Preventing Common Golf Injuries

Tips From TOCA’s Orthopedic Experts 

With the Phoenix Management Waste Open in “full swing,” Valley of the Sun residents are certainly luck to enjoy this high-profile golf event right in our own backyard. And, we are fortunate to live in an area where we can get our golf game on year-round! So, preventing common golf injuries should be top-of-mind.

Even though golf is considered a low-impact sport, the repetitive movements of golf can increase the chance of chronic pain or serious injury to the lower back, wrist, shoulder, and elbow. Just ask TOCA orthopedic and sports medicine specialist Dr. Dean Cummings, who treats many golfers, including PGA Tour pros.

“Golf is an incredibly dynamic sport where there are a lot of moving patterns going on during the swing at one time,” says Dr. Cummings. “If there is one thing that’s off — in your shoulder, elbow, wrist or knee, for example — it can ruin the whole swing. When that happens, golfers try to compensate in some way. That can lead to injury down the line.”

TOCA Tips for Preventing Common Golf Injuries

The majority of golf injuries are due to poor mechanics and overuse. For this, reason, TOCA’s orthopedic and sports medicine experts recommend that golfers of all ages and abilities take the following measures in the hopes of preventing common golf injuries:

  • Keep Your Core Strong! Building core strength can help reduce the chance of injury AND improve your golf game.
  • Adequate Warm-Up. Never rush into a round of golf! Spend at least ten to fifteen minutes warming up in a combination “dynamic” and “static” workout (stretches plus movement patterns).
  • Stretch Between Holes. You have time between each hole. Use it wisely by stretching throughout play to stay loose and prevent injury.
  • Get a Grip! Gripping the club incorrectly or too tightly can cause hand and/or wrist pain and injury. Learning proper grip technique can keep you injury-free and enhance your game.
  • Remember to Bend. Bend your knees when picking up balls and heavy clubs to avoid unnecessary back pain.
  • Cool Down. The best time to stretch is just before you leave the course, when your muscles are still warm. Five to ten minutes of post-golf stretching helps increase circulation to joints and tissues and reduces overall stiffness and soreness.

Help ensure that golf remains your lifelong passion and pastime by following the above tips for preventing common golf injuries …  and contact TOCA today if you need help getting back into the swing of golf due to ongoing pain or injury: 602.277.6211.

Dr. Cummings and Vito Berlingeri talk Golf, injuries and recovery in the latest addition of the AZ Golf Insider!

Dr. Cummings and Vito Berlingeri talk Golf, injuries and recovery in the latest addition of the AZ Golf Insider. Check out the full artical by clicking here:…/…/45vcVtT1Y15VmxzM/html/index.html

“When I went into his office, Dr. Cummings greeted me like he had known me for 30 years”, said Berlingeri. “He told me with surgery and physical rehab, I would be back to hitting golf balls within seven weeks.”

That’s exactly what happened, with Berlingeri able to play 18 holes just three months after surgery.

Associated with TOCA since 2001, Dr. Cummings estimates that up to 40% of the patients he sees play golf, including numerous PGA Tour professionals. No matter the skill level, he encourages all golfers to take injury prevention measures, especially keeping your core strong.

“Your body only has so much time before wear and tear happens. I’ve recommended other golfer friends with injuries go to Dr. Cummings at TOCA ever since.” (said Vito Berlingeri)

Getting an accurate diagnosis and then a plan is critical to the process, Berlingeri and his physician (Dr. Dean Cummings) agreed.

“You have to spend at least 10-15 minutes warming up in what I call a combination dynamic and static workout. That’s doing some stretches plus some movement patterns. I also recommend stretching while you’re playing.”

“At TOCA we provide an excellent assessment while looking at the whole body and not just an individual body part,” Dr. Cummings said. “We also make sure that each patient is treated with conservative therapeutic management first, and then surgery if needed. I think we have doctors in our group who are phenomenally gifted, but the good thing is they know when to operate, which is very important.”

Dr. P. Dean Cummings is an Orthopedic Surgeon & Sports Medicine Physician and Surgeon at TOCA.

To learn more about Dr. Cummings and TOCA or to schedule an appointment visit: or call 602-277-6211!

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