Rory McIlroy’s Overuse Injury

On Jan 16, 2017, World’s 2nd highest ranked golfer Rory McIlroy decided to withdraw from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship after being diagnosed with stress fracture of the rib which is a common type of overuse injury. During his last tournament, BMW SA Open, Rory McIlroy started to noticed pain in his back which turned out to be from stress fracture of the rib.  He believes that this overuse injury is a cause by practicing too much to decide on new equipment after Nike stopped producing golf equipment.

Stress Fracture?

The rib stress fracture is common in sports that require repetitive movement of the upper extremities such as golf, tennis, baseball and rowing.  Stress fracture is one of the most common overuse injuries we see in sports. When there is repetitive stress to the body without adequate recovery, it creates a small crack in the affected bone.

During rehabilitation, which may take up to 12 weeks, there must be proper nutrition, plenty of rest, gradual return to play, and muscle strengthening to prevent another fracture. 


Overuse injuries

Athletes are often extremely motivated to train as much and hard as they can handle.However, this type of approach to training often results in injuries and set back in performance improvement. When athletes repeatedly go over their maximum recoverable volume of training, they are hurting nervous system, muscles, tendons, bursa, ligaments and bones. The maximum recoverable volume is subjected to individual differences depending on their size, gender, nutrition, sleep, genetic, and lifestyle.  Also, using predominantly one side of the body and neglecting the muscles on the other side can result in muscular imbalance and create overuse injuries.



  • Prefect forms and techniques of the sport
  • Use proper equipment
  • Proper nutrition and healthy weight management
  • Create balance in musculoskeletal system through qualified professionals
  • Keep training volume at or under the maximum recoverable volume
  • Adequate amount of rest and sleep
  • Education on early signs of overuse injuries