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 June 14, 2003
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Golfers and Their Injuries
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MUENSTER, Germany (Ivanhoe Newswire) -- It may seem like a relatively safe sport, but a new study shows injuries related to golf are more common than many might think.

Researchers in Muenster, Germany, studied more than 700 golfers. The participants were followed for two full golfing seasons. After the seasons ended, researchers gave the players a six-page questionnaire to gather data.

Results of the study show more than 82 percent of golfing injuries occur because of overuse. More than 17 percent of the injuries happened as single-events. Researchers found carrying a golf bag can aggravate the back, shoulders, and ankles of golfers. More than half of the golfers said their injuries were minor, while nearly 22 percent said their injuries were serious.

Professional golfers endured more injuries than amateurs. More problems occurred in the wrists of the professional group, while elbow injuries were the main complaint from the amateur group. However, both groups said they experienced back and shoulder pain as a result of participating in the sport.

Experts say some simple exercises can help golfers avoid certain injuries. For example, squeezing a tennis ball can help strengthen a player's forearm muscles, and thus help prevent elbow injuries. Rowing can help prevent back injuries.

Warm-up routines had a positive effect on the golfers' physical condition, as long as the routines were at least 10 minutes. Researchers say golfing can be a safe sport as long as golfers rest their muscles and joints between matches. If overuse is not avoided, injuries related to golf can result in serious and chronic problems.

This article was reported by Ivanhoe.com, who offers Medical alerts by e-mail every day of the week. To subscribe, go to http://www.ivanhoe.com/newsalert/.

SOURCE: The American Journal of Sports Medicine, 2003;31:438-443

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