Golf is a popular sport set in lush green surroundings. It is seen as a quiet and peaceful pastime although those who play it competitively may not agree. Golf involves long distance walking on altering terrain, and the complex golf swinging motion can cause the development of multiple injuries around the body. Some of the typical foot injuries developed from Golf are listed below.
A combination of the long walking and golf swing can cause the development of heel pain. Commonly plantar fasciitis can develop under the heel but also problems to the achilles tendon at the back of the heel are also common. These can usually be treated with stretches, custom insoles (orthotic devices), shockwave therapy, and therapeutic injections depending on the severity of symptoms.
A Morton’s neuroma is a thickened nerve between the 3rd and 4th metatarsals. Walking long distances especially if your feet are hypermobile, and wearing high heels are often associated with these. During golf a neuroma could be encouraged to develop or worsen, from either the long walking or from the supinatory-to-pronatory motion of the feet during the golf swing. The mechanics of the feet can be managed with a custom insole often incorporating a dome pad to reduce friction on the nerve. Therapeutic injections can also be considered in these cases..
There are many tendons that travel into the foot. Given the range of motion that the foot moves during the golf swing, it is common to see different tendinopathies. Milder symptoms can often be managed with physiotherapy and custom insoles. Moderate symptoms sometimes benefit from an injection. If a tear or partial tear is developed, then surgery may need to be considered.
Golf involves long walking and complex mechanics to carry out a good swing. If you have any concerns or early mild symptoms, see a podiatrist or appropriate health specialist. Early intervention will likely prevent worsening of symptoms, and involve less invasive treatments.
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Thoughts and advice on foot health care from the Podogo team.