Golf, rotation, pain and solutions.
This time of year we see tons of rabid golfers. They started this spring and are getting every game then can in while the getting is good. Golf is a wonderful sport, but the movement of a powerful rotating swing can wreak havoc on low backs and knees.
There are several contributing factors to pain caused from a single sided power rotation like the one found in golf. Some most common issues are:
Truck rotation: Trunk rotation causes one side of of the core to become stronger, and dominate over the other side. The product is a locked (but not permanent) rotation of the pelvis. An imbalanced in the pelvis causes each side of the body to behave a differently. Like wringing out a wash cloth, this rotation compresses the muscles and bones of the low back and femus/ pelvis joint.
Tight hips: The family of muscles that make up you backside including the gluteus maximus, gluteus minimus and gluteus medious get very tight with repeated rotation to one side. Right handed golfers often get tight on the right side.
Femur rotation/ Knee pain: If your body does not have the flexibility to move through a golf stroke, you may find yourself moving where your body will move and getting tighter where it wont. The knee is a place that takes a lot of heat because it is designed to track straight forward and straight back while walking. A golf swing requires a rotation at the knees that can put a lot of strain at the joint and inflame even minor arthritis.
What does this mean to the golfer? Be aware! Body maintainance is the key to a long and healthy golf career. A few simple steps an reduce the rink of pain and chronic problems down the road.
10 minutes of warming up will go along way toward preventing injury and improving your range of motion for your early game. 20 minutes will go further! Here is a full list of warm ups Include your hamstings, hip flexors, and your side body. A full list of warm ups can be found here: http://www.pgaprofessional.com/golf_tips_warmup_print.html
Listen to your body at the end of the game. Include a counter rotation with your knees across your mid-line in the opposite direction of your swing. Take your time here and let each cool down exercise last about one minute
It is critical to keep your body stronger than what your routinely ask it to do. Legs, trunk and shoulders are critical areas to maintain strength. If you haven’t already find a good personal trainer to get you started on the right track.
You’ve heard of NFL line backers taking ballet class for agility and grace. There really is something to fluid coordinated movement that keeps your body happy and healthy. Dance classes are fun and a wonderful way to keep moving.
Gyro is an innovative system of movement and strength that is almost perfectly matched to the needs of a golfer. The folks at Gyrotronic Albany will design and guide you through a playground of movements on their machines. You will feel light and capable after a Gyrotronic session.
Massage and Bodywork:
For the places you can’t stretch out, chronic pain, or a short term pain that feels like its going to last, massage and bodywork are a great choice. Bodywork is about improving the function of the body through soft tissue manipulation. A by product of massage and bodywork is that it’s relaxing and feels good. The right therapist can significantly improve your range of movement, loosen tight muscles and flush out toxins built up from chronic tightness. On another level, taking the time to care for your body can be mentally rewarding as well. Meditation and relaxation are easily found through the physical and a good massage can clear your mind and your body.