Playing Golf with Arthritis: Managing Symptoms on the Course

Golf is a popular sport that people of all ages and skill levels enjoy. Golf, on the other hand, can be difficult for those who have arthritis. Arthritis is a condition that causes inflammation, pain, and stiffness in the joints, making movement and participation in physical activities such as golf difficult. Golf, however, can be a fun and fulfilling sport for those with arthritis if managed and prepared properly.

Arthritis and Golf: What You Need to Know

Arthritis is classified into two types: osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. The most common type is osteoarthritis, which is caused by joint wear and tear. Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease that causes joint inflammation. Both types of arthritis can make playing golf difficult, but there are ways to manage the symptoms while still enjoying the sport.

One of the most common issues that people with arthritis face when playing golf is joint pain and stiffness. This can make swinging the club and moving around the course difficult. Arthritis can also cause fatigue, making it difficult to play a full round of golf.

Another concern is the effect golf can have on the joints. The force used to hit the ball, as well as the repetitive motion of swinging the club, can put strain on the joints, exacerbating arthritis symptoms.

Managing Arthritis Symptoms on the Golf Course

There are several things you can do if you have arthritis and want to play golf to manage your symptoms and make the sport more comfortable:

  • Warm up properly: Before you begin your round of golf, warm up your muscles and joints. Stretching, walking, and swinging a club without hitting a ball can all help your body prepare for the game.
  • Use proper equipment: Make sure you have the appropriate equipment for your body type and level of arthritis. Grips that are too thin or too thick can put undue strain on the joints, so make sure your clubs fit comfortably in your hands.
  • Take breaks: If you begin to feel tired or in pain, take a break. Before continuing to play, take a seat, stretch, and rest.
  • Invest in a golf cart: Walking around the course can be difficult for people with arthritis. Using a golf cart can help reduce joint strain and make moving around the course easier.
  • Use pain relievers: OTC pain relievers and topical creams can help manage arthritis symptoms and reduce pain.
  • Adaptive golf equipment: For people with arthritis, there are several types of adaptive golf equipment available. Clubs with larger grips, lighter shafts, and other modifications can make golfing more comfortable.
  • Play with a partner: Playing with a partner can be beneficial for people suffering from arthritis. They can assist you with carrying your clubs, give you a break when needed, and offer support and encouragement.


Arthritis can make playing golf more difficult, but it does not have to prevent you from enjoying the game. Golf can still be a fun and fulfilling activity for people with arthritis if it is managed and prepared properly. If you have arthritis and want to play golf, consult with your doctor about the best ways to manage your symptoms while also making the sport more comfortable for your body. You can enjoy golf for many years to come if you take care of your joints and listen to your body.

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