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.