By Dr. Levi Harrison
Bowling as a sport has not only a rich history and culture, but is also enjoyed by millions of people globally. Bowling’s accessibility, artful marksmanship and its unique ability to bring people together is truly amazing.
Bowling itself is mainly an anaerobic activity but it does burn calories and allows for the strengthening of major muscle groups, tendons and ligaments.
Like any other sport, there are several common injuries that are associated with bowling. These injuries can occur from the repetitive sequences of the game, which can involve not only lifting a potentially heavy ball with your fingers, but also repeatedly releasing the ball in an athletic manner.
Ultimately, this sport engages your hands, wrist, elbow, arms, back, neck, knees and legs. As such, a large majority of your body is physically engaged during bowling!
As result, I would like to provide you with the following tips for your next bowling session:
- Stretch and warm-up at least 10-15 minutes before you begin bowling.
- Include your legs, neck, fingers and elbows in all your stretches.
- Be sure to have dry, clean hands before using your bowling ball.
- Be sure to clean the finger holes of your ball before, during and after bowling.
- Be sure to have clean, dry and well-maintained bowling shoes, which can assist in avoiding any slips or falls.
Regarding the aforementioned stretches, please reference the videos listed below, which will provide you with specific stretches you can do to prevent hand, wrist, elbow and other general injuries! These basic tips are always shared with my patients, as well as, the professional athletes who bowl that present to my office for care.
It is important to do these exercises and stretches as a part of your daily training program if you bowl consistently, competitively or just on weekends.
The most common injuries that I see in my practice with bowlers include the following:
- Wrist tendonitis
- Elbow tendonitis
- Back Spasms/ Pain
- Knee pain
- Achilles Tendonitis
- Ankle Pain
- Neck Pain
- Shoulder Pain/ Bursitis
- Rotator Cuff Tendonitis
Many individuals are surprised at how debilitating injuries can be from bowling. I often have to remind my patients that bowling is a very competitive sport that engages a significant amount of core strength during play and that stretching is essential to help avoid injury.
I sincerely hope that this article helps! If you have any more specific questions about how to prevent injuries during bowling, feel free to send a message on Facebook. I look forward to hearing from you all!