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 of the most common issues are:

Trunk 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 imbalance in the pelvis causes each side of the body to behave 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 your 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 won’t. 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 maintenance is the key to a long and healthy golf career. A few simple steps can reduce the feeling of pain and chronic problems down the road.

Warm up:

10 minutes of warming up will go a long way toward preventing injury and improving your range of motion for your early game. 20 minutes will go further! Include your hamstrings, hip flexors, and your side body when warming up. A full list of warm ups can be found here: