Golfers: Tee Off Against Hip Pain (VIDEO)

Thousands of golf enthusiasts are watching the World Golf Championships-Cadillac Championship in Miami this week, paying close attention to the players’ drive and focus as they traverse the challenging 18-hole course.

While they tee off, walk the fairways and putt for birdies, the golfers also have to mind their fitness levels and any aches and pains. Like most professional athletes, remaining injury free is key to staying in the game and positioning themselves in contention to win.

A golf swing can have an explosive nature, placing a tremendous amount of stress on the body. The hip is particularly vulnerable to injury during golf, since the swing involves a lot of pivoting and twisting movements, says Luis A. Rodriguez, M.D., a primary care sports medicine physician with Miami Orthopedics & Sports Medicine Institute. The repeated pulling and extension of muscles and tissue can cause strains or tears, bursitis and even arthritis, he adds.

Because they hit between 200 and 500 balls a day, 85 percent of professional golfers experience a sports-related injury. Amateur golfers also often succumb to injury – 62 percent – in comparison to the pros.

“Hip pain is a common symptom we see in golfers,” Dr. Rodriguez said, while stationed at the Baptist Health First Aid trailer during the championship tournament at Trump National Doral. “Most often, hip pain or injury happens when the person is out of shape, has poor swing mechanics, doesn’t warm up or overuses the joint and the surrounding ligaments and cartilage.”

Dr. Rodriguez and the orthopedic surgeons at Miami Orthopedics & Sports Medicine Institute treat patients with minor hip pain, caused by overstrained muscles and tendons, to more acute pain and severe injuries and conditions, such as bursitis and arthritis. These advanced hip conditions, caused by overusing the joint, often result in chronic pain that can interfere with basic tasks, such as walking. Joint replacement is sometimes the required treatment. Professional golfers Jack Nicklaus and Peter Jacobsen have had hip replacements.

To stay on par and avoid yelling “Ouch!” after “Fore!” during your next time on the green, Dr. Rodriguez shares what avid and occasional golfers alike need to know about hip pain. Watch the video now!

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With internationally renowned centers of excellence, 12 hospitals, more than 27,000 employees, 4,000 physicians and 200 outpatient centers, urgent care facilities and physician practices spanning across Miami-Dade, Monroe, Broward and Palm Beach counties, Baptist Health is an anchor institution of the South Florida communities we serve.

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