Recently, I have been working with a golfer who came to me to work on nerve pain in his leg. After evaluating him we realized that his knee on the opposite side is severely arthritic and he is compensating for it with his movements. The pain was affecting his golf game as well as everyday life. All of this pain is likely a result of compensations that he was unaware of.
I recently came across a study that looked at predictors for injury with golfers. This study showed that the two best predictors for injury are club speed and asymmetries in range of motion at the hips. This study illustrates that when you are making compensations you are placing yourself at risk. Other studies have predicted injury based on basic ROM and stability screens.
Ideas to improve your golf and decrease injury risk:
1: Begin the season in shape. When you enter the main part of your season make sure that you are physically strong and have enough endurance to walk the course.
2: Incorporate a good warm-up. Warming up will not only improve your performance but it will decrease the likelihood of injury by keeping your muscles and tendons pliable and warm.
3: Do not push through the pain. If you are experiencing pain, your body is not recruiting muscles the way it should. Remember there is a difference between pain and discomfort. If you are experiencing pain, you shoulder consider discontinuing the activity.
4: Seek help. If your arthritis is limiting your ability to enjoy your life and/or do your job, consult a medical professional. From physical therapy to surgery there is a whole spectrum of procedures that may benefit you.
Golf can be a rewarding sport and for many people it is a great way to continue an active lifestyle into an advanced age. However, you may be putting yourself at risk of injury and your game is certainly suffering if you have flexibility or strength problems. Sometimes these problems are not readily apparent without an evaluation and a trained set of eyes focusing on quality of movements.
Also feel free to contact Siskiyou Physical Therapy if you have any questions or would like to schedule an appointment. We regularly help golfers this time of year improve their game and address musculoskeletal problems. You will find physical therapy to be both rewarding and pain relieving.
Jon Hill, DPT, Licensed Physical Therapist with Siskiyou Physical Therapy
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