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10 of the Most Common Golf Injuries


What are the most common injuries suffered by golfers? How do you recognize them, what are the available treatments, and what are some ways you can minimize their impact? Orthopedic surgeon Dr. Larry Foster is the author of "Dr. Divot's Guide to Golf Injuries," and with his help, here are the conditions most likely to affect golfers. Click the links to Dr. Foster's recap of each injury's characteristics.

1. Back Pain

Pro golfer Jim Furyk getting back treatment on course as wife Tabitha looks on, 2005.
Jamie Squire/Staff/Getty Images Sport/Getty Images
The golf swing (not to mention the hunched-over putting stance many of us get into) puts great stress on the golfer's back, so it's no surprise back pain is the most common problem for golfers. Back pain in golfers might be mechanical or disc-related, arthritis-related, or caused by a stress fracture, among other possible causes.

2. Tennis Elbow / Golfer's Elbow

Tennis elbow is an inflammation, soreness, or pain on the outside of the upper arm near the elbow. Golfer's elbow is an inflammation, soreness or pain on the inside of the upper arm near the elbow. Tennis elbow is actually more common among golfers than golfer's elbow.

3. Shoulder Pain

Paula Creamer having shoulder pain
Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images
Shoulder pain in a golfer might be caused by any of several different underlying conditions, including: rotator cuff tendinitis, or a tear or impingement in the rotator cuff; A-C joint arthritis; or instability in the joint.

4. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is a repetitive stress disorder that occurs in the nerves of the hands. At its worst, carpal tunnel is extremely painful and sometimes incapacitating.

5. DeQuervain's Tendinitis

DeQuervain's causes pain in the wrist near the base of the thumb, and is caused by an inflammation in the tendons that control the thumb.

6. Knee Pain

Knee pain in golfers can be caused by any of numerous underlying issues, among them: a torn meniscus; knee arthritis (osteoarthritis), or kneecap pain (chondromalacia).

7. Trigger Finger

Trigger finger can cause a finger or fingers to lock up. The condition is caused when the flexor tendon sheath, through which the finger tendons run, is inhibited.

8. Wrist Impaction Syndrome

Impaction syndromes of the wrist are caused when the bones of the wrist bang into one another due to excess or repetitive movements.

9. ECU Tendon Subluxation

ECU Tendon Subluxation is caused when the sheath holding the wrist tendon begins sliding in and out of its groove.

10. Fracture of Hamate Bone

The hamate bone is a small bone on the pinky side of the wrist. The hamate has a small prominence called the hook, which juts into the palm. The way most golfers grip their clubs puts the butt-end of the club right up against the hook of the hamate during the swing.
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