Avoiding Wrist Injuries While Golfing

Common Types of Golf Wrist Injuries

People don't generally associate golf with sports injuries given the relatively sedate nature of the game. But according to a study from the Center for Injury Research and Policy in Columbus, Ohio, there are over 30,000 golf-related injuries treated in American emergency rooms every year.

In terms of hospitalization rates, older golfers were as much as five times more like to be admitted compared to compared to younger golfers. While many of these injuries were related to a traumatic injury (such as being hit by a ball or a struck by golf swing), nearly a third (30.6 percent) were related to a strain, sprain, or stress fracture.

These numbers do not reflect non-emergency injuries which are often related to repetitive motion (overuse) injuries or the progressive strain put on the back, wrists, hips, and knees by an improper swing technique.

While a golf injury can affect any part of the body, the most common are associated with the lower back and spine, shoulder, elbow, and wrist.

Golfing Wrist Injuries

Wrist injuries are usually caused by an improper grip, poor swing technique, a club impact during the downswing (such as with a tree root), or overuse. Among some of the more common wrist injuries:

  • Wrist tendinitis usually develops in the leading hand which needs to bend forward on the backswing and flexes backward at the end of the swing.
  • Hamate bone fractures occur when the club hits the ground abnormally and compresses the handle against the bony hooks at the end of the smaller hamate (wrist) bones.
  • Wrist sprains can occur when a club strikes an object and twists the wrist abnormally.
  • Ulnar tunnel syndrome is nerve damage to wrist caused by the repeated hammering of the club handle against the palm. This can cause pain, inflammation, and numbness and is often associated with an improper or lose grip.

Given the nature of these injuries, medical attention should be sought in order to X-ray for any damage and properly immobilize the wrist.

The Gelliflex® Abacus® is a gel-ball self-massage device designed for relief from finger/hand/arm aches and pains caused by overuse or repetitive activity. With proper self-care a golfer can help to maintain strength and health of his/her wrist.

For more information on the Gelliflex® Abacus® please visit our golf page and take a look at some of the recommended videos.