The first fear that runs through an athlete’s mind following an injury is the length of the recovery period. In golf, injuries like back pain, knee injuries, and tendinitis can force athletes off the green for an extended time. Your best option is to ensure you are getting the best treatment so you can come back at full strength. Here is what you should expect from your golf rehab:
Speaking with a Sports Medicine Specialist
A sports medicine specialist, such as an orthopedic surgeon, will do a thorough examination of your injury to determine the proper course of action for you. It’s important to seek out a sports medicine physician who specializes in your injury, as that physician will understand the range of motion needed and timeline for recovery. The specialty allows this physician to guide you based on experience with many others who have been in your same position.
Developing a Care Plan with a Physical Therapist
While you may not be able to rule out a surgical procedure if there is a tear, every care plan will include physical therapy to help you regain mobility, ease your pain, and return to your pre-injury form. Your physical therapy program is unique to you. You will develop a plan by discussing your specific injury and needs with a licensed physical therapist. The length of time you can expect to rehab varies by injury and the work you put in.
What Can You Do
Stay true to your goals. People who don’t adhere to their rehab plans tend to prolong their recovery and might even cause an injury to worsen. If you are aiming for a speedy and safe recovery, following your physical therapist plan’s to a tee gives you the best chance.
Keep a positive mental attitude. Some golfers get discouraged by setbacks during their recovery. Mindset is half the battle and having a positive outlook helps you get the most out of your experience.
Following a successful rehabilitation, there are measures you can take to prevent falling into the same position again.
- Make sure you have fully recovered. If something doesn’t feel quite right, don’t risk it.
- Settle in. If you are coming back from major knee surgery, a full 18 holes may not be the best idea. Take it step-by-step and ease your way back into the game.
- Maintain a healthy lifestyle. We dive more into preventing golf injuries here, but one measure you can take is keeping your body a well-oiled machine.
Rehabbing your injury is a partnership with your care team, in which both your goals are to regain your range of motion, strength, and balance. A physical therapist is your guide to rehabilitation, but without the right approach, you may not see the progress you need to get back on the green.
Set up a plan with your care provider and stick to it. After you have recovered, take it slow. Give yourself some time to get back in the rhythm of golf. The last thing you want is to end up right back where you started.