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Physiotherapy For Golf

With daylights savings in to full swing now, it's time to start thinking about those longer mornings you could be spending on the golf course!  But can your body keep up with your love of golf?

There are some common areas of pain and injury that we see at Total Physiotherapy following an increase in time on the golf course. The most common being lower back pain but also neck, shoulder, wrist and knee issues. These injuries or pains can usually be related to common characteristics either in the golf swing itself or in the underlying structures in our bodies that are required to move or stabilise during the golf swing.

Golf posture:

The first and often the most common of these issues is your posture during golf. Your address posture is the first and one of the most important factors for allowing a smooth and efficient golf swing. Your ability to maintain this posture throughout the swing is where your consistency and accuracy will come from. Your inability to maintain posture will lead to lower back pain, mis-hits and inconsistent ball striking.

There are a couple of common errors when setting up at address. There is S-posture and C-posture.

S-posture is where there is too much arch or sway in your lower back. This can be caused from tightness in your hip flexors and lower back muscles and weakness in your core and glute muscles. If you are swinging in the S-posture it will put increased load through the joints in your lower back and can lead to pain or even an acute injury.

C-posture is where the shoulders and thoracic spine are slumped forward and there is an increased curve in the mid and upper parts of your back. This posture can simply be a set up problem but can also be the result of tight muscles through the chest and weak muscles through the shoulders and back. This posture will dramatically limit your ability to rotate though the spine and therefore lead to compensations through other areas and possible injuries to lower back, shoulders and wrists.

Loss of posture:

Once you have found the correct posture the next goal of any golf swing is to maintain that posture throughout the whole action. A loss of posture is any change from the body’s original set up angles during the swing. This can affect your feel, timing and balance. Once you lose your posture it will lead to mis-hits such as a block out to the right, a snap hook to the left, also thinning and hitting it fat.

Written by physiotherapist Andrew Sherborne, an avid golf enthusiast and player.

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