The local golf season has finally started. With the start of golf season comes the phone calls from golfers in pain from playing the game we all love. If you are like most of my golf clients, the pain you are dealing with now is the same pain you were experiencing last season. You didn’t do anything about it over the offseason because you weren’t playing golf and, surprise surprise, you didn’t have any pain. Now you are back to playing and, guess what, the problem is still there. Contrary to what most of the other people you are playing with will tell you, playing in pain is not normal. I’m here to help though with some useful tips for the most common golf injuries.
Back pain is by far the most common injury in golf. I’ve dealt with it myself at times. The most common area of back pain is trail side back pain (right low back pain in right handed golfers). Golfers get back pain when they play because of swing faults. Golfers have swing faults because of weakness in the core and tightness in the hips and thoracic spine (rib cage). There are a couple of swing faults that can lead to back pain as well. Reverse spine angle and hanging back can both lead to increased pressure on the back, and pain when you swing. Reverse spine angle is when your body is leaning towards the target at the top of the backswing. Hanging back is when your body leans away from the target at impact. Neither are great for your back (or your golf swing, really).
After the back, elbow pain is the second most common area of injury when it comes to the golf swing. Where do you think “golfer’s elbow” got its name from? When it comes to elbow injuries, the problem usually isn’t in the elbow. The symptoms are in the elbow, but the problem is somewhere else. Elbow pain with golf is usually caused by casting in the golf swing. “Casting” is when you release the head of the golf club before impact (like casting a fishing rod). The reason why golfers cast is because they don’t rotate their body enough through impact. That forces the player to release the club early to make contact with the ball. There are a number of reasons why the body stops rotating early. No matter what the cause is, if you want to fix your elbow pain, you need to fix your body rotation issue first.
So what is the best way to fix your pain and make sure that it doesn’t come back? Come and see me, of course! I always do a full evaluation of all of my golfers’ restrictions. As you can see in the elbow example, pain in one area may be caused by a problem in another area. We want to make sure we’re getting to the root of the problem. I also like to get the player on the K-vest system to see where their swing is deficient. Fix the body, then fix the swing. That means no more pain with your golf swing (which is actually normal).
Don’t hesitate to contact us and we can get you started on the road to recovery if you’re experiencing any of these issues. And in the future, we’d be happy to work with you before the injuries set in to work on preventative measures. Contact us at 401.667.0131, or visit our website!
- Ian at OrthoCore