Downswing or backswing? One causes twice the number of golf injuries…
Have you experienced the following?
- A catching or locking sensation in the knee ?
- Been unable to straighten the knee ?
- Suffered frequent pain and problems with knee flexibility ?
Knee injuries are not the most common type of golf injury, but here at Elite Performance Therapy, we know they do happen!
A torn meniscus is a common knee injury often caused by a sudden twisting movement while putting weight on the knee. Walking the course, bending down repeatedly to pick up a tee or ball, and rotating the knees during the golf swing can all lead to a knee injury or exacerbate an existing problem. Both the lead and trail legs are vulnerable to injury, and transferring weight to the lead leg during the downswing actually increases the risk to the lead leg.
Studies show that people who have a meniscectomy (an operation whereby the meniscus or part of the meniscus is removed) are at greater risk of premature arthritis. So, if a golfer has meniscus surgery, they should carefully consider the intensity of play, body mechanics and the benefit of targeted exercises prior to returning to the game to reduce the risk of early arthritis.
Working alongside coaches, Elite Performance Therapy provide certain measures to help golfers overcome these risks and ensure a successful return to the course. For example, a minor tear following an injury or an existing cartilage tear that starts causing symptoms can often be managed with conservative treatment such as sports massage therapy.
- A golfer with a torn meniscus must fully recover from the injury, whether or not they have had surgery, before returning to golf. This will likely include physical therapy and specific strengthening exercises to make sure the knee is strong enough to play.
- Bearing weight on the knee while twisting may cause or exacerbate a meniscal tear or damage a repair, therefore minimize these forces during the various phases of swing.
- If any pain or swelling occurs, decrease the frequency and/or duration of play and the PRICE principles should be applied by a physical therapist.
BY: Isy Fergusson
Golf, Physical Therapy
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