Disc golf can be a fun way to spend the afternoon with your buddies, flicking a small disc at suspended holes like a golfer putting for a birdie. It appears to be a relatively harmless sport, but similar to other seemingly benign past-times, the possibility for injury does exist.
One recent incident on a Manhattan Beach caused a woman to suffer the loss of 95 percent of the sight in her left eye when she was hit in the face by the frisbee-like disc that players toss at the target. Incidents like those are thankfully rare, as the most common types of disc golf injuries usually involve the person throwing the disc.
Depending on the type of method you use to throw the disc while playing disc golf, you expose yourself to a greater risk of injury, in particular to your wrist and shoulder. When using a sidearm style of throw, the amount of pressure that you place on the joints in your wrist and elbow increases. The follow through for this sort of style can also cause additional stress, as the movement of the wrist, elbow and shoulder are restricted.
When throwing with maximum force using an orthodox-style, backhand toss, you can disperse the energy of the throw by spinning out instead of forcing your arm to come to an abrupt stop. The amount of arm damage that occurs is reduced significantly, reducing the odds of an injury due to repetitive stress.
Disc Golf Injuries
The majority of the injuries for disc golf aficionados happen when throwing. Shoulders become sore due to rotator cuff injuries, wrists become inflamed and swollen and elbow joints grind down into painful medical conditions that make it difficult to bend or move the arm.
Since disc golfers go to extreme lengths to get the maximum distance throw for each and every toss, those who slip or catch their ankle on the turf end up spraining their ankles or twisting their knees. The amount of torque generated by the body can cause the back to twist into uncomfortable positions, which can cause a sore back or damage to the spine, especially if your stomach muscles are weak.
Complicating the situation is the fact that disc golf players, similar to regular golf players, often enjoy an adult beverage while enjoying a nice day on the course, leading to a higher chance of injury through improper form and other accidents.
Take all Injuries Seriously
We would all like to see ourselves as invincible, but our bodies do break down, especially when we perform repetitive motions on a frequent basis.