Tens of millions of people play golf. They are of all ages and range from casual weekend golfers to professional players. With the availability of beautiful courses, the opportunity for people of all ages to get moderate exercise, and the social aspect of the game, it’s no surprise that golf has become such a popular sport. But, just like any sport, this much-loved activity also carries a risk of injury.
Because of the repetitive motion of the golf swing, the neck, back, and area between the shoulder blades are prone to tightening up and—if not properly treated—can become seriously injured. Golfers may notice lingering soreness around their head or neck if they are hitting too hard and tensing up during their swing, and some golfers also experience tight and inflamed hands, forearms, and rotator cuff muscles due to gripping the club. And it isn’t just the upper body that can be affected by golf—some players also experience soreness or injuries in their lower back, glutes, and hips because of the rotation during the swing, while others notice tight hamstrings, calves, and sore feet after spending hours walking around an 18-hole course.
Exercising to develop the upper body and working on improving form may help beginner golfers avoid some serious injuries, but one thing that can benefit golfers of all levels is getting regular massages.
Golfers are likely to see the most benefit from a deep tissue massage or sports massage, during which a massage therapist will manipulate fascia (a connective tissue that binds muscles, bones, organs, nerves, and blood vessels) in order to restore balance to the body. This type of massage will also reduce tension in muscles, increase blood flow to promote muscle recovery, and break up adhesions, all of which helps golfers recover from injuries and prevent future injuries or muscle spasms.
Some fitness professionals recommend that golfers get a deep-tissue massage at least 48 hours before tee time, as golfers may discover that they feel sore or can’t use their muscles optimally if they try to play immediately after a massage.