Osteoarthritis is a disease that affects the joints mostly around the hands, hips and knees. In a particular study, it was shown that one in every five adult British citizens above 45 years has an osteoarthritic knee.
Golf is a sport that requires the use of major joints and muscles of the body. Close to a million golfers in the UK worry that if they are ever diagnosed with OA:https://www.statista.com/statistics/899231/golf-participation-uk/ million, they might not be able to enjoy golfing any more. However, this is not precisely accurate.
According to an article in the Daily Telegraph, just because you have the condition:https://www.telegraph.co.uk/wellbeing/living-with-osteoarthritis/playing-golf/ Lawrence, does not mean you have to give up the weekend golfing with your friends. You only need a few adjustments in the way you approach the game.
Here are some practical ways to enjoy golf, even with osteoarthritis.
1. Start with a Warm Up
Most joints will experience a lot of pain from sudden stretches. It is, therefore, advisable to prepare your joints and muscles before you step onto the green. You can begin with a few minutes’ walking to loosen up your body. Afterwards, you could do a couple of stretches that are not overly strenuous to the joints.
You can perform some range of motion exercises; side bends, slow swings, trunk twists and arm circles are easy examples. Such stretches are great for you, especially if you suffer from osteoarthritis of the knee and they also help you maintain flexibility in your hamstrings and back.
2. Golf Differently
By now, you probably know that you cannot golf like you used to. This is to avoid overstretching your already fragile osteoarthritic knees. Energy-saving techniques will keep you going on the green for a longer time. Pull instead of carrying your golf bag and only use clubs that you are comfortable with. When getting a grip on your clubs, avoid adopting one that is too rigid.
Try sweeping through the ball, as this helps transfer weight from one leg to another more easily. Also, always aim for a vertical finish to ease the lumbar spine.
3. Get Easy to Use Golf Tools
The good news is that there are clubs specifically made for people with arthritis. These clubs have perimeter-weighted heads with graphite shafts to act as shock absorbers. Ensure that your golf bag has wheels so you can pull it instead of carrying it. Low compression golf balls are more comfortable to hit and do not require you to apply a lot of force.
With the above tips, you can enjoy a golf game without straining your osteoarthritic knee. It is, however, advisable to consult a therapist before you go to the green, to make sure that you are well equipped both mentally and physically for golf.