Common Dad Injuries


In recognition of Father’s Day, this month we’ll focus on the dads out there who have become injured far too often toting golf clubs on the course, or even the little ones around the house.

Did you know that the average golf bag can weigh anywhere between 30 and 50 pounds? All that weight coupled with about 40 rounds of golf a year and many practice swings on top of that, it’s not surprising that the rate of injuries in golf are on the rise. While injuries are somewhat expected when you play a sport, they aren’t so much when you’re just doing your daddy duty. Below we are going to look at the three most common injuries associated with golf and how just being a dad can put you at risk.

The most common injury or complaint among both golfers and dads alike is lower back pain.

Low back problems can occur in golf with repetitive rotation and extension of the low back- and don’t forget that heavy bag. Similarly, repetitive lifting, rotation and extension are the number one cause of back pain when dealing with a child.  Transitioning even a small baby in and out of a crib, car seat, or bathtub can stress the discs and put the spine at risk for severe injury. It’s important to utilize the legs and squat as much as possible, and whatever you do, never bend, lift and twist. Click the images below to reveal the summary and description of each activity.

  • Combined hip flexor stretch
    Quad Stretch
  • Piriformis stretch
    Piriformis Stretch
  • Supine hamstring stretch
    Hamstring stretch in doorway

The second most commonly injured area is the elbow.

Tendonitis can occur in both the inside and the outside of the elbow as a result of repetitive stress with poor swing mechanics. Surprisingly, elbow pain is also a common concern to dads due to the increased pressure on your joint and muscles while holding a little one. Any dad out there will know this static isometric contraction of the forearm and bicep can add up to multiple hours in a day.  Be sure to always keep the biceps and triceps stretched after holding an infant. These are easy to do, and often times will be enough to keep the elbow loose and pain free.

  • Triceps stretch: behind the head
    Tricep Stretch
  • Biceps brachii stretch
    Biceps Stretch

The shoulder is the last main area of concern for golfers and dads alike.

The subscapularis, (one muscle of the rotator cuff), the Pecs and the Lats are the specific muscles in the shoulder that are most active during the swing. Similarly, these are the muscles most active when you hold a child in one or both arms. All three of these muscles cause forward and inward rotation of the shoulder and arm, which not only causes bad posture, but can lead to poor swing mechanics, neck pain, and rotator cuff issues. Keeping the pecs stretched will help keep things in line. Being one of the largest and strongest muscle in the upper body, often times they are the culprit for any pain and dysfunction above the waist.

  • Anterior shoulder and chest stretch: standing
    Shoulder and Chest stretch

Improve your game on the course and at home with these easy to follow strengthening exercises:

  • Scapular setting: wall angels
    Shoulder wall angels
  • Scapular stability: prone middle fibers trapezius
    Middle Trap Strengthening
  • Spinal stability: 4-point kneel with extremities
    Four point kneeling Bird Dog exercise
  • Posterior sling: pulley
    1 arm row with pulley

Try them out a few times a week. They’ll help keep you strong, limber and ready for anything life throws your way- whether it’s a quick game of golf or another child.


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About the Author

Dr. Tommer Arbuckle received his doctorate from Palmer College of Chiropractic West in San Jose, CA, and continued his post-graduate education to become a Certified Chiropractic Sports Physician. Dr. Arbuckle strives to maintain integrity, passion, and commitment with each patient he works with, allowing them to achieve their goals of optimal performance; he has committed himself to maintain a standard of care that utilizes the most up-to-date and effective techniques.