How to Play Golf with a Sore Left Knee? Prevention and Techniques.

Written By on March 14, 2021 — Medically Reviewed By Kristopher Ceniza

Written by on — Medically Reviewed By: Kristopher Cenzia

Scientific research established knee injury prevalence as 8% of all injuries among professional and amateur players. Interestingly, research has shown that a left knee injury is much more common than a right knee injury.

This is because the left knee, also known as the lead knee, is exposed to complex motions during a golf swing. Compressive loads on the left knee during a golf swing can be high, ranging from 100% to 440% of body weight. This is why the left knee is at risk for injury.

Related: Golf Knee Braces To Help Relieve Pain

Consequently, understanding how to strengthen your knee and your body, golf swing basics, and how to deal with a worsening of your sore knee is the perfect way to master golf!

I have Knee Pain. What Should I do?

In general, when having acute pain, it is preferred that you rest and don’t try to exhaust your knee. This may aggravate your pain and may have some adverse effects.

The perfect thing to do is to learn how to deal with it in the long term. It is a marathon, not a sprint. Knowing the right positions for the golf swing, the best exercises to do, and the right food to eat is your first step. This is what we will address in this article.

Golf Player wearing Blue Hat, Blue Shirt and orange shorts playing golf

Tips for Protecting Your Knee on the Golf Course

Many simple tricks can reduce the incidence of knee injuries and injuries in general during a golf course. They include:

  • Performing a 10-minute warm-up before you start
  • Doing trunk twists
  • Static stretching
  • Side bending
  • Weight lifting exercise
  • Staying hydrated

A recent research paper found that engaging older golfers (in their 60s and 70s) in an 8-week progressive training program that included improving flexibility, balance, and resistance exercise had a tremendous increase in their clubhead speed by 24% and lowered their risk of injury.

Moreover, another study showed that middle-aged golfers who exercised trunk rotations, side bending, and resisted wings 3 to 4 times per week improved their performance and decreased the risk of knee pain and injuries.

We can conclude from above that the scientific community insists on the importance of regular training to avoid injuries .. but what should you focus on during your training session?


Lack of flexibility among golfers is one reason they get injuries, especially in the hip and knee. Daily stretching for your hip and knee muscles can result in decreased incidence of knee pain.


Although golf is a game of technique, not strength, studies have shown that strength training can help prevent injuries and enhance performance.

This includes front squats, deadlifts, bench press, planks, and stature of liberty exercise can all enhance your performance, energize you, enhance your blood flow, and decrease the risk of knee joint injury.

Golf player doing swing mechanics

Swing mechanics

There is a massive difference between hitting the ball well and hitting it hard. Data have shown the leading cause of knee injuries is faulty swing mechanics. The following instructions can decrease the risk of knee injury:

Flex your knee during a backswing to absorb the stress on your knees during the swing.

Avoid tightening your back muscles and joints. Your body will automatically place more stress on your knees to generate more turn during a backswing.

Avoid tightening your hip muscles. Tightening your hip muscles will change the joint alignment at the knee.

Choose the right golf shoes. Using shoes that don’t provide enough support can put your foot in a pronated position that may rotate your knee. This may predispose your knee to injury.

Effective Knee Pain Treatments for Golfers

There are many ways to manage your pain. Some of them can be done during an acute exacerbation of your knee pain, while others are useful tricks that can help you decrease your knee pain in the long run.

Golf Player carrying golf bag with a set of golf clubs experiencing knee pain

How to manage knee pain acutely?

Rest is the mainstay for acute knee pain. The pain usually is a result of inflammation in your knee joint. Additional movements and stress on the joint can exacerbate your knee pain.

Pain killers can sometimes be helpful. They will manage your pain acutely, but they are not useful for long-term pain. Make sure to consult your physician before taking any medicines.

Hydration can help decrease pain and decrease inflammation.

A golfer sitting on a bench with his hands on his knee managing knee pain

How To Manage Knee Pain in The Long Run?

Exercise, as mentioned above, is the best way to manage your knee pain regardless of the cause. Whether it is due to excessive use or faulty movements during a game, exercise is a game-changer!

Rosehip (Rosa canina) has been used in traditional medicine in tea to decrease pain and inflammation. Research found that rosehip has anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidative properties that may help in knee pain.

A significant research study found that using rosehip powder preparation for symptomatic treatment of knee arthritis had positive effects!

Curcumin has been used in traditional Chinese medicine to decrease pain and inflammation. In research studies, scientists found that curcumin can reduce inflammatory mediators that can cause knee pain.

Again, clinical trials found that curcumin can decrease knee arthritis because of its potent anti-inflammatory effect.

Resveratrol has an anti-inflammatory effect in animal studies. However, no data shows that we can use it to manage knee pain in humans until now. Still, primary research has promising results!


Can you play golf with a bad knee?

It is not recommended that you play golf with a bad knee. Playing can exacerbate pain and inflammation. It would be best if you rest or do something that requires less effort, like walking. Find out if golf can be bad for your knees here.

Why does my left knee hurt after golf?

There are two reasons why left knee hurt after golf: faulty swing mechanics or pain due to overuse. Faulty swing mechanics can be managed by learning the swing mechanics appropriately. Pain due to overuse can be controlled by rest, food with anti-inflammatory effects, and proper exercise.

What should I do if my left knee hurts?

Rest can help decrease inflammation of your knee. Proper diet and exercise can help in the long run.

How can I run with a sore knee?

It is not recommended that you do vigorous exercise like running if you have a sore knee. You may try to walk, and you should stop if this worsens your pain.


Mich Torres (PT)
Mitch is a physical therapist, personal trainer, and nutrition coach. Fascinated with the knee joint, Mitch poured that passion into writing about knee pain and how to overcome it with movement. His goal is to teach you how to apply this knowledge into your daily life, so you can keep knee pain away for good.