While golf and tennis are perceived as “leisurely” sports, both require repetitive motions and explosive power that can strain the body and lead to a range of injuries.
In fact, injuries are common. Up to 40.9% of amateur golfers get injured each year while playing golf, and the lifetime risk of a golf-related injury for amateurs is as high as 70%.
That’s according to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, which also reports that thousands of people are treated for tennis-related injuries annually.
Golf and tennis demand precision and power from your body. However, they require repetitive motions and explosive power that can strain the body and take a toll of nagging injuries that can hinder your performance.
In fact, injuries are common. Up to 40.9% of amateur golfers get injured each year while playing golf, and the lifetime risk of a golf-related injury for amateurs is as high as 70%, according to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, which also reports that thousands of people are treated for tennis-related injuries annually.
Common golf injuries include:
Golfer’s elbow. This injury involves inflammation of the tendons that attach to the inner side of the elbow. It often occurs due to repeated swinging and gripping motions in golf, leading to pain and tenderness on the inner side of the elbow.
Rotator cuff strain. The rotator cuff is a group of muscles and tendons that stabilize the shoulder joint. Golf swings can put strain on these structures, leading to injuries such as strains or tears. This can result in shoulder pain and limited range of motion.
Back strain: The rotational and twisting motions involved in a golf swing can place stress on the lower back, leading to muscle strains or even herniated discs. Poor swing mechanics and improper posture can contribute to this type of injury.
Common tennis injuries include:
Tennis elbow. Similar to golfer’s elbow, tennis elbow involves inflammation of the tendons on the outer side of the elbow. Repetitive motions, such as gripping the tennis racket and performing backhands, can lead to pain and discomfort on the outer side of the elbow.
Tennis shoulder. Tennis involves overhead motions, such as serving and smashing, which can strain the shoulder joint and the muscles surrounding it. This can lead to shoulder impingement, rotator cuff injuries, and general shoulder discomfort.
Knee injuries. Tennis players often make sudden lateral movements, which can stress the knees and lead to injuries like meniscus tears, ligament sprains (such as ACL tears), and patellar tendinitis. These injuries can result from the quick changes in direction and repetitive stress on the knee joints.
At Penn Medicine Princeton Health, rehabilitation programs specifically for golf and tennis injuries are designed to improve and optimize physical performance by addressing flexibility, stability, endurance and conditioning.