A study suggests that practicing golf can lead to hip damage.

AUCHTERARDER, SCOTLAND — SEPTEMBER 22: Rory McIlroy of Europe practices on the range ahead of the 2014 Ryder Cup on the PGA Centenary course at the Gleneagles Hotel on September 22, 2014 in Auchterarder, Scotland. (Photo by Harry Engels/Getty Images)

A team from the University of Warwick put elite players into an MRI scanner, and found many had “egg-shaped hips”.

Whether it is purely golfing that causes the deformity is unclear, says the British Journal of Sports Medicine.

One theory suggests the golf swing causes a change to one hip, causing the ball joint in the hip to morph.

Dr Andrew Murray, specialist sports doctor for the European golf tour, said: “Overall, we know golf can provide considerable health benefits, with likely improved longevity, and better physical and mental health. But golf puts huge forces through the hips every time a player swings the club.”

Elite golfers are four times more likely to suffer from the issue, and are therefore more likely to experience pain in the hip area.

The condition, called cam rotation, reduces movement in the hip.

Co-researcher Dr Edward Dickenson said: “Our findings have brought up new questions to be answered.

“What remains to be established is whether professional golfers develop these shapes because of the way they are using their hips or whether players with these hip shapes are more likely to become professional.”

The condition is unique to profesisonal golfers, and is not found in non-golfers.

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