard H. Luo K.One-year follow-up study ongolfinjuriesin Australian amateurgolfers.American Journal of Sports Medicine. 35(8):1354-60, 2007).
In another study of 12 golfers, the myoelectric activity of the lumbar erector spinae (low back spinal muscles)andthe external obliques(abdominal wall muscles)was recorded via surface electromyography, while thegolfers performed 20 drives. The results showed that the low-handicap low back pain (LBP )golfers tended to demonstrate reduced erector spinae activity at the top of the backswingandat impactandgreater external obliques activity throughout the swing. The high-handicap LBPgolfers demonstrated considerably more erector spinae activity compared with their asymptomatic counterparts, while external obliques activity tended to be similar between the groups. The reduced erector spinae activity demonstrated by the low-handicap LBP group may be associated with a reduced capacity to protect the spineandits surrounding structures at the top of the backswingandat impact, where the torsional loads are high. When considering this with the increased external obliques activity demonstrated by thesegolfers, it is reasonable to suggest that thesegolfers may be demonstrating characteristics/mechanisms that are responsible for or are a cause of LBP. (Cole MH. Grimshaw PN.Electromyography of the trunkandabdominal muscles ingolfers withandwithout low back pain.Journal of Science & Medicine in Sport. 11(2):174-81, 2008 )
Performance was affected in 78.9% of cases, with 69.7% of the injuredgolfers missing games or practice sessions due to injury.Golfinginjuriesappear commonandhave a substantial impact upon the injuredgolfer. As lower back strains are the most common injury, strategies such as performing an appropriate warm-up could be investigated to determine the possible injury prevention benefits forgolfers.
Many of these individuals have pre-existent back problems and have frequented chiropractors.Re-injury to previously injured nerve roots and muscles predispose these individuals to chronic pain.