Tag Archives: golf injury

DON’T LET BACK PAIN RUIN YOUR GOLF GAME

golf feet

While an estimated 75% of people will experience some form of back pain at some point in their life, that number is even higher among golfers. Pro golfers and weekend warriors are both subject to the pain. There are ways to avoid back pain, and, non-invasive treatments if it does happen to you.

Some of the more common causes of back pain in golfers are rotational stress from an improper swing, overextension, pivoting/twisting of the hips, and muscle spasms from overuse. Those with prior history of back injury or pain are at higher risk of re-injury. Deficits of hip range of motion as well as lumbar extension are also common in golfers with back pain. Research studies that have looked at differences seen in golfers with back pain versus pain-free golfers have shown statistically significant differences in techniques. Specifically what was observed is greater spine flexion when addressing the ball and less trunk rotation compared to pain free golfers who had twice as much trunk flexion velocity. That greater spine flexion versus trunk rotation increases risk of back injury.

There are simple solutions to avoid back pain in golfers:

  • Proper stretching and warm up prior to play
  • Strengthening back and shoulder muscles on days not in play
  • Knowledgeable coach/trainer to correct your swing
  • Correct fitting footwear
  • Cut back on number of days per week
  • Avoid playing a full round after a long hiatus from playing

At home remedies for reducing discomfort include icing, rest, or NSAIDS.

If your pain is not resolved after a few days, it may be time to see an Interventional Pain Management Physician for a non-surgical or minimally invasive solution. Some of the methods might include:

    • Injections. This may include injection of an anesthetic, a steroid, or both.
    • Radiofrequency ablation. This is used as an option to stop back pain that has become chronic and is no longer responding to injections.
    • SCS (spinal cord stimulation). Another option to stop chronic pain especially back pain that comes with severe pain in the legs.

At Sarasota Orthopedic Associates, we have three locations and offer same day appointments.  Ashot Kotcharian, MD is a PM&R physician with a specialty in  Interventional Spine & Sports Medicine. With proper attention and treatment for the discomfort, you can get back in the game with minimal down time. Fore!

BUILD YOUR GAME FROM THE GROUND UP

golf stance

A powerful, and effective golf swing starts with a stable foundation. From a solid foundation the entire swing can be leveraged and a low handicap status can be achieved. The important but often overlooked foundation, are pain free and well-functioning feet and ankles. While there is a lot of discussion about back, hip and knee injuries in golf, most golf instructors will tell you that the power of a swing is created “from the ground up”.

Injuries to the great toe

At the end of follow through, the great toe of the dominant foot experiences an increase in pressure. This can cause a jamming of the toe into the top of the shoebox. With repetition, the area under the toenail can become injured causing blood to form or the nail to lift from the nail bed. These types of injuries should not be taken lightly. Even though the toe is a small portion of the body, if not treated injuries to this area can cause significant pain, infection and loss of function. Wearing proper fitting shoes and adjustments in the golf swing to prevent the irritation of the nail is necessary to eliminate recurrence.

Ankle Instability

Stability is an important factor in performance in both accuracy and distance, and is also a contributor to the amount of power generated. The lower body needs to be the stable foundation for the upper body during the rotation required for the backswing and the trail foot is expected to remain relatively stable during this rotation. The lateral, or outside of the ankle is a common site of injury for golfers and other athletes alike. Repetitive strain will cause laxity of the lateral ankle ligaments and predispose that ankle to easier spraining. Sprains of the ligaments can lead to weakness and a lack of stability in the golf swing and while walking on the uneven terrain of a golf course.

Golfing is a highly coordinated sport that, by its nature, is associated with risk of repetitive motion injuries. Being intentional about maintaining good foot form and taking care of a stable foundation can keep golfers free of injury and enjoy years on the course.

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Dr Jemaar Graham is a Board Certified Foot and Ankle Podiatrist at Sarasota Orthopedic Associates treating all related problems related to the foot and ankle with both surgical and conservative modalities. He joins the mission of SOA to get his patients back on their feet, back to work, back in the game, and back to life.

GOLF – Relaxation or Frustration?

golf-swing

For many people, the game of golf is a conundrum … a game of frustration and/or one of relaxation. It takes commitment, practice, and patience to make the game enjoyable. Unfortunately, all that practice may lead to stress on parts of the body, particularly the shoulder. Even professionals may experience a golf injury of this type. Injury may come for any number of factors including poor swing, incorrect set up/follow through, overly robust swing, improper grip, and overuse.

These repetitive factors may contribute to a common shoulder injury of tendinitis, bursitis, or even a tear in the rotator cuff. Pain may not be felt immediately during play, but rather the night after or when lifting arms overhead. Often times, the discomfort is felt just below the shoulder in the upper arm.

Fortunately there are simple methods to prevent a shoulder injury. Since most injuries are from overuse and improper form, the first and foremost prevention is to rest between playing.

  • If you are experiencing discomfort from a daily round of golf, limit yourself to every other day allowing your shoulder time to recover.
  • Support your muscles with eccentric (lengthening or the “negative”) motions to build strength on your “off” days.
  • Proper warm ups and stretches will help decrease injuries.
  • Learn proper mechanics to decrease the swing force on your shoulder (the most powerful generator of the swing comes from the hips so when mechanics are good this will decrease stress on the shoulders).
  • Enlist the assistance of a professional to correct your mechanics. The bonus? An improved game!

Assuming you’ve done all you can to prevent an injury yet you do sustain a shoulder injury, what’s the best course of treatment?

  • Rest, rest, rest; it’s extremely important to allow the shoulder sufficient time to heal prior to getting back on the course. Do NOT play when you are in pain or you will exacerbate the shoulder trauma.
  • Icing on and off for a day will help with swelling and may provide relief.
  • Anti-inflammatories, or NSAIDs, may ease the discomfort. These should be used only for a limited time.
  • If your discomfort continues longer than a week and/or persists at night, it’s time to consult a physician.

When pain persists for an extended period of time, an orthopedic sports medicine physician will be able determine the cause and amount of damage. Clinical examination, X-rays and/or an MRI will provide a closer look and valuable data on the best course of treatment. We may prescribe physical therapy or a cortisone injection. If surgery is required, surgical advancements have progressed allowing us to utilize minimally invasive techniques such as arthroscopy.

Julie Gladden Barré, MD is a Fellowship Trained/Board Certified Orthopedic Surgeon with a specialty in Sports Medicine at Sarasota Orthopedic Associates. Our commitment is to get patients back on their feet, back to work, back in the game, and back to life. Like us on Facebook here. Follow us on Twitter here.

IS THERE SUCH A THING AS TOO MUCH GOLF?

golf-pain

Frequent rounds of golf can cause a number of painful conditions from chronic overuse of the muscles and tendons. Back pain resulting from improper form is one of the more common complaints in orthopedics. First and foremost, having a golf pro will help avoid injuries as well as improve your game. Despite how hard you try, at some point you may fall victim to a back injury just like the golf professionals. When injuries do occur there are non-surgical and minimally invasive treatments to alleviate discomfort.

Simply avoiding the exacerbating repetitive task may alleviate pain, however, giving up your golf game is not practical. NSAIDs and the RICE (rest, ice, compression, elevate) provide temporary relief but do not necessarily address the primary reason for discomfort.

The key to preventing a back injury is working with your golf pro to optimize the mechanics of your swing. Muscle stains can be caused by an over-powerful swing or an incorrect weight shift on the follow through, thus causing your lower back pain. When this happens and, if the condition is beyond the assistance of RICE and anti-inflammatories, there are non-surgical treatments we provide to get you back in the game.

Some of the many options are:

  • Radiofrequency Ablation, otherwise known as RFA, is a safe, effective means to treat pain from arthritic joints in the neck and low back. The procedure uses heat to disable only the sensory nerves that transmit pain impulses in the spine. Benefits of this therapy may last up to a year and sometimes longer.
  • Epidural injections are used to reduce inflammation and pain from nerve root compression in the neck and low back. In many cases this provides immediate relief and may provide relief lasting up to a year.
  • PRP, platelet rich plasma, is a conservative approach to natural healing. A small amount of blood is drawn from the patient’s arm and placed into a centrifuge to separate the layers of blood. The PRP layer is then injected into the localized area to be treated. The purpose is to merge this technology with the body’s natural ability to heal itself quickly.

Dr Justin Raye is a Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation physician with a specialty in Interventional Pain Medicine at Sarasota Orthopedic Associates. While his treatment focus on pain is vast, some of the more common conditions include back/neck pain, herniated discs, sciatica, spinal compression fractures, and sports injuries. Treatment therapies include image guided injections, kyphoplasty, spinal cord stimulation, radiofrequency ablation, and regenerative medicine (Platelet Rich Plasma and Stem Cell Therapy). Dr. Raye sees patients in all three SOA locations. When needed, patients are seen on a same or next day basis.  Visit our website to make an appointment or call 941-951-BONE.

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backpain

KNEE PAIN? Get Back In The Game

knee-pain-faded

To the casual observer the sport of golf may seem a relaxing, calm respite from daily routine, however nothing is farther from the truth. Today in the U.S. there are over 25 million golfers and 15-20% of them will experience some form of golf injury. Of those, 80% will be from overuse and improper form. Worse, 50% of golf injuries will become chronic.

Low back pain is cited as the #1 complaint from golfers; however knee pain takes its toll on golfers as a very common ailment. This is hardly a surprise when you realize the sport requires excessive rotation of the knee as well as disproportionate force during your swing. When simply walking you are distributing your body weight evenly. In golf, the principal hazard to the knee is on the downswing when the forward knee experiences 4 ½ times your body weight and the opposite knee 3 ½ times. For example, a right handed golfer of 180 pounds will place 810 pounds of weight onto their left knee from a powerful downswing. This process repeated over 18 holes places a heavy burden on the knees, particularly the left knee.

One of the more common knee injuries we see in golfers is a meniscus tear. The meniscus is a shock absorber, with one located on either side of the knee to help evenly distribute weight across the knee. When a meniscus is torn, you may have pain, swelling, or stiffness, and may find yourself suddenly off balance from your knee “giving out”. Golf activity may exacerbate a pre-existing tear.

So, how can you prevent or limit injury to continue enjoying your game? Here are some tips:

  • If you haven’t golfed for an extended period of time, don’t jump back into the game. Ease in slowly.
  • Perform appropriate warm ups with stretching, including calves, to diminish risk of injury.
  • To stabilize your knees, keep your lower back and hip muscles strengthened with proper and regular exercises; see your physical therapist or golf coach for tips.
  • Increase your overall flexibility.
  • Use a ball retriever instead of bending at the knees to pick up your ball.
  • Decrease the frequency of your games when you have knee discomfort. If you typically golf 3 or 4 times a week, reduce that to once or twice. Rest between games. Repeating the same activity every day will intensify your condition.
  • A knee brace during play may help lessen discomfort.
  • Ice your knees for 10-15 minutes after 18 holes.
  • If you’ve had knee surgery, it is critical to follow your physical therapy protocol and receive clearance from your physician.

Jeffrey Silverstein, MD is a Fellowship Trained and Board Certified Orthopedic Surgeon with a specialty in hip and knee joint reconstruction. At Sarasota Orthopedic Associates our commitment is to get our patients back on their feet, back to work, back in the game, and back to life.  Fore!

SHOULDER INJURIES IN GOLF

golfer-in-pain

Shoulder injuries are common in golfers. Stresses on the shoulder are different from other sports because each shoulder is in opposition when swinging the club. The forward shoulder stretches across the body with the trailing shoulder raised and rotated. This leads to different complications in each shoulder.

In addition, the rotator cuff muscles are placed under stress as they are a major force in providing power and control of the swing. The leading, non-dominant shoulder is most commonly injured. It is placed into an extreme position during the backswing causing impingement, or, pinching of the rotator cuff. This condition causes inflammation and rotator cuff tears. The placement may also put stress on the shoulder joint and cause tears of the labrum (a stabilizing structure in the shoulder).

golf-shoulder-pain-injury

Pain may be felt in the shoulder or upper arm at various phases of the golf swing, or following play, often when the arms are overhead or at night. Injuries to the shoulder may be sustained from a poor golf swing, a mis-hit, or from overuse. Golfers can develop tendinitis and tears in the rotator cuff from a combination of poor mechanics and the repetitive motion of the golf swing.

Prevention

While many golf injuries occur due to a combination of overuse and poor technique, a lack of conditioning and flexibility also contribute to injuries and pain. Tips:

  • Rest between playing to prevent overuse injury.
  • When in discomfort, decrease the amount of time you play.
  • Shorten your back swing and turn more through the hips & waist.
  • Refine your swing to decrease force on the shoulder joint; pro lessons will help.
  • Exercise when not on the course to improve flexibility.
  • Warm up with brief cardio and stretching to decrease injury.

Treatment

  • Shoulder pain should be treated initially with rest or decreased playing time.
  • It’s best to completely avoid playing until pain is resolved.
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs may be helpful over a brief timeframe.
  • Icing over 24-48 hours may support relief.
  • Range of motion exercises should improve flexibility.
  • If pain persists beyond 7-10 days, consult your physician.

A sports medicine physician can examine the shoulder and obtain x-rays or an MRI to determine the cause of injury. Most injuries are treated with rest, anti-inflammatories, and/or physical therapy. Bursitis and tendinitis may be treated with a cortisone injection. For pain that continues despite a thorough treatment program, surgery is an option to consider. Recent advances in arthroscopic surgery allow repair of most injuries through minimally invasive techniques, enabling quick return to your game and minimizing downtime.

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Steven Page, MD is an Orthopedic Surgeon with a specialty in Sports Medicine at Sarasota Orthopedic Associates. He is Fellowship Trained and Board Certified. Dr Page serves as a Team Physician for the Mustang football team at Lakewood Ranch High School. The commitment of Sarasota Orthopedic Associates is to get our patients back on their feet, back to work, back in the game, and back to life. For an appointment go to our website at www.SOA.md or call 941-951-2663.

UNLOCKING YOUR BODY’S FULL POTENTIAL FOR GOLF

golfing-on-golf-course

Golf is a sport appreciated by people of all ages and abilities. Everyone who plays would like to hit the ball farther and more precisely without low back or neck pain which increases the enjoyment of the game and the longevity of their playing career.

The key to unlocking the full potential in any participant’s golf career lies within that persons “drive” to get their body stronger and more mobile. Improved strength and mobility have the ability to create longevity in anyone’s career whether they are a professional athlete or working at a desk job. The primary area of concern for golfers is becoming stronger and more mobile at the hips, trunk, and thoracic spine. The thoracic spine is an area that is often overlooked in golf as it requires a significant amount of rotation to complete the golf swing. When we create strength and mobility throughout these specific areas, we protect our body from injury and create what every golfer needs, power. Power increases the force we generate when striking the golf ball and allows us to drive the ball farther.

Unfortunately, our bodies are habitual and their worst habit is finding ways to take the path of least resistance; they compensate for our shortcomings. Often times the source of low back and neck pain in golf comes from faulty swing mechanics due to immobility at the hips and thoracic spine. Simply put, the best golfers are able to rotate freely from the hips and thoracic spine, minimizing the risk for injury and pain. Golfers who are less mobile in these areas compensate during their swing, which results in excessive motion through their lumbar/cervical spine and hips and they experience an increased incidence of pain in these areas.

The good news is that improving the strength and mobility in these key areas of our body is much simpler than one might think. With the help and guidance of a Physical Therapist, or strength and conditioning specialist trained in human performance, one can achieve an improved, pain free golf swing. This will allow you to enjoy playing pain free golf for many years to come and might even help lower your handicap!

Sarasota Orthopedic Associates treats people of all ages at four convenient locations and offers same day appointments when needed. We are a comprehensive orthopedic facility including Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy, and Aquatic Therapy. Visit our website at www.SOA.md  for more information. Our commitment is to get our patients back on their feet, back to work, back in the game, and back to life.

Source: Austin Jensen, PTA, LMT, CSCS is part of the Physical Therapy team at Sarasota Orthopedic Associates who earned his BS degree in Exercise Science and Health Promotion from Florida Atlantic University in 2011, Physical Therapist Assistant degree from Keiser University, CSCS Certification from the National Strength and Conditioning Association and is also a Licensed Massage Therapist.