Golf Injuries to the Hand and Wrist

golf injuries

Did you know that 90% of all golf pros suffer from hand strain every year? Not only that, but over 40% of golf amateurs experience common golf injuries on an annual basis as well. What can you possibly do to prevent this?

No matter your skill level on the green, explore golf injuries to the hand, wrist, and elbow that can be quite common from overuse or trauma!

Why Golf Wrist Pain Happens

You might be wondering: why does golf wrist pain happen, anyway? We’re glad that you asked. To be honest, getting a wrist injury can be very devastating for those who play professional golf.

For instance, pro golfer Phil Mickelson had to drop out of a few competitions recently just to nurse your injured left wrist. Even though he damaged his wrist during the U.S. Open, he still wasn’t able to qualify in any big championships this year because of his severe wrist injury.

Here’s the thing. The real reason why wrist injuries are so common for golfers is because of the continued impact of the ball and the club. For instance, adolescent golfer Michelle Wie was also let down during the Ladies Professional Golf Association tour because of a damaged right wrist as well.

Although this happened way back in 2007, Wie was unable to compete in virtually any tournaments that year due to her previous injuries at the 2006 Samsung World Championship. Don’t want this to happen to you?

Check this out. Since your hand’s grip is literally the only link between you and your golf club, your wrist movement is one of the most important parts of your swing. But here’s the catch: repeating the same motion at a rapid pace is the special ingredient for golf wrist injuries.

For starters, let’s take a look at what can happen when you hit the putting green a little too hard:

  • Burning sensation in the affected wrist
  • Visible swelling after one round of golf
  • Feelings of stiffness in your wrist after golf practice

Are you having trouble shaking hands, carrying bags, or opening jars? If so, then it might be time to find out if you have a golf injury. But wait – there’s more!

Red Flags for Golf Wrist Injuries

Curious about red flags for golf wrist injuries? We got your back. Here are a couple of can’t-miss signs that can help you diagnose your problem:

  • Severe pressure coming from the top of your wrist
  • Extreme weakness in your wrist that grows over time
  • Intense wrist and hand pain that makes you use your non-dominate hand

If that sounds familiar, then you may be dealing with a bad case of golf wrist pain. But don’t worry – you’re not alone. As a matter of fact, many golfers deal with issues like becoming anxious or apprehensive when it’s time to use the affected hand and wrist.

In fact, sometimes even doing something as simple as turning the handle on a door can trigger anxiety in those with golf wrist injuries. Not to mention grabbing your golfing bag and teeing up on the green while you’re in pain. And nobody wants that, right?

When the pain of your wrist overshadows your love of golf, you might want to think about retiring your clubs for a little while. Yes, you read that right. Ultimately, quitting the putting green until you get a diagnosis from your doctor is your best bet at healing up.

Admit it – if you’re experiencing any of the red flags we mentioned above during your golf game, you might want to consider dialing up a physician’s office as soon as possible. That’s because the wrist and hand are surprisingly delicate and complex body parts, especially when it comes to injuries.

So, don’t be surprised if your doctor ends up ordering you to go through a magnetic resonance imaging procedure, or MRI. For those that are unaware, magnetic resonance imaging is a great way to identify any injuries to the:

  • Tendons
  • Bone
  • Ligaments
  • Nerves
  • Joints

Diagnosing a Golf Wrist Injury

Not sure how to treat a golf wrist injury? It’s not as hard as you think. First of all, you’re going to have to get a legitimate diagnosis of golf wrist pain to be able to treat your injuries.

The truth is, if you’re a golfer who’s experienced a severe wrist injury in the past, you’re much more likely to develop more injuries in the future. This is especially true with your forearm and your wrist. And if you just leave them untreated, then you can cause some major long-term damage to your wrist.

Sadly, continuing to put pressure on a golf wrist injury can harm the underlying bone structure of your wrist too, causing prolonged pain for the rest of your life. How do you prevent this?

The answer is simple: seek out a professional hand and wrist surgeon before you permanently injure the ligaments and joint discs in your wrist. Don’t know what to expect at your doctor’s visit? Don’t fret, we’ve done the research for you.

Typically, the tiny fractures to your injured wrist are invisible to a normal x-ray machine as well. So, that’s why you need an official diagnosis from your doctor, as well as some time in an MRI, to properly take care of your golf wrist injury.

The next step is to work with your doctor and your physical therapist to get you back on track to rehabilitation. But here’s the kicker: like many golf injuries, you can prevent constant wrist pain by attending a year-round or seasonal conditioning seminar.

To make it easier for you, we’ve compiled a list of simple ways that you can treat your golf wrist injury after you’ve been diagnosed by your doctor. Read on to find out our favorite tips!

Treating Golf Wrist Problems

When it comes to common wrist problems, you don’t have to suffer in silence. Luckily for you, there are a couple of easy things you can do to recover from your golf wrist pain at home, including:

  • Icing and resting your affected wrist or hand
  • Practicing flexibility and muscle strengthening exercises
  • Making sure to do a short warm-up pre-game on the green
  • Adjusting your golf swing to work with your physical limitation

As if that’s not enough, you can follow these tips to heal your golf wrist pain as well:

  • Attending supervised golf course lessons to get back in the swing of things
  • Correctly selecting your golf gear and being aware of your overall environment
  • Regularly going to physical therapy to work on rehabilitating your hand
  • Working with a team of instructors, physicians, and therapists to repair your wrist

Now that we’ve talked about the symptoms of golf wrist pain, it’s time to take a look at how it happened in the first place!

Risks for Golf Hand Injuries

Dying to know the risks for golf hand injuries? You’ve come to the right place. Take a look at a few factors that increase your chances of getting hurt on the golf green:

  • Poor muscular control and neck posture on the golf course
  • Sitting for extended periods and then ball bashing non-stop
  • Overusing your smaller muscular group on the golf course

Get this. Poor muscular control and neck posture on the golf course is one of the most common factors for golf wrist pain. Let us explain.

Your body is extremely adaptable to a lot of different situations. That being said, sitting in a poor position and lack of control over your muscles can lead to some serious overcompensation in your golf swing. Rather than utilizing your larger muscles to complete a swing, you could be flicking your wrists to launch the ball into the air.

While it might seem harmless, this practice can actually be putting additional strain on your small muscles, like your wrists and your hands. Not only that, but sitting for extended periods and then ball bashing non-stop can be a real recipe for disaster on the golf course.

To avoid this, all you have to do is practice a warm-up and cool-down method before and after your golf game. Then, be sure to keep up physical activity throughout your time on the green. Although it’s quite simple, you’re guaranteed to reduce your risk of wrist injuries by using this golfing tip.

Lastly, there’s overusing your smaller muscular group on the golf course. Similar to poor muscular control and neck posture, this is the fastest way to fatigue your muscles.

More Golf Wrist Injury Risks

Not sure how to prevent golf wrist pain? We’ve got you covered. If you’re a golfer that has weak shoulders, then you’re probably using other muscle groups to make up for your lack of shoulder strength.

So, don’t be surprised when you wake up with sore wrists after a long golf game. That’s because you’re most likely overusing and injuring your wrists regularly. Other risks for golf wrist injuries include things like:

  • Overcocking your wrists during your golf game
  • Practicing a poor golf swing technique

It’s super common for average golfers to overcock their wrists during their game. For those who are unaware, every player has a particular go-to swing that’s essential to improving their impact on the golf green.

And if you’re really skilled at golf, then you’ll know to keep your wrist cocked throughout your hitting area. This is the best way to protect your wrist because it leaves your left wrist bowed, forcing you to flex your right wrist (as long as you’re right-handed).

Another word of advice is to keep both of your hands in front of your golf ball when it’s time to strike. Have you been practicing a poor golf swing technique? If it’s hard to tell, just take a look at your angle of attack on your golf ball.

If you keep it too steep, then this will make the flexor muscles in your elbows to overstretch, causing extreme trauma to your muscles and tendons. So, if you’re a high-capper, you could be guilty of decelerating at the point of impact to launch your back into the air.

Looking for the perfect hand physician for you? Make sure that you do your research before you book an appointment!

Golf Injuries are Preventable

Bottom line: golf injuries are preventable. Surprisingly, most common hand injuries have to do with a poor golf swing. Unfortunately, this puts a ton of muscle strain on your tendons as well, resulting in your lead arm becoming weaker.

Naturally, poor golf swings lead to bad golf shots too. So, how can you prevent this? From finding out why golf pain happens and understanding the red flags to diagnose your golf wrist injury and treating it, we’re here to help.

Are you dealing with a burning sensation in the affected wrist after a game of golf?

In addition to this symptom, visible swelling after one round of golf and feelings of stiffness in your wrist after golf practice are signs that you need professional assistance.

Thankfully, it’s easy to schedule an appointment with a local physician to seek the treatment you need to get better. That way, you can avoid any future injuries on the putting green. How can you beat that?

Sick and tired of golf wrist pain? Give us a call to schedule a free consultation!

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The Hand Surgery Specialists of Texas offers diagnosis and treatment for hand, wrist, and elbow problems in Houston, using the most advanced and minimally invasive medical techniques. Our orthopedic hand specialists and hand and finger surgeons are waiting to provide you with excellent care at one of our hand care centers in River Oaks, Clear Lake, North Houston, Katy/Sugarland, or Baytown