Golf is a popular low-impact sport that plays a significant role in improving your mental and physical health. Based on science, playing golf has various benefits: it improves mental alertness, aids weight management, reduces stress and anxiety, builds character, and improves business relationships. Despite being a low-impact activity, you're at risk of sustaining an injury. Golf wrist injuries are rare, but when they occur, they're devastating. The wrist and the hand are integral to golfing; therefore, both a professional and a competitive amateur golfer are prone to this injury. Overuse of the extensor tendons and wrist flexor is the main culprit for a wrist injury. Here we will talk about the 5 common golf wrist injuries and can wrist brace for golfing help.
Common Golf Wrist Injuries
1. Wrist Sprain
A wrist sprain is a common golfing injury that occurs when the strong ligaments that support your wrist tear or stretch beyond their limits. Overstretched or torn ligaments can impact the healthy functioning of the joint, thus reducing your golfing efficiency. This type of injury can occur suddenly, especially if you trip and fall. In addition, it can occur after a certain period of time due to stress and overuse of the wrist joint.
Symptoms of a Wrist Sprain
- Feeling a tearing or popping in the wrist
- Swelling and inflammation
- Loss of motion
- Tenderness and warmth around the wrist
You're at a greater risk of sustaining a sprain injury when your muscles are tired. If you suffer a sprained wrist injury while golfing, you'll notice instability when gripping objects and moving your hand. In addition, when sprains aren't treated properly, you may end up with weak wrist ligaments and bones.
Tendonitis occurs when the tendons that connect bones and muscles become inflamed. Therefore, when inflammation occurs in your wrists, you may develop tendonitis. There are six tendons that support mobility in each finger, hand, and wrist. When these tendons become aggravated, your body will trigger an inflammatory response. Wrist pain is a major culprit for tendonitis, especially during and after golfing.
Symptoms of Tendonitis
- Pain and tenderness in the affected tendon
- A lump on the tendon
- Weakness in the affected areas
- A grating sensation, especially when you move the tendon
- Decreased range of motion
Swinging the golf club repeatedly can increase stress on your wrist, thus leading to tiny tears on the tendons. This can cause inflammation of the affected area. Another risk factor that can deteriorate tendonitis is poor form while golfing. Tendonitis is a common injury among golfers, especially those who play frequently.
3. Dorsal Wrist Impingement
Dorsal wrist impingement syndrome occurs as a result of repetitive extension and straightening of the wrist joint. This condition causes sharp pain along the dorsal or back side of the wrist. In the long run, dorsal wrist syndrome increases your risk of arthritis. Therefore, you should seek proper medication.
Symptoms of Dorsal Wrist Impingement
- Pain in the affected area
- A pinching discomfort
- Wrist stiffness
- Tenderness on the back side of the wrist
Based on research, most golfers suffer a dorsal wrist impingement due to a repetitive combination of axial loading and hyperextension. A wrist brace for a golfer can reduce the risk of this condition. In addition, you can opt for rest, ice, compression, and elevation techniques.
4. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) occurs due to increased pressure on the median nerve. According to science, the median nerve runs from your forearm via a passageway in the wrist to the hand. It provides sensation to your fingers and the palm side of your thumb.
Symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
- Weaker grip
- Pain in the affected areas
- Tendency to drop things
In addition, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome can cause weakness in the wrist as well as the hand. If you continue increasing pressure on the median nerve while golfing, this condition can lead to worsening symptoms and nerve damage. This is because you'll be compressing and squeezing the median nerve repeatedly.
5. Hamate Fractures
Repetitive stress placed on the wrist from gripping a golf club can cause hamate fractures. The hamate bone is located behind your pinkie finger. These types of fractures occur when the golf club strikes the ground. Hook of hamate fractures are rare, but they can be devastating if they occur.
Symptoms of Hamate Fractures
- Extreme Pain
- Weakness of grip
- Muscle spasms
- Loss of range of motion
Hamate fractures cause pain in the heel of the hand. Surgery is the most effective treatment for these fractures. Typically, it can take six to eight months to recover from hamate fractures.
Can Wrist Brace Help?
Wrist braces are the most used piece of medical equipment in the modern era. They play a significant role in protecting, supporting, and restricting the movement of your wrist. Therefore, the right wrist brace for golfers will reduce the risk of a wrist injury. In addition, it will keep you safe after a wrist injury because it relieves long-term wrist pain.
Reasons to Wear a Wrist Brace for Golfing
I. Reduce Swelling
After a sprain injury, your wrist will be prone to swelling and inflammation. This makes your wrist stiffer and more tender. To reduce the risk of swelling, you should invest in a wrist brace for golfing. It serves two purposes in reducing swelling: compressing the wrist to keep the swelling down and supporting the affected area.
II. Prevent Further Injury
Wrist injuries can deteriorate with time, especially if you continue playing golf. A rigid wrist brace for golfing can restrict motion, which prevents your torn tendons from over-extending. In addition, it can distribute weight in your wrist, thus lowering the risk of setbacks.
III. Support for Sport Training
Despite managing symptoms of a wrist injury, the wrist brace can play a vital role in preventing an injury. Golfing can induce repetitive motion that can cause wrist injuries. Therefore, wearing a wrist brace will lower the risk of various wrist injuries, including tendonitis and sprains.
There are various types of golf wrist injuries, including tendonitis, wrist sprain, carpal tunnel syndrome, dorsal wrist impingement, and hamate fractures. To lower the risk of these injuries, invest in the right wrist brace for golfing. If you're looking for an ideal wrist brace for golf, consider AOFIT because it's the leading manufacturer and distributor of high-quality body braces and supports.