Golf Injuries To Feet, Knees & Legs

A golf swing can create strain on muscles in the feet, legs, abdomen and back. The fact that the game is usually played on a hilly terrain increases these forces, leading to a higher probability of injury. Proper warm-up and stretching exercises specific to golf can help in injury prevention.

If biomechanical issues exist, these existing stresses will overload certain structures, predisposing the golfer to overuse of muscles and strain on ligaments and tendons. Custom orthotics helps to equalize weight distribution, drawing stress away from overused areas. Other problems, such as tendonitis, capsulitis, and ligament sprains and pulls, can also keep a golf enthusiast back at the clubhouse.  Improper shoes can bring on blisters, neuromas (inflamed nerve endings) and other pains in the feet.  BioPed’s Footcare Specialists see these problems daily and can treat them conservatively to allow for a quick return to the sport.

When injured, participation is no substitute for rehabilitation. Injured body parts must be thoroughly treated and rehabilitated to meet the full demands of golf or any other sport. If you are injured, your return should be gradual. As much as you may want to get back to your game, take it slowly. A healthy body makes for a more enjoyable game and possibly a better scorecard at the end of the day.

Injuries Caused Directly or Indirectly by Foot Function?

Research indicates that recreational golfers tend to sustain more golf injuries than professional level golfers and that more injuries occur as players get older. Generally, overuse injuries tend to occur as we get older because the joint and tendon tissues become less able to withstand stress. Here are the most common ones:

PLANTAR FASCIITIS
A leading cause of pain on the bottom of the heel, is an inflammation of the sole of the foot. This is caused when the plantar fascia, a tough layer of tissue that covers the foot muscles, is stretched and the arch flattens slightly in order to absorb the impact that occurs when your heel hits the ground. Golfers will often complain of pain when first rising in the morning and after periods of rest. Pain will be located in the center of the heel radiating along the arch.

KNEE PROBLEMS
Inflammation or pain in the knees is caused by the twisting motion of the golf swing and sometimes by walking in ill-fitting shoes. Rest, re-evaluation of your swing and foot orthotics can help prevent this condition from occurring.

SHIN SPLINTS
Pain in the muscles of the lower leg is usually caused by excessive walking after a period of inactivity. It can also be caused by over pronation in the feet, putting excessive pressure on the lower leg.

HALLUX LIMITUS
Jamming and deterioration of the big toe joint cartilage is caused by overextension during the follow through. This can cause the joint to swell, stiffen and limit its motion. Hallux Limitus can be so painful that it affects your walking and eventually hampers your swing.

ACHILLES TENDONITIS
This injury occurs when the tendon that connects the shin to the heel becomes inflamed or begins to degenerate. This condition is caused by wearing improper footwear, inflexible calf muscles and neglecting to stretch prior to the start of a golf match. Wear adequately cushioned shoes with a firm arch support, replacing worn-out shoes and stretching and strengthening your calf muscles.

METATARSALGIA
A common cause of pain in the ball of the foot – characterized by a deep, dull or throbbing pain that occurs while sitting and standing. When you walk, the pain can be sharp. Metatarsalgia causes swelling and inflammation near the joint of your second toe. People with a second toe that is longer than the big toe develop this condition at a higher rate than others.

MORTON’S NEUROMA
A painful condition that leads to foot and toe numbness or burning – caused when the tissues surrounding the nerve thicken or when the nerve linked to the toes swells. (People who have Morton’s neuroma describe a sensation as if standing on a pebble). Golfers commonly experience this condition, particularly if they walk a lot or wear tight golf shoes with little room for the toes to flex.

If you’re going to be out golfing this season, keep these  in mind in case of an injury. Want to speak to a Specialist? Find a clinic near you by clicking below.