Injury in golf

Synonyms in a broader sense

Golf, Golf Injury, Back Pain, Tennis Elbow, Golfer Arm, Golfer Elbow, Shoulder, Lumbar Spine.


This topic is aimed at people who have suffered illnesses in the area of ​​the joint and holding apparatus due to one-sided overload caused by golf.

In addition to the people who have suffered an illness, this topic is intended to help prevent overload damage.
Golf can be played into old age, including the prosthetic treatment of the knee and hip joint, does not restrict the ability to play golf.
Due to the increasing popularity of golf, injuries and illnesses caused by golf are becoming more and more important in orthopedics.

Sports medicine factors

During an 18-hole round of golf, the golfer covers a distance of around 10 to 12 km. The calorie consumption during a five-hour tournament is estimated at around 1500 kcal.
Energy is generated especially from the desirable Fat burning and less from the breakdown of sugar. A training effect that has a beneficial effect on the cardiovascular system can be achieved from an energy burn of more than 2000 kcal / week. For this, at least 27 holes must be played. Several studies have shown that there is an existing high blood pressure improves, the risk of heart attack decreases and the blood lipids (LDL - cholesterol and triglycerides) decrease, which is mainly due to fat burning.
Under competition conditions, stress-related high blood pressure can also occur in healthy cardiovascular individuals. In particular, cardiac patients and patients who suffer from high blood pressure are at risk of damage to the vascular system under tournament conditions.
Due to the high physical and psychological stress under tournament conditions, the Pulse rate on average over 100 beats per minute.

Golf medicine specialist

Possibility of injury while playing golf

Due to the short-term high peak loads during the stroke movement, there are short-term heavy loads on the joint and musculoskeletal system.

Injuries can be in the area of

  • Spine (lumbar spine and transition from the cervical spine to the thoracic spine)
  • shoulder
  • Elbow
  • wrist
  • knee
  • upper ankle
  • Achilles tendon


Acute golf injuries are rare. Beginners in particular are at risk from failure in the ground due to a lack of practice. This can cause contusions and dislocations.

You might also be interested in this topic: Cruciate ligament overstretched

In rare cases, ricochet injuries can result from high speed golf ball impact injuries. Fortunately, such injuries are very rare due to the very disciplined play of all players and compliance with the golf rules. Direct impact injuries in the area of ​​the skull can be fatal.

The majority of all golf injuries tend to be slow, but they also tend to become chronic.
This means that the disease cannot be improved even with therapy, or that the self-healing powers of the body are overwhelmed and require professional support from an orthopedic surgeon.

Statistically, the most common injury to the golfer is in the field of

  • Spine

  • Elbow joint

  • shoulder

  • wrist

  • Knee joint


Through in the rotational movement when striking is in the Spine particularly unencumbered. Most ailments develop in the area Lumbar spine (Lumbar spine).
Golfers with pre-existing changes in the Lumbar spine how Hollow back, Hunchback or Scoliosis, but also changes caused by wear (degeneration) have a particularly high risk of problems with the spine.

On the other hand, it must be noted that regular golfing strengthens the entire spinal muscles, which in some cases improves back pain.

Reasons for Back painThey can be found in golf:

  • a herniated disc, here is the special one Herniated disc of the lumbar spine to call
  • a narrow spinal canal (spinal stenosis)
  • a fractured vertebra
  • a sliding vertebrae (spondylolisthesis)
  • a facet syndrome
  • lumbago (lumbar sciatica)
  • a lumbar spine syndrome


From the poor it is Elbow joint most commonly affected by injuries.
The attachments of the extension and flexor muscles (extensors and flexors) of the forearm are particularly at risk. These large muscle groups attach to the joint rollers of the humerus (epicondylus humeri) of the elbow joint.
The tendon attachments have to withstand great stress when striking. Heavy strain, incorrect technique, cramped grip or tissue that has not yet adapted to the strain can lead to inflammation in the area of ​​the tendon attachment.

The most common disease in this area is the Golfer's elbow, also known medically as Epicondylitis ulnaris humeri referred to as. This disease is caused by an overload of the forearm flexor muscles. The right-handed person typically experiences this overload on the right elbow.
In addition to overloading the forearm flexors, this can also overload the forearm extensors. This disease is also known medically as tennis elbow (Humeri radial epicondylitis) designated. The tennis elbow, which can also occur in golfers, affects the left elbow joint in right-handed people. A cramped or incorrect grip position when putting comes into question.

Symptoms of the golfer's elbow or tennis elbow are mainly pain in the right or left arm.
Read about this too Pain in the right arm and Left arm pain.

More about the joint For elbows, see "Elbow Joint".


After the elbow joint, the shoulder joint is most commonly affected.
Damage occurs here particularly frequently in the area of

  • Rotator cuff (deep shoulder muscles)
  • the long biceps tendon and
  • the shoulder joint (acromio-clavicular joint)


If there is a constraint between the roof of the shoulder (arcomion) and the upper arm head (humerus), repeated exercise can lead to overloading in the area of ​​the roof tendons and its bursa (subacromial bursa). This disease is also known medically as impingement syndrome respectively Subacromial bursitis designated.

The Biceps muscle (Musculus bicipitalis humeri) is the large flexor-sided muscle of the upper arm. Latin bi means two. It consists of two muscle bellies and accordingly has two tendons, a short and a long biceps tendon,
The long biceps tendon is particularly prone to tearing. If there is already previous damage or age-related changes, the tendon can become inflamed or even tear through intensive training.
A biceps tendon injury is manifested by shoulder pain when the forearm is vigorously bent at the elbow joint.

The lower shoulder joint belongs to the shoulder joint or to the Shoulder girdle. It is made up of the roof of the shoulder (acromion) and the outer end of the collarbone (clavicle). Problems in this left area often with existing wear-related changes in this joint (Osteoarthritis of the shoulder).
The swing of the golf swing in particular creates pain in this joint.
Therapeutically, get injections into the joint (infiltration with anesthetic and / or Cortisone), Physiotherapy, physical therapy and, in exceptional cases, surgical therapy measures.


Less commonly than injuries to the elbow joint or the shoulder, injuries in the area of ​​the wrist can also occur.
Here, too, tendon overloads, especially those of the wrist extensors (extensor carpi radialis et ulnaris), are in the foreground.
Arthritis of the wrist, as occurs after wrist fractures, can rarely cause complaints.
As a rule, these problems can be treated well with local injections (infiltration), physiotherapy and physical therapy.


If the complaints are unclear, we would like to refer you to our diagnostic tool. On the basis of your complaints and symptoms, you can use our diagnostic tool to diagnose your disease.