Keep Your Knees Healthy on the Links this Season
The golf course provides a great atmosphere to improve your flexibility - and boost your overall health. There are many golfers out there who experience knee pain but it doesn’t have to stop your game.
Kendra W. Langus PT, DPT, at Wentworth-Douglass Hospital Rehabilitation Services offered these tips:
All golfers, whether or not they have knee pain from osteoarthritis or have had a joint replaced, should be aware of the following precautions:
- Always use Pain as your guide: If your knee hurts when you golf, double check your form/technique. Don’t push through the pain.
- Elevate and ice your entire knee (front and back) for 20 minutes after a round of golf.
- Listen to your knee and avoid over doing it, as this can result in significant swelling.
- If you have had a joint replacement, make sure you receive clearance from your orthopedic surgeon prior to getting out on the course, as golfers experience a rotational force on their lead leg when they swing their club.
PRECAUTIONS SPECIFICALLY FOLLOWING A TOTAL KNEE REPLACEMENT:
- Work with your physical therapist on chipping and putting in the clinic before heading to the course. The PT can give you cues on your form and work on your core and balance which will make you more confident on the green.
- Your PT can help to temporarily modify your swing and will give you an idea of the amount of time you should play. Working on your posture and maintaining a more upright stance decreases the amount of force and bend to the knee during your swing. Using short irons will also help to reduce stress to your knee.
- Take a look at the overall course, and map out a plan for how to slowly progress, by increasing the time you walk versus using the golf cart.
- Performing gentle stretches between holes will help to maintain flexibility and minimize stiffness.
- Remember to ice and elevate your knee for 20 minutes after each round of golf.
- Communicate any difficulties back to your PT so that he/she can work with you to restore your swing and minimize your risk of injury.
Wentworth-Douglass Rehab Services offers physical, occupational and speech therapy services in Dover and Lee. For more information, visit Rehabilitation Services or call (603) 740-2101.