Golf & arthritis

Updated November 21, 2016

Arthritis interferes with your life and your activities because it makes your joints swell and become stiff. Dr. Nathan Wei recommends that golfers, particularly those who have arthritis, stretch before and after playing a round of golf, which should eliminate some of the arthritic pain that you may experience while playing golf and afterward.

Stretch and Strengthen

Hand and wrist strengthening exercises will help relieve the pain of arthritis as well as improve your golf game. Stretch your fingers before playing. This will help.

Treatment notes that hand arthritis can be treated by a hand specialist, who routinely deals with the effects of arthritis. Arthritis can plague your fingers, hands and wrists, which, if left untreated, may force you to stop playing golf.


One form of arthritis is osteoarthritis, which is the wear and tear kind of arthritis that strikes older people. This is a degenerative joint disease. The cartilage that covers the bone surfaces at the joints wears out and this causes pain. Osteoarthritis frequently develops in the middle joint of fingers and at the joint near your finger tip. It can also occur in the base of your thumb and at the point where your wrist and thumb come together. Your may notice tenderness and swelling in addition to stiffness and an inability to grip your golf club. If you have rheumatoid arthritis, it can disfigure your fingers and hands, making it impossible for you to grip items.

Get a Better Grip

When suffering from arthritis and playing golf you may find that your hands hurt terribly after a round. Consider purchasing one-piece moulded golf grips that will provide your hands with extra cushioning. These grips will absorb the shock that your hands experience when playing a round of golf, which your arthritic hands simply cannot tolerate. When a grip has a softer, easier to handle grip this results in less hand fatigue and better control of your shots. The rubber grip provides good shock absorption, which leads to a friendly or more ergonomically correct grip and is less likely to exacerbate your arthritis. Build up the grips on your clubs to eliminate the stress that is put on your fingers.


Taking anti-inflammatory medicine can relieve pain and reduce swelling. Some arthritis sufferers take prescription medications or receive cortisone injections to relieve the pain.


A physical therapist can provide you with valuable tips on how to move differently, particularly when you are using your hands--and that includes while golfing--that will relieve pressure and pain.

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About the Author

Cindi Pearce is a graduate of Ohio University, where she received her bachelor’s degree in journalism. She completed both the undergraduate and graduate courses offered by the Institute of Children’s Literature. Pearce has been writing professionally for over 30 years.