Tag Archives: golf

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.

SHOULDER INJURIES IN GOLF

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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).

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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.

ANATOMY OF A GOLF SWING

golf-swing

With today’s modern golf swing, there are numerous muscle groups and joints which need to be on the same page to best provide one with an effective, powerful stroke while minimizing the risk of injury. An often neglected part of the body with regards to many players’ swings is the hip joint and its surrounding structures.

Prevention

Placing focus on properly preparing the hip joint to maintain appropriate flexibility will best ensure that it can withstand the forces seen with one’s golf swing. Basic stretching exercises for the hamstrings, hip flexors, and rotators are essential. The average PGA golfer has roughly 45° of hip internal rotation. Lacking internal rotation leads to increased extension of a golfer’s pelvis which can result in low back pain and decreased drive. In addition, recent studies have shown that golfers with strong hip musculature have lower handicaps and longer driving distances compared to those with weak hip muscles. Combined with safe core strengthening, these steps will help one produce the maximum power with their swing while reducing the risk of back and other joint injuries.

Causes

Hip pain in golfers may be the result of minor strains, soft-tissue inflammation, such as bursitis, and even arthritis. The modern golf swing, with its requirement for large amounts of body rotation, can subject one’s body and hip joint to perhaps more than it can tolerate, rendering it vulnerable to injury. Labral tears, while perhaps more common in other sports, can also be a cause of hip pain in golfers. A stabilizing and supportive structure, the labrum can be damaged when subjected to increased pressure in a hip joint which lacks the necessary flexibility to withstand the forces seen with the modern golf swing. This may result in groin pain, clicking or locking sensations, discomfort when squatting to read a putt or pick up a ball, or even restricting one’s swing.

Treatment

The first steps to take in treating hip pain associated with golf involve the usual conservative measures, including rest, ice, and over the counter pain relievers and anti-inflammatory medications. If these fail to alleviate the discomfort, formal physical therapy with an experienced provider familiar with golf related injuries can often target the specific muscle imbalances and tightness which made one prone to such an issue in the first place. Injections, such as steroid and platelet-rich plasma (PRP), can also be useful for a variety of hip related pathologies. Lastly, when non-operative treatments fail, surgery can be considered. For labral tears, recent advances in hip arthroscopy have enabled surgeons to repair this important anatomic structure through minimally invasive techniques, and best preserve the hip joint for countless rounds of future golf.

Our commitment at Sarasota Orthopedic Associates is to get our patients back on their feet, back to work, back in the game, and back to life.  Trevor Born, MD is fellowship trained in Sports Medicine at SOA and will help you get back in the game. Same day appointments are available at any our three locations by calling 941.951.2663.