Golf Season is Here !!!

Written by Dr. Marcus Wong

The sun is finally out and it looks like its here to stay!!!  Many people start to dust off their golf bags if they haven’t done so already.  Some even started hitting balls at the driving range already couple months ago in the rain and cold breezy weather of Vancouver.  But after a long period of sitting on the couch and the holiday festivities of Christmas and then the Winter Olympics, and the ending playoff run of the Vancouver Canucks, many of us are left out of shape and not quite fit for a nice long season of golfing.  After all low back pain and elbow injuries are the most common conditions suffered by golfers.




Every time you take a swing the spinal rotation of the golf swing can reach up to 160 km/h, which can leave a lot of stress on your body.  Here are some tips to follow to prevent such injuries to your body:

  • Strength training of your core muscles are very to important prevent injuries.  The muscles stabilizes your spine and body through each swing, and acts as shock absorbers to prevent sprains and strains.  Core muscle flexibility and strength also increase proper oxygen flow in the body.
  • Warm-up and cool-down both before and after your game or session for a 20 minutes, which include gentle stretching and range of motion exercises, as well as a brisk walk or gentle jog to loosen the muscles and joints.  Muscles which should be stretched include your low back, hamstrings, quadriceps, calf muscles, etc.
  • Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids before, during and after your game.  Remember that once you are thirsty, you are already starting to dehydrate.  Dehydration affects your energy level and your physical functioning and performance.  When your body and energy level decrease, this is when your body is most prone to injuries.
  • Use a wheeled golf cart for carrying heavy clubs. If you must carry your golf bag, buy the ones that have two shoulders straps.  This will spread the weight across a greater area on your back, so there isn’t one side of your back that is stressed throughout the day.  If there is only one strap, alternate sides frequently.  If you find that your bag is getting too heavy, put it down and take a break.  Taking breaks frequently is important, its your body telling you to stop and rest. Further stress will once again make your body prone to injuries
  • When wheeling your golf cart, push rather than pull.
  • Golf requires long periods of standing.  Frequently alternate your weight from one foot to the other or rest one of them on your golf bag or cart.  Taking breaks and sitting down if you get dehydrated or really tired.  Gentle stretching of your hamstrings, quadriceps, and calf muscles throughout the game.
  • Make sure you have the proper shoes for your type of feet.  Golf shoes with short cleats are the best.  Some times you may need orthodic insoles custom made for your feet.
  • Use the right technique for your physical capacity and limits. Adopting a golf swing based on your physical and biomechanical capacity is important.  Amateurs are usually better off adopting a classic golf swing, which enables the hips to turn nearly as much as the shoulders to minimize spinal twisting.  If in doubt, consult a golf pro.
  • Sleep well the night before the game, and have an overall healthy diet.  Eat before games and after games to replenish your body.  Playing hungry in any sport is not optimal for the body as your body tires quickly and your body will be prone to further injuries.

Preventing Shoulder Injuries

Shoulder injuries in golfers are common due to the repetitive nature of the swing.  This is a type of repetitive strain injury.  Therefore, a proper swing is very important as you don’t want to repetitively add stress and strain to your shoulders.   To reduce shoulder pain, try these two tips.

  • Shorten the back swing slightly. Instead of ending the club head at the 3 o’clock position, stop at the 1o’clock position.
  • Strengthen your shoulder, scapular, chest , and back muscles. Your chest and back muscles are large and generate the power in the swing.

Preventing Elbow, Wrist and Hand Injuries

  • Select larger and softer club grips and use a neutral grip.
  • Select irons with large heads and graphite shafts to lessen vibration.
  • Select the correct club length.
  • Strengthen your forearm muscles.

Chiropractors can help prevent backpack problems by showing you golf exercises and stretches. Should you suffer an injury from golf, a chiropractor can also provide treatment for your low back pain or shoulder/elbow injuries.




Enjoy yourself this golf season, remember to prepare yourself and prevent injuries before they occur is most important!!!!

If you have any more questions about golf injuries/prevention or treatment options please email Dr. Marcus Wong at