Can playing golf cause chest pain?
Golf is a game that involves the exertion of the muscles in the upper torso. When there’s too much exertion of these muscles, the result is a sharp chest pain. It’s a very chill game that shouldn’t naturally cause chest pain. But then, over-exertion of the chest muscles can cause this chest pain.
How can this over-exertion come to be though?
- When you move your hands over your head sharply while making a swing, you over-exert your chest muscles.
Even after making this sharp and forceful swing, keeping your hands inclined that way for a minute too long may worsen the effect.
- Lifting the club or making a swing while your body is positioned wrongly is another issue. That is why it is recommended that you work with the right stance when making your swing.
You should also make sure your body is relaxed and balanced.
- Warming up before you proceed with the main game will do a lot in protecting your chest muscles from straining. That way, you get them ready for whatever move or swing you are going to make.
However, once the warm-up exercises move away from being soft-toned and easy to being very enervating, muscle strains occur.
- Muscle fatigue can also be another reason you might feel chest pain while playing this game. For people that golf regularly, there is an increased risk of having an acute or severe chest pain.
That is why you must always listen to your body. When you begin to receive signs that it is tired and in need of a break, you should immediately take a break from your golfing game.
Over-exerting your muscle will only lead to it getting torn or strained.
As a regular or professional golfer, you have to ensure that you feed on the essential minerals and nutrients so that your muscles can be in the rights state at all times.
Another thing about chest pain is that there is a higher risk of it happening in older individuals; the aged. The risk reduces as we move from middle-aged individuals to kids.
When the pain is severe, it’s mostly as a result of prolonged or repetitive straining of the muscles in the chest. You must ensure you see your doctor at this point.
Stages of chest pain
Check out the different categories of chest pain below;
The First Grade
This grade marks a very acute feel of pain. Here, less than five percent of the muscles in the chest are damaged.
The Second Grade
The pain grows a little sharper here, and it is a sign that more muscle fibers have been damaged. At this point, the individual may not be able to move the muscles in that region for a while.
A slight pain while breathing may also be noticed.
The Third Grade
The pain becomes fully pronounced here. It is a sign that the muscle has been torn fully. At this point, the person would require surgery to get back in shape.
Asides from difficulty in breathing, the person may experience pulmonary embolism—a condition where blood clots within the lung’s pulmonary artery. There could also be reduced blood flow to the heart.
Remedy for chest pain due to golf
For more acute cases of chest pain, here are some things that you can do to feel better; more like first-aid treatment.
- Take a break from golfing the moment you feel the pain. This break allows the injured muscle to heal before you go on to exert it again. A period of two to three days is enough for the muscle to heal.
If after this break, you still feel the pain, ensure that you contact your doctor at once.
- Apply ice packs to the affected sites for about twenty minutes. You can do this about three to four times daily. Cold packs work to constrict the blood vessels present around the injured muscle.
Once that happens, issues like inflammation of swelling can be prevented.
- Another remedy you can try out is sleeping in a recliner. That way, your chest is elevated even while you sleep.
Note that all of these remedies should only be tried out when the pain is mild. If after working with them, you still feel the chest pain, consult your doctor immediately.
You could also try working with analgesics in case of pain. Examples of suitable analgesics include Ibuprofen, Acetaminophen, etc.
Stages of a golf swing
Within a swing of the club, there are different phases that occur—the back swing, the down swing, and the impact swing. Let’s check out these phases one by one.
The Back Swing
This swing poses injury mostly to the muscles in the elbows, wrists, and shoulders. At this point, the entirety of the arms and shoulders move around the axial skeleton.
From there, the muscle at the bicep is fully stretched while the wrists are inclined or bent towards the thumb.
The Down Swing
Here, weight is being deflected form the right side of the body to the left side.
The muscles that are most affected by this swing include the pectoralis major (a muscle in the chest), the subscapularis (a muscle in the shoulder), and one of the largest muscles in the back; the latissimus dorsi.
When the down swing becomes too repetitive, issues like an elbow, wrist or rotator cuff injury can arise.
The Impact Swing
This is the phase where the head of the club strikes against the ball. Most of the injuries in a golf game are gotten during this phase.
The reason is because the left forearm makes an outward turn while the right forearm makes an inner turn. At that point, the weight is fully channeled to the left foot—a state of imbalance.
Signs of muscle strain
The affected individual begins to feel pain when one or two of the muscles in the chest get strained, stretched or torn.
There are different signs that will help you know when a muscle in the chest has been strained or torn, and they include the following;
- An acute or stabbing pain in the chest
- Swelling of the affected area
- Muscle spasms
- Inability to move to affected muscle
- Pain while breathing
- Bruising at the affected area
If the pain is very severe, you should immediately rush to the hospital for treatment. If acute, you should either reduce the force with which you swing the club.
You may also need to stop the game if you begin to experience symptoms like dizziness, irritation, fever, sleepiness, sweating, racing pulse, difficulty in breathing, etc.
Sometimes, a sharp pain in the chest muscles could also mean an impending heart attack.