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Life in Motion

Youth Golfers: Avoid These Common Injuries

Sports & Exercise

For those who have never golfed, the sport may seem like a leisurely activity with limited risk for injury. Unfortunately, as with any sport, this is not the case and injuries are common. For youth golfers, the hands and wrist, shoulders and back tend to get the most injuries.  These injuries most commonly develop gradually over time from overuse or improper form, but can also occur suddenly.

Overuse Injuries
Over training and performing the same action repeatedly can fatigue your body making it more susceptible to injury. If you are trying golf for the first time or resume the sport after taking some time off, you should ramp up your practice time and intensity gradually so that your body can adjust properly. Make sure you vary your practice routine and incorporate strength and conditioning exercises into your golf game.  Adequate rest, nutrition and fluid replacement are vital to reducing the risk of overuse injuries as well.

Improper swing and/or body mechanics also put you at risk for an injury, so it’s important that you develop a solid swing technique. Don’t forget to warm up and stretch before you play, and hit some practice balls before teeing off.

Another cause of overuse injuries in young athletes is sport specialization at an early age.  If you are playing the same sport year round, or simultaneously play on multiple teams for the same sport, you have a greater risk of developing overuse injuries. You can reduce the risk of injury and become a well-rounded athlete when you play multiple sports.

Sudden Injuries
One of the most common causes of acute or sudden injuries for golfers is when a person grounds the club (too much impact with the ground), or hits a buried object such as a rock or tree root.  This can cause injury to any number of body parts, but hands and wrists are most vulnerable. Because of the inherent nature of the golf swing, if you are lacking overall flexibility and body control, you may injure your back, hips or knees from the rotational forces placed on the body during your swing.

Environmental factors can lead to injury as well.  Sunburn and dehydration are common injuries that can occur if one is not careful.  These are easily prevented-remember to always pack sunscreen, a water bottle, and a small snack in your bag.

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