Golfing, arguably, has long worked as a socially distant form of exercise. Clubs, public course, and driving ranges may be open in your area now, allowing for another way to exercise this summer. August is National Golf Month, a great time to take up the sport. If you deal with joint pain, however, you may wonder if it’s a good activity.
With the proper equipment and technique, the answer could be yes.
Playing golf may provide benefits to those with joint pain in that it’s a game of balance, coordination, and aerobic exercise. Golf may involve a fair amount walking in addition to swinging a club – movement can help lubricate the joints and reduce stiffness and aching. Some also find golf meditative, a relaxing way to unplug. Depending on the severity of your arthritis or joint pain, your performance on the course will vary, but you can take measures to aid in a productive game.
- Proper warmup exercises before you hit the links work to reduce the risk of injury and/or flareups. Golfing will work much of your body, so concentrate on stretching your arms, legs, and torso muscles before you begin.
- Clubs make a difference. Contact with the ball will create vibrations, which in turn could impact your joints. Using clubs with lightweight shafts, like graphite, may reduce the intensity so you can golf comfortably. (You may want to consult with your pro shop for the right equipment.)
- Don’t forget your shoes! Even if you use a cart to navigate the course, you’ll spend a fair amount of time standing or walking. Your golf shoes should feel comfortable and provide support you need to play 18 holes.
Should pain become an obstacle to enjoying golf or any outdoor activity, the physicians and therapists at Bon Secours Virginia Orthopaedic & Spine Specialists are here to help. We offer a full continuum of care for athletes, outdoor enthusiasts, and anyone seeking to improve their quality of life through effective joint pain management. Contact us today for more information.