Spring has arrived and with more warm days, many golfers are getting the itch to get the clubs out and head to the range or course. Golfing is a nice way to get away from the stresses of life, although physical issues can arise due to the repetitive nature and forces placed on the body with the golf swing. The most common injuries for golfers involve the lower back. There have been many high profile professional golfers who have dealt with lower back pain during their career and have even had their careers cut short.
Living in this area we have many beautiful courses with different challenges associated with each. We also get the benefit of built in time off during the colder months. This time off can be beneficial for those dealing with nagging physical ailments that can plague golfers. These extended breaks without specific training or rehab if necessary can also lead to loss of flexibility, mobility, and strength required for the swing. As we age we also lose the flexibility and mobility in our spine and other areas that can affect the golf swing.
Although lower back pain is common in golfers and the general population, pain with and limiting activity is something that should be assessed by a medical professional. Physical therapists are specifically trained to assess your functional movement and determine specific mobility, strength and stability needs that may be contributing to your symptoms.
So, what should you do if you begin to have pain associated with your golf game? Many times, people are able to receive an evaluation from a therapist without a physician’s referral (certain insurers such as Medicare do require a referral). Your physical therapist will be able to determine if further medical screening by a physician is necessary. We communicate and work with your doctors regarding your plan of care.
Our physical therapists assess dysfunction with how you move by assessing your functional movement and then determine issues that may be contributing to your symptoms. For golfers, an assessment of your swing is performed to determine what may be causing pain or dysfunction.
As with any injury, whether overuse or due to a specific event, activity modifications will be suggested if deemed necessary for healing to occur. Although this may affect your desired activity for a short time, your therapist will work with you on specific modifications and exercises for a more active recovery and to stimulate a proper healing process to quickly return you to your desired activity. This will help you to return to golfing without limitations and decreased risk of further exacerbation of symptoms associated with the injury. A home program will be given to you to address your specific limitations which contributed to your injury or may be remaining due to injury.
Golfing can be a great way to enjoy the outdoors. Whether you are a competitive golfer or just play for fun, pain can hold you back. At the onset of symptoms an evaluation and treatment plan should be implemented to ensure proper healing and reduction of the duration of symptoms. If there is something that is holding you back from performing at your desired level, set up an evaluation at Move Better with myself or one our board certified orthopedic specialists. We will help to get you back to performing at your peak!
Feel free to email me with any questions about if physical therapy is right for you – firstname.lastname@example.org
Alan Barb, DPT, OCS