Summer is almost here in Oakland County, and the weather is finally warm enough for golfers to get back on the links! But, before reaching for those clubs, it’s important to remember that wrist injuries can be common amongst even the most experienced golfers. Typically, golf injuries stem from things like overuse, poor mechanics, or trauma. Fortunately, there are simple techniques to treat these types of injuries. In this article Oakland County hand and wrist specialist Dr. Uzma Rehman explains the various causes and treatments for wrist pain resulting from a golfing injury.
Golfing Wrist Injury from Overuse
Overuse is one of the most common sources of golf injury wrist pain. This can be especially prevalent among recreational golfers who play off and on. Those who do not play at all for extended periods, such as during the winter months, then jump right back in as soon as the weather is warm, may be unwittingly subjecting themselves to a golfing injury or unexpected wrist pain.
Golfing Wrist Injury from Poor Mechanics
Poor mechanics can be another leading cause of golf injury. Improper balance, a sloppy swing, or frequent divots may be to blame. These can lead to an injury of the extensor carpi ulnaris tendon in the back of the wrist, increasing the likelihood of chronic wrist pain.
Golfing Wrist Injury from Trauma
Trauma related wrist injuries can be more common than golfers might expect. Twisting the wrist the wrong way, catching a club in the grass, an accidental divot, or even just a sloppy stoke can cause wrist trauma. Depending on the level of force behind the swing, these can sometimes result in tendon damage or a broken wrist bone.
How to Treat Wrist Pain from Golfing
Wrist pain or swelling may not appear right away, and symptoms may worsen over time. Rest is the first step in treating any golfing injury. Try an ice pack to decrease swelling, and if the wrist feels stiff or sore, a compression wrap, gentle heat, or a brace may help. If wrist pain or swelling continually worsens, medical attention might be necessary.
Various tests may be performed when seeking medical attention. Following an examination, a wrist specialist may need to take X-rays, computerized tomography (CT scans) or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans before a proper diagnosis of your wrist pain can be made.
One potential diagnosis is tendinitis, which can be the root cause of chronic wrist pain. Typically, tendinitis can be treated simply with rest, physical therapy, or a brace. In some cases, inflammation will need to be reduced with a shot of corticosteroid. Chronic tendinitis may eventually require surgery, but this is rare and should be considered a last resort.
A second potential diagnosis is a broken wrist bone. Treatments may vary depending on the type of break, but the most common requirements will be a cast and physical therapy. Some types of breaks can require surgery, but this is rarely necessary.
Preventing Future Wrist Injuries from Golf
The best solution is to take steps to prevent golfing injury and wrist pain in the first place. It’s always a good idea to warm up before any type of physical activity. Golfers should always stretch their arms, elbows, and wrists before every game.
Perhaps it goes without saying, but working toward an improved swing is always a good idea. Likewise, golfers who play often will want to invest in quality equipment that fits their physical needs. For example, a taller golfer should avoid clubs that are too short. Additionally, clubs with fatter grips may help prevent tight squeezes which can aggravate tendinitis. And impact vibration can be reduced by using clubs with graphite shafts or cavity-packed irons.
These types of simple measures can help you improve your golf game and prevent wrist pain or another golfing injury. You can also read more about preventing common Golf Injuries HERE.
Golfing Wrist Injury Specialist | Oakland County
While many types of wrist pain may not require a wrist specialist, it should not be ignored. If you are in Oakland County and you’re experiencing this type of golf injury, contact Dr. Uzma Rehman at Macomb Hand Surgery. Dr. Rehman is a board certified hand surgeon. She will evaluate your condition and prescribe the best treatment option to keep your condition from getting worse.
Oakland County Golfing Wrist Injury Specialist: 248.335.2638