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The 3 Biggest Mistakes That Cause Golf Shoulder Pain

The 3 Biggest Mistakes That Cause Golf Shoulder Pain


Golf is a sport that demands precision, skill, and finesse, but it’s not without its physical challenges. Among the common complaints is golf shoulder pain. The Golf Channel ranks shoulder problems as the fourth most common golfing injury in its top 10 list.

Whether you’re a seasoned pro or an amateur golfer, understanding the causes, recognizing potential injuries, and adopting preventive measures can significantly impact your golfing experience.

3 Biggest Mistakes That Cause Golf Shoulder Pain

Consistently ranked as one of the top common injuries among golfers, shoulder pain and injury have prompted numerous researchers to conduct studies. These investigations aim to establish correlations between shoulder injuries, the physical characteristics of golfers, and swing faults.

Mistake 1: Improper Swing Mechanics

One of the leading causes of golf shoulder pain is improper swing mechanics. A flawed swing places excessive stress on the shoulders, leading to muscle imbalances and potential injuries. Collaborating with a golf professional to fine-tune your swing technique can notably decrease the likelihood of experiencing shoulder-related problems.

Mistake 2: Lack Of Warm-Up And Stretching

Skipping warm-up exercises and neglecting stretching routines before a round of golf can set the stage for shoulder pain. Adequate warm-up increases muscle blood flow, making them more pliable and less prone to injury. Incorporating shoulder-specific stretches can target the muscles involved in the golf swing, promoting flexibility and preventing strain.

Mistake 3: Overuse And Inadequate Rest

Pushing yourself too hard on the golf course without allowing sufficient time for recovery is a common mistake. Overuse can lead to fatigue, muscle strain, and, ultimately, shoulder pain. Incorporating rest days into your golfing routine and paying attention to your body’s signals can help prevent overuse injuries.

What is the Most Common Shoulder Injury in Golf?

What Is The Basic First Aid For Shoulder Injury?

Golfer’s shoulder, a term commonly used to describe shoulder pain in golfers, often stems from overuse and strain. This condition typically involves inflammation in the tendons of the rotator cuff, causing discomfort and limiting range of motion. Comprehending the mechanics of the golf swing and its influence on the shoulders is crucial for managing and averting such injuries.”

What Are Signs Of Serious Shoulder Injury?

Identifying potential serious shoulder injuries requires attention to specific signs that go beyond typical discomfort. Here are five critical indicators that should prompt immediate medical attention:

Persistent Pain: Ongoing shoulder pain, especially at rest or during daily activities, may indicate a more serious underlying issue. Sleep disruption or interference with daily tasks suggests the need for professional evaluation.

Swelling: If you notice swelling around the shoulder joint with pain, seeking medical advice is crucial, especially to rule out conditions like shoulder impingement and ensure the well-being of rotator cuff muscles.

Limited Range of Motion: Stiffness, resistance, or a noticeable reduction in mobility warrants prompt medical attention, primarily to address potential issues related to poor techniques and external rotation

Audible Popping Sounds: Hearing popping or clicking sounds during shoulder motion accompanied by joint pain may indicate underlying issues with the shoulder joint, possibly involving connective tissue.

Weakness or Instability: These symptoms, including joint pain and hearing popping or clicking sounds during shoulder rotation, may indicate muscle or rotator cuff tears, dislocation, or nerve involvement, requiring immediate medical assessment.

What Is The Basic First Aid For Shoulder Injury?

What is the Most Common Shoulder Injury in Golf?

The shoulder was the most frequently injured joint, accounting for 24.8% of reported injuries. Shoulder injuries, even mild ones, require careful initial management to alleviate pain and promote healing. The R.I.C.E. method (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation) is a valuable first-aid approach, but understanding its application and the importance of subsequent professional consultation is essential.


After a shoulder injury, amateur golfers should minimize movement, avoid painful activities, and allow the shoulder to rest. This promotes the beginning of the healing process and prevents further damage, ensuring a quicker and more effective recovery.


Apply ice-wrapped packs to the injured shoulder for 15-20 minutes every 1-2 hours in the initial 48 hours post-golf injury to reduce inflammation and pain. Avoid direct skin contact to prevent ice burns.


Apply a snug compression bandage to support and reduce swelling in the injured shoulder, a common practice for addressing golf-related injuries. Be cautious about blood circulation, and remove the bandage if there’s increased pain or numbness. This helps maintain optimal circulation and ensures proper management of golf-related shoulder issues.


To address injuries in golf, specifically reducing swelling in the injured shoulder, elevate it above heart level using pillows or cushions. This simple measure promotes fluid drainage and alleviates pressure on the injured tissues, aiding in effectively managing golf-related shoulder issues.

While the R.I.C.E. method offers valuable initial relief for mild shoulder injuries, it’s imperative to emphasize the following:

Consult with a Healthcare Professional

Seeking professional medical advice is crucial for a thorough diagnosis and tailored golf shoulder pain treatment, ensuring a comprehensive understanding of the injury and appropriate interventions.

Follow professional advice for recovery, incorporating treatments, exercises, and activity adjustments to protect the injured shoulder.

Preventing Golf Shoulder Pain

Preventing golf shoulder pain involves a holistic approach, including:

  • Proper Warm-Up: Prioritize dynamic warm-up exercises, especially those focusing on shoulder mobility, to prevent a sore shoulder and acute injury.
  • Correct Swing Mechanics: Seek guidance from a golf professional to ensure your swing mechanics are optimal and maintain proper form, minimizing unnecessary stress on your shoulders.
  • Regular Conditioning: Incorporate strength training and flexibility exercises into your fitness routine to build a resilient shoulder complex, ensuring proper technique.
  • Listen to Your Body: Pay attention to any signs of discomfort or fatigue during your golf activities, and allow adequate time for rest and recovery. Seeking guidance from a physical therapist can provide personalized advice on managing these signs, ensuring a more sustainable and enjoyable golfing experience.

Physical Therapy Treatment for Golf Shoulder Pain

Physical Therapy Treatment for Golf Shoulder Pain

Explore the comparison between sports medicine and physical therapy for golf-related shoulder issues. Discover the effectiveness of golf physical therapy, featuring tailored exercises for strength and flexibility.

For persistent pain, seek professional advice. Explore expert golf tips for beginner and advanced players at Driven Golf Performance & Sports Physical Therapy to elevate your game and maintain shoulder health.


Golf shoulder pain, which impacts enthusiasts at all levels, is preventable. By understanding the causes, addressing mistakes, and prioritizing shoulder health through warm-up, technique, and fitness, enthusiasts can enhance their golf game experience. This approach specifically targets the well-being of shoulder muscles, promoting a more enjoyable and sustainable time on the golf course.


Q1: Can Golf Shoulder Pain Lead to Serious Injuries?

A1: Yes, persistent golfers’ shoulder pain, if left untreated, can lead to severe injuries. Overuse and strain may result in conditions like rotator cuff injuries or tendonitis. Recognizing signs of severity, such as persistent pain, swelling, or limited range of motion, and seeking timely medical advice can prevent the progression to more severe injuries.

Q2: How Soon After Experiencing Golf Shoulder Pain Should I Seek Treatment?

A2: It’s advisable to seek treatment as soon as possible after experiencing shoulder pain from golf. Early intervention allows for a quicker and more effective recovery. Postponing treatment can result in the exacerbation of symptoms, potentially leading to more intricate issues that may necessitate an extended rehabilitation period.

Q3: Can Golfers of All Ages Experience Shoulder Pain?

Yes, golfers of all ages can experience shoulder pain. While older golfers may be more susceptible to age-related conditions, such as arthritis, younger players can also suffer from overuse injuries or poor swing mechanics. Regardless of age, adopting preventive measures, proper warm-up, and seeking timely treatment are essential for shoulder health in golfers.

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Dr. Joe Terrill

Driven Golf Performance & Sports Physical Therapy

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