Golf, M.D.
By bkuehn1952 on 8/30/11
I enjoy reading Brian "bkuehn1952" Kuehn's observations and opinions about golf because he is well versed in the rules, etiquette and happenings of the sport. And I know I'm not the only one. Here's Brian's latest submission. Enjoy!

Yesterday I played twilight golf with my regular golf buddies. They like to play fast and will jump to open holes when a slowdown is encountered. While I generally walk & carry, with these guys I take a cart so I can keep up.

Halfway through our twilight race around the golf course, my buddy Marty asked if I had seen the latest “Golf Digest” article in which they listed the 5 most common golf injuries (other than cutting one’s finger on a pop-top beer can). He proudly announced that he was “4 for 5”, as he limped to the cart. Marty’s latest injury is a torn meniscus, a C-shaped piece of cartilage that acts like a cushion between the shinbone and thighbone. Over the past 5 years he has had trouble with his left elbow, left shoulder and lower back, missing out only on a left wrist injury. I suggested he try Rory’s tree-root shot in order to “bat for the cycle” in golf injuries. Marty demurred, wanting to deal with one injury at a time.

When I got home I re-read the article and it got me thinking. Up until my mid-40’s, it seemed as if I was invulnerable to golf injuries. Over the past decade, however, I’ve had to deal with an inflamed rotator cuff (left shoulder), inflamed left elbow and sore lower back. I’m not that far behind Marty.

My first trip to the disabled list was for an inflamed shoulder rotator cuff. The pain was so bad I couldn’t lift my arm much beyond waist level. Anti-inflammatories, physical therapy and a month off from golf eventually provided the cure. To this day I still need to be careful about my arm position when I sleep.

My left or lead elbow was the next episode of “Golf, M.D.”. The elbow was tender but I could perform most non-golf tasks without discomfort. Even teeing off wasn’t too bad. When a golf shot required a divot, however, I received a piercing pain for my efforts. The shorter the shot, the worse, because striking the ground served to aggravate the injury. I made a suggestion to my buddies that I be allowed to tee the ball up for all shots except on the green. My regular playing partners nixed the idea so I eventually had to take a couple weeks off.

The most recent disability occurred a couple of years ago. I was playing what turned out to be my last round of the year in mid-November. Part way through the round, I noted that my back was beginning to stiffen up a bit. A rational person might have packed it in after nine holes. Despite my back, however, I was playing really well so I soldiered on. The next morning I couldn’t sit up in bed. Eventually I rolled on to the floor and worked my way into an upright position. When I got dressed, I found I couldn’t bend sufficiently to get my socks on. It was only after rolling around on the bed for 15 minutes that I was successful in getting my toes into the socks. The only silver lining in this episode was that it snowed the following day so golf season was over, one way or another. Taking the Winter off seemed to provide my back the needed rest.

* * *

Some of you, DougE in particular, have had more serious issues. Share your pain (and stories) with us. Any particularly interesting injuries you’d care to share? Advice, sound or otherwise, on how to avoid these painful pitfalls is also welcome.

This was written by Brian Kuehn, a reader/follower/fellow oober and the opinions are 100% his and do not necessarily reflect those of oobgolf in anyway. Enjoy! I'm sure he's ready for your feedback.

photo by edenpictures

[ comments ]
Banker85 says:
Nothing more than the beer can cuts for me. I am only 26 and never even came close to being hurt from golf. that seems crazy. how can i get hurt unless i pull a Rory? the worst that happened to me was getting hit in the leg with a golf ball, nothing more than a bruise.
SD Charlie says:
That's because you're 26! Time, and your body haven't started betraying you yet. I noticed, starting in my late 20's, that just about any physical activity above a brisk walk should be preceded by at least a half-ass stretching / warm-up routine.

Right now, I'm battling a little biceps tendinitis in my right (trail) arm. It didn't flare up during my last round, but I took some ibuprofen before I went out. I have a trip to Michigan this weekend, where I'll be playing golf with some family. So, hopefully, I can manage through that and then I'll probably take some time off to let this tendinitis go down.
mjaber says:
I don't have any golf-related injuries, other than a nice bruise I got once from stupidly walking ahead of someone getting ready to hit.

I have occasionaly aches and pains from old injuries that flare up from time to time. The titanium rod in my femur aches when the weather changes (first major cold spell is the worst), and an achilles tendon injury from high school will flare up if I spend too much time (10+ hours) on my feet without a decent pair of shoes on.
legitimatebeef says:
I've got some lower back and hamstring tightness that's been bugging me for nigh on a month now. I think its in large part due to overswinging, tension and possibly overuse. Old age, maybe but I doubt it. I haven't given it a real rest since it came on so its been slow to heal I think. Still I need to train myself to swing with less tension.
mjaber says:
@beef... Watch the hammies. Even a little tightness can be a major problem, and can be compunded quickly. Long time ago, when I was running track, I had a little tightness in my hamstrings, went to the trainer to get them checked out, and he had me scratched from the meet. He said if I had tried to run with them in their condition, they would have "snapped like a window-shade."
jrbizzle says:
Ganglion cyst in my right wrist. Suffered a couple years ago after beating too many balls on the driving range trying to ingrain a lag that would allow me to better hit down and compress the ball. It went away (mostly) during the off season. I'd say it was worth it, because the new ball first, turf second contact gives me better distance control and accuracy.
larrynjr says:
I'm 46 and haven't had a golf injuries yet but have from some of my other sports that could become golf issues. I've have shoulder surgery on both shoulders, bursitus caused by weird bone growth. I've been years since it's been a problem but it could come back to bite me.
Envythepea says:
I missed this blog and didn't see it until today, so I'm a little late to moan about my back problem here (so I whined about it on a couple other unrelated posts!). I'm 58 and haven't had any real golf injuries, other than stiffness and usual old-age aches and pains, until I pinched a nerve or something in my lower back recently after painting my living room (hiring painters next time). I thought it was healed enough to play after a couple of weeks rest and daily doses of Aleve but I ended up re-injuring and it's been hounding me for almost two months now. Went to the chiropractor Monday, helped some but still not right. I hate not playing but have to give it enough time I guess. What sucks is that I was also grooving a new swing like jrbizzle, creating lag to hit down on the ball and it was coming together for me but also probably aggravated the problem. Okay I'm done bitching.
DougE says:
Yeah Brian, injury sucks. The surgery on my left rotator cuff last Dec is still not totally healed. Maybe 70%. Lots of crunching, but I can raise my arm over my head now. I continue to ice it after lots of use. I have developed some pretty bad tendonitis in the left elbow, probably as a result. That really has been hurting my game the last couple weeks. And, I still have a partially torn right rotator cuff, which I am trying to save from surgery, through physical therapy and regular exercises. All of these issues would probably be a lot better if I would just stop swinging a golf club everyday for a few months. But I can't. Even when I was recovering from surgery last winter, I started chipping way before it was recommended. (Might explain why it's still not healed!) I'm nuts. Until one of my arms....or both....breaks or falls off, I'm just gotta grin and bear it. This game is so addictive. In the meantime, I continue to ice everything many times a day and take too much Advil. I'm icing as I write.
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