Golfers who don’t strengthen their forearms are vulnerable to wrist and hand injuries, while others can get their hands injured from overuse, improper golf grip handle, and traumatic blows. The American Society for Surgery of the Hand reports that the hand is the third most common body region injured in golfers. For the majority of cases, the leading hand (left side for right-handed players and right side for left-handed one) is the one at risk. Here’s a more detailed look at hand-related golf injuries:
Types of Golf Injuries to the Hand
Depending on the cause, you may sustain acute or cumulative hand injuries. When a golfer’s hand suffers from a single jarring impact or a traumatic blow, this can lead to acute injuries: bone fractures and muscular strain or tears in one of the hand muscles or tendons.
An uncommon but dangerous acute injury is a hand break — it is usually triggered by hitting the ground behind the ball, which leads to jarring the shift. Your hand may also break with a problematic golf grip — this happens when the club is held too high and when the top of the shaft directly drives into your hand, dealing a sudden and painful blow.
Similar to hand break, another acute hand injury is fracture of the hook of the hamate, referring to the small bone bones of the wrist. The hook (the bone protruding toward your palm) can be injured from the club on a hard hit to the ground when the handle crosses right over the bony hook. Hook of the hamate fractures lead to painful throbbing in the heel of the little finger side of the palm, which can also cause numbness and tingling in the ring and little fingers.
On the other hand, cumulative injuries result from overuse and repeated minor strains with every golf swing. Cumulative injuries consist of inflammation and aches in the hand joints, which should not be ignored if experienced consistently. Another prominent example of this is a tendon injury, which can be sustained from the cumulative strain of repeated swings.
Treating Hand-Related Golf Injuries
Golf injury treatment for the hand, especially for cumulative injuries, usually consists of rest, splinting, ice, and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medicines. Tendon injuries can also be cured with icing an injured hand to numb the pain and reduce the swelling. Stretching the tendons can also reduce the risk of injury while playing golf.
Advanced treatment may involve cortisone injections, but it’s strongly advised to seek the help of your doctor when it comes to healing your injuries. Take note that some hand injuries, such as hand break and hook of the hamate fractures, may require surgery to repair some of the fragile hand bones.
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