The sport of golf is one that involves a lot of joint movement, from swinging the club to following through and walking around the golf course. Sadly, many players who suffer from osteoarthritis see the disease setting in during their peak years of playing golf.
While 45 years was initially regarded as the earliest point when osteoarthritis symptoms start to appear, nowadays it comes even earlier. Does that mean that golf lovers have to quit playing once osteoarthritis kicks in?
Well, that is often what happens given the pain that arthritis can cause. However, if well managed, it is a disease that can allow one to continue enjoying regular golfing rounds. Here are steps to manage the disease to continue playing.
Get the Right Supportive Gear
When osteoarthritis comes knocking, it starts weakening your joints immediately. They often become stiff and may even swell. This means that you cannot have the same strong hit as before or you will need to strain to do so. Straining should never be an option as it will end up weakening you even further. Instead, you should focus on getting suitable gear to assist you. This may include:
- Joint Support Pads
You may need to wear supportive pads to ensure the movement of your joints is restricted. Thankfully, there are pads for pretty much every joint; knees, wrists, elbows etc. Even if a joint is not directly involved in golfing, you should support it because a good shot requires almost every part of the body. Some pads may feel uncomfortable at the beginning, but you’ll get used to them in a short while.
Mobility while on the golf course is vital. Get shoes that are comfortable and supportive too. These will prevent you from tiring out fast.
Your joints will react more sensitively to the weather, so you need to be more attentive to the prevailing conditions when picking what to wear.
Seek Medical Direction
Osteoarthritis is a condition you will have to live with, so you need to learn how to deal with it early enough. Inform your doctor that you intend to continue golfing so you can get advice as regards how often you can golf and how hard you should play in each session. Make checkups regular for evaluation purposes.
You can continue golfing for a long time after becoming osteoarthritic, but you first need to embrace the condition. Accept that you may not be able to play as hard as before or as your mates do. This way, you don’t put stress on yourself. It is better to golf moderately for a long time than to destroy everything in a short while by pushing your limits.
There is no reason why a person with osteoarthritis should not enjoy golf. The above tips will help any patient to continue playing without pain.