Golf is a game people of any age or gender can play! It is an invigorating, highly enjoyable sport that can sometimes have serious physical repercussions on your body because of the “for any size, shape, or age” nature. If you don’t know how to properly move your body during play, you may experience discomfort or even injury. There are many areas we as physical therapists can help you with! After all, we are all about moving properly to keep you injury-free so you can continue to do the things you love…like golf without pain!
Getting started with a golf-specific Physical Therapy Treatment Plan
We begin with a detailed assessment of your body, medical history, and your swing to determine exactly how to improve your game based on your unique needs and goals. From there, we develop your individualized treatment plan. Your therapist will help restore and maintain golf-specific mobility with manual therapy, soft tissue massage, and flexibility techniques. Not only will you get hands-on, manual treatment from your therapist every visit, but you’ll also get exercises and stretches that work on your “hot buttons”, which will not only improve your game but also get you feeling better. Some of these areas are further explained below, but some of your areas could be flexibility, balance, stamina, strength, mobility or addressing a previous injury…it just depends on you!
Tightness and Pain
Tightness is often felt as pain and can be felt in your muscle or in your joint (what we call mobility). There are three common areas of tightness or pain that restrict the golf swing; those include the hips, spine, and shoulders.
One of the most important areas to focus on to improve your golf game is the hip. The hip joint connects the upper leg to the pelvis and is where most of the power from the golf swing is produced. This is a common area, especially in middle-aged men, where tightness develops from long periods of sitting.
The spine is where the power from the legs is magnified with your abdominal and core muscles and then transmitted to your shoulders. The most important region of the spine is the thoracic spine which extends from the base of the neck down to the end of the rib cage. If this area is stiff, the force created in the hips will be lost and place extra stress on your shoulders.
The shoulders are an extension of the golf club which pivots around the rib cage and thoracic spine with a long arc of rotation. In an efficient movement, the force should be created in the hips, transmitted up the trunk via spine and core muscles, and then out the shoulders with a long arc increasing torque until the club hits the ball. Any limitation in flexibility or strength in these regions can lead to decreased distance and accuracy.
Back Pain & Posture
Is your handicap slowly creeping up? Our bodies are impacted by our posture and daily activities (past and present). This may be why you see your handicap creeping up. As we age, our lifestyle can become cumulative and start to limit your swing. Because we tend to sit at work, home, and constant driving, back pain is increasingly becoming a common condition we treat.