Outpatient Rehabilitation

Golf & Tennis Injuries

Physical therapists Shelly Derby and Katie Burns

Southwest Florida is home to outdoor sports like golf and tennis year round, as a result, our physical and occupational therapists treat a variety of injuries. Our goal is to help you return to the sports you enjoy while providing strategies on how to prevent recurrent injury.

Many golf injuries are the result of overuse. The golf swing is a repetitive motion that can place significant stress on muscles, tendons, and joints. Common injuries include:


Low back pain: This injury may occur as a result of repetitive rotation and extension motions throughout the golf swing. Rotational stresses of the swing can place significant pressure on the spine and muscles. This injury may also occur due to poor swing mechanics.


Shoulder: Frequent and excessive play without adequate rest & recovery periods can lead to shoulder inflammation and pain. Sports that involve arm movement over the head and/or lifting the arm to the side may result in shoulder pain. One common diagnosis is impingement syndrome. Impingement occurs when the rotator cuff tendon becomes pinched between the bone on the top of the shoulder, (acromion), and the bone of the upper arm, (humerus). You may notice difficulty lifting your arm over your head. Completing a full swing can be painful. When left untreated, impingement syndrome may lead to more significant rotator cuff injuries.


Golfer’s Elbow: Medial epicondylitis is inflammation or micro-tearing of the tendons that connect on the inside of your elbow. A tendon is a tough cord of tissue that connects muscles to bones. This injury is caused by overusing the muscles in the forearm that allow you to grip, flex your wrist and rotate your forearm. This injury can occur from improper technique, poor swing mechanics, or general overuse of the wrist, hand, and arm.


Wrist Tendonitis: This is a common overuse injury that can be aggravated by poor swing mechanics during your golf game. Other contributing factors may be grounding the club, taking an excessive divot, poor club control, and improper grip or swing technique. Over practicing can also lead to injury.


Tennis Elbow: Lateral epicondylitis is a condition where the tendon fibers that attach the forearm extensor muscles to the outside of the elbow become inflamed. Some of the muscles of the forearm attach to the elbow and are the same muscles used to lift, grasp, and grip. Overuse of the arm or an injury to the muscle attachment may cause elbow, forearm, and wrist pain. For tennis players, causes include playing too long, using poor mechanics, grip size, and frame rigidity. However, individuals may develop this problem when involved in activities with frequent or forceful motion of the wrist and arm. Overuse injuries that keep the wrist in a sustained position also aggravate this condition. Interestingly, you don’t need to be a tennis player to develop this injury.

If pain persists, consult your physician, and ask if physical therapy may help. Our experienced physical therapists will work with you to improve strength, improve range of motion, and restore you to function while decreasing pain. Our goal is to help you stay in the game!


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