Now is the time of year when all us golf enthusiasts grab our clubs and head to the range or the course. If you're like me, I start hitting ball after ball at the range to get my swing in shape. But after doing this for a few days my back, legs, and arms get really sore.
Back pain is the number one injury that recreational golfers suffer from. If not treated properly, it can become chronic. Shoulders, knees and hips are also susceptible to injury.
There are a few things you can do to prevent these problems:
1. Use the right equipment - make sure all your equipment fits properly and is still in good condition.
2. Walk 20-30 min a day - start doing this before the season and try to continue this as you get started to get your body in shape and prevent injury.
3. Stretch before and after golfing - one of the best ways to warm up is stretching before you start hitting the ball. Also, to prevent soreness and stiffness after your round, make sure to go through stretching for those tight areas.
4. Use the driving range - practice your first swings with shorter clubs and even start with half swings to get your body loose and less force on your body to start. This is a good practice before any round at any point in the golf season.
Even movements such as bending over to put down and pick up your ball can be painful. There is a lot of force applied in particular areas of your body from swinging your clubs.
Strength and mobility in these areas is extremely important for a healthy and happy golf season
The Thoracic spine
Golf requires a lot of rotation. The thoracic spine provides a lot of this rotation. If it is stiff, the rotation (or rotational forces) end up going elsewhere. Often this means to the Lumbar spine (which is not designed well to do this) and can lead to injury.
Having good range of internal and external rotation in the hips is important to allow a full and efficient swing with correct loading and weight transference. Limitations in hip rotation have been shown to be linked with increased low back pain in golfers.
Golf is an asymmetrical sport requiring different
movements and actions from the lead and non-lead arms and legs. A right handed golfer will require greater range of external rotation of the right shoulder than the left and also more adduction of the left than the right during the swing. Having a good range of movement in both shoulders helps both technique and reducing excess forces to other areas of the body during the swing.
Physiotherapists are frequently involved with numerous clients experiencing stiffness, weakness, and/or pain in their spines, shoulders, elbows, knees and ankles. There are many exercises, manual techniques, and modalities that our therapists use to improve the physical health of these areas of concern.
If you would like to get some help for your injuries or just get set up with a good program to try to prevent golf injury and pain, call us to get started!