Common Golf Injuries


This article has been written by Sally Ann Quirke – a Chartered Physiotherapist.
Find more detailed information on sports injury prevention and management at

You would not believe how predictable golf injuries can be – but that does not make them any less painful! I treat golf related injuries on a daily basis in my physiotherapy practice. I play golf myself so this allows me to understand the types of golf injuries and their causes more clearly. I see many golf-related injuries, but there are a common few injuries that I see most often, and this is what I am going to focus on now.


Neck Injuries

Neck injuries are common in golfers. This is usually due to stiffness and poor posture in your neck and upper back - combined with a less than perfect golf swing technique!

If your neck is stiff or in the wrong position when you start your swing, the stresses and strains placed on your neck are greater. Over time this may wear down the various structures of your neck eventually causing neck pain and dysfunction.

The treatment for your neck pain always involves removing the cause. In most golf neck pain related injuries this involves mobilisation and postural correction by a chartered physiotherapist, combined with a review of your swing technique by the Pro in your club. However, it is important that the physiotherapist and the golf professional communicate well, in order to resolve the underlying cause of your neck pain.

If you have a severe neck injury from golf, or you choose to ignore the aches and pains in your neck related to golf for too long, you may end up with a more serious neck problem. An example is a disc injury. Seek immediate advice if you suffer from neck pain as a result of golfing. Not only may it prevent you from having a serious neck injury, but it usually improves your golf also! I have regular clients who come to me for physiotherapy even though they do not have pain. They inform me that it improves their play.

Shoulder injuries

Shoulder injuries can be complicated in golfers. From my experience there appears to be two main types of shoulder injuries. The first and most common injury results from repetitive golf swinging with poor posture and, or a poor technique. This results in strain to the tendons of your shoulder often causing tendonitis.

The second type of shoulder injury that I see relating to golf is as a result of not warming up efficiently. Many golfers take their first golf shot without warming up adequately. This can result in a tear to a tendon or muscle of the shoulder. It is very painful. Treatment is required immediately.


Back Injuries

Back injuries are very common in golfers. I see more back pain in the everyday golfers than I do the professional ones! This is due to a poor swing technique. It can also be due to a player who has a poor posture or a stiff back trying too hard to follow through on the ball. If you feel stiff in your swing my advice is to seek both physiotherapy and a professional golfer’s advice as soon as possible. This will not only improve your game, but prevent many of stiff back-related injuries associated with a poor golfing technique.

The treatment of back-related golf injuries is quite straightforward! I always remove the cause where possible. This usually involves mobilisation, postural correction, and Pilates from my side. In conjunction with this I communicate with the Pro of the golf club and advise him, on where I feel the swing needs to change to unload the affected part. This team approach is both effective and fun. Good communication is the key.

Hip injuries

Hip injuries can result from golf. They are a result of a poor walking pattern and swing technique. A good series of stretches for your hips and legs usually reduces the risk of hip related golf injuries. Prevention is better than cure.


Prevention of back-related golf injuries rely on you having a good technique, combined with the appropriate posture and mobility required for this swing. So, as you can see there are many factors involved in good golf and the prevention of golf-related injuries. A good professional teacher and chartered physiotherapist will recognise this from the outset.

However, I should say that not all back related golf injuries are posture related, but most are! If you have a traumatic injury on the golf course resulting from a fall for example, the treatment will be very different. Seek medical advice immediately if you have suffered a trauma on the golf course and are in pain. Don’t wait!


Pilate classes are often tailored to golfers and the result is usually very good.
Ask your local physiotherapist to recommend a Pilates class for you.

This article has been written by Sally Ann Quirke – a Chartered Physiotherapist.
Find more detailed information on sports injury prevention and management at

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