Low back pain Repetitive bending and twisting
of the spine can cause compression and shearing forces on
lumbar discs; may lead to weakening of disc, disc
protrusion, or disc herniation.
||(1) Pain, spasm in low back and buttock area; worse with
bending, twisting, lifting, and sitting; pain may run down
the thigh or leg. (2) Pain is less with standing, walking,
arching, or lying down. (3) Clinical evaluation, x-ray and
magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) may be needed to confirm
||(1) Limit bending, twisting, or any activity that increases
pain. (2) Use ice, nonsteroidal anti- inflammatory drugs
(NSAIDs). (3) Increase flexibility in hamstrings, hip
flexors, hip rotators, and quadriceps. (See
"Exercises".) (4) Do core stabilization
exercises with emphasis on oblique muscles and rotators of
hip/pelvis. (5) Resume play slowly as symptoms allow; start
with hitting short irons and build up to longer clubs.
Wrist pain Repetitive and forceful cocking and
twisting of the wrists that occurs during the normal golf
swing. These forces can cause strain to tendons, sprain to
the ligaments of the wrist joint, and/or compression to the
joint cartilage of the wrist.
||(1) Pain, swelling, and stiffness usually felt in the
central part of the wrist; popping or clicking may also
occur. (2) Pain is usually worse with hitting longer clubs
(driver, long irons) or when hitting a "fat"
shot. (3) X-ray, MRI, and/or consultation with hand
specialist may be needed.
||(1) Rest, ice, NSAIDs. (2) Do exercises to establish full
motion and strength in wrist. (3) Resume play slowly as
symptoms allow. (4) Surgery is rarely needed for wrist
problems that are recognized and treated early.
Knee pain: Torn meniscus Repetitive squatting,
twisting, and walking on uneven surfaces can result in
tearing of the cartilage between the femur (thigh bone) and
tibia (shin bone).
||(1) Pain along sides or back of the knee; swelling,
restricted bending, locking or catching. (2) Symptoms are
worse with twisting, turning, and squatting. (3) MRI may be
needed to confirm diagnosis.
||(1) Some meniscal tears heal by avoiding twisting,
squatting, or impact activity for 4 to 6 weeks. (2) If the
tear is extensive or doesn't heal with rest,
arthroscopic surgery may be needed. (3) There are no
specific exercises that help with a meniscal tear. (4)
Golfers should avoid "pushing through" their
symptoms to prevent a small tear from becoming a bigger
Knee pain: Patellofemoral pain syndrome (PFSS)
Compression and friction on cartilage behind the patella
(knee cap) can cause softening and thinning of patellar
||(1) Gradual onset of pain in the front of the knee or around
the knee cap. (2) Symptoms are worse with walking up and
down hills and with squatting. (3) Swelling, locking, and/or
catching are rare. (4) Examination that addresses risk
factors such as foot and knee alignment, flexibility, and
strength balances in the lower extremity is needed.
||(1) Limit squatting, walking on hills, and any activity that
increases symptoms. (2) Practicing on driving range and
putting should not adversely impact PFSS. (3) Use ice,
NSAIDs. (4) Increase flexibility in hamstrings, quadriceps,
and hip flexors. (5) Strengthen hip and knee muscles. (6)
Make sure shoes provide proper support and stability. (7)
Resume play slowly as symptoms allow.