to many golf injury sources, the three most commonly injured areas of the body
are the back, shoulder, and elbow.
Acute injuries are usually the result of a single, traumatic episode, such as hitting the ground, a submerged tree root or a sand trap. Overuse injuries are more subtle and usually occur over time. These injuries will more often stem from the stress that the golfer puts on the back and shoulders when swinging. www.stopsportsinjuries.org
Ice or cold therapy, or
cryotherapy, is more effective at treating injuries when symptoms first
develop, according to Edward R. Laskowski, a physical medicine and
rehabilitation specialist at the Mayo Clinic. Ice helps to constrict blood
vessels to reduce swelling and inflammation resulting from tissue injury. Cold
therapy can also reduce muscle spasms and numb pain. Always place a thin cloth
between your skin and the ice pack to avoid tissue damage. Limit cold therapy
to 15 to 20 minutes at a time, as longer exposure can also lead to tissue
The general rule for any acute pain is to follow the R.I.C.E. guidelines, which stands for Rest, Ice the affected body part, apply Compression, and Elevate the injured part.
Heat opens up blood vessels and
increases blood flow to your injury, which promotes healing. It alleviates
symptoms such as pain, stiffness and fluid build-up, or edema, in the tissues. However, you should not apply heat to a
new injury; wait three to four days before using it or until swelling subsides. Moist Heat Therapy can be effective when used
for chronic conditions such as muscle discomfort or stiffness. Heat therapy can
also be used before golf or exercise to increase the flexibility of joints and
to increase blood flow.
Do not apply heat to any area with an open wound.
Long term chronic pain can
respond to either ice or heat to relieve your pain and other symptoms. Physical
therapists sometimes alternate ice and heat ("contrast therapy") in
treating low-back pain and other chronic injuries. This is usually done in 20
min sessions with at least 20 min between sessions.
Note: Neither ice nor heat is a
substitute for seeing your doctor for a chronic condition or an injury.