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Returning to play golf after injury

Updated: Mar 12

If you’ve sustained an injury within the last year, either through playing golf or due to something that happened off the greens, it’s important to make sure your body is in good health before swinging back into action again. 

In this blog, we’ll explore some important steps for golfers to safely and effectively return to the sport they love without worrying about re-injuring themselves.

Listen to your body

Golfers will often take a complete break from golf due to the pain or discomfort they experience from the injury they've sustained.

In doing that, the body will go through a lot of compensations to help modify movements to reduce the sensation of pain. However, when returning to golf after injury, it's very important to identify any possible compensations and lingering pain or discomfort so that you don’t push your body too hard, too soon. 

Swing Lab founder Michele Liew puts a client through his paces during a rehab session

We recommend gradually reintroducing golf related movements to assess whether you feel any restrictions or pain. If you do, we advise you to seek professional guidance immediately before getting back to playing more golf so that you can correct the movement early on.

At Swing Lab Performance and Therapy, we offer golf therapy and rehabilitation services for a variety of injuries that amateur and professional golfers typically suffer with. 

Focus on rehabilitation & the correction of your movements

Depending on the nature and severity of your injury, and whether it’s been lingering for some time or has increased your pain or discomfort, then seeking professional advice is recommended. 

An injury to one joint could be caused by many different factors, so treating just a single area will not solve the problem when you return to playing golf. Our team of therapists can help you identify the root cause of your problem, rather than just treating the symptoms of it. 

At Swing Lab, we focus on how the whole body moves in the swing and identify any compensation patterns to correct them before developing an approach to any strengthening work. 

Incorporating exercises targeting the muscles involved in your golf swing can help expedite your recovery and also help enhance your performance when you return to play.

Transitioning back into your golf swing

After identifying the root cause of the injury and correcting any compensation patterns, the next step is to transition those new movements into your golf swing. 

Getting mentally prepared to translate the movement is just as important as rehabbing the injury with your muscles & joints. This is especially true with someone who has suffered a more traumatic injury, such as shoulder rotator cuff tears, knee ligaments & meniscus tears, or joint replacements surgeries.

A young golf player takes a tee shot

It’s important to prepare your joints to load properly and control their movements when you get back to working on your golf swing. 

Your golf swing is a very complicated movement that happens in a very short period of time, so both mental and physical preparation of your joints is vital to help bridge between joint movements and your golf swing itself. 

This will be a gradual process in reintroducing the swing movement to your body again so that you will be able to learn the right way of moving and not revert to your old or compensated mechanics which could increase the risk of re-injuring yourself.

Returning to play

Once your body is ready to return to play golf, strategies that prioritize injury prevention are key to your long-term health and enjoyment of the sport.

You should always have a proper warm-up routine, regular mobility and strengthening program and ensure you leave time for adequate rest and recovery between training sessions and golf rounds. This will help maintain your body during the season so that you can stay in shape while continuing to play the sport you love. 

Returning to golf after injury or surgery can be a very exciting process and by following the steps and advice we've listed above, you'll be able to resume playing much faster and more efficiently without worrying about re-injuring yourself.

Feel free to contact us if you are unsure what to do to return to golf after an injury and one of our team of professionals will be able to help you take the proper steps.

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