Golf is often considered a relatively sedate sport but actually golf can cause a lot of harm. You don’t have to play as frequently or at the level of Tiger Woods to sustain injuries, in fact it’s possible that as an amateur or semi professional you are even more likely to sustain injury.
Let’s think about the golf swing itself; you approach a ball having done little if any warm up. Standing side on to the ball, aligning your body in an unnatural position. Next you exert a huge amount of force through the body in what is know as a ballistic movement.
Ballistic movement can be defined as muscle contractions that exhibit maximum velocities and accelerations over a very short period of time. They exhibit high firing rates, high force production, and very brief contraction times. The golf swing is a very athletic movement where the majority of the muscles in your body are working, either through movement or stabilisation.
Whilst the distance golfers cover in a 18 hole round of golf can be up to 5 miles or more, this is not using the majority of the muscles you use in your swing.
What can you do to help yourself?
Prepare and think about what you are going to be doing. Yes walking is good exercise but you are not warming up the muscles and joints involved in the golf swing. Before each shot do a few gentle swings (Before you take your practice swings) give the muscles warning of what is about to come.
Do gentle stretching before and after playing. Remember you are out there for a long time. The body is constantly warming up and cooling down and then being put under extreme duress for short bursts.
Due to the physical and repetitive demands of the sport, golfers can sustain injuries to the following areas:
- Lower back
- Shoulder – generally your leading shoulder in the golf swing
- Knee – usually the leading knee
Click on any of the above body parts for additional information on particular issues, treatment and prevention of injury.
Golf Monthly magazine had some statistics that said that golf is more dangerous than rugby or boxing! So much so that you can actually buy specific golf injury insurance.
It is important that golfers have good flexibility, mobility, power, strength and endurance in order to perform an effective and proficient golf swing over a course of 18 to 36 holes.
Benefits of soft tissue therapy
Some of the benefits of soft tissue therapy for golfers include:
- Encouraging blood flow which helps repair micro tears in the muscles and micro fissures in bone = REPAIR!
- Identifying trigger points and reducing adhesions (knots) in the muscles that can improve the fluidity of the golf swing
- Better joint range of motion through fascial release allowing for more movement to be produced during the swing phases
- Improve flexibility through positional release
- Reduce anxiety and stress levels that can be common in the lead up and during tournaments
- Greater mental focus which is important skill to sustain during a round
Ideally golfers should have a maintenance treatment every four weeks, but when playing in tournaments that consist of 36 holes or more, they should be receiving treatment on a fortnightly basis. Equally injuries will need to be treated more frequently until the problem is solved – this can be surprisingly quickly and can improve recovery time by months!
Very deep tissue massage should be avoided 48 hours before a round to allow for any soreness from the treatment to subside as this could affect your performance. However your therapist will be able to advise you on techniques that are good for tournament preparations.
Is it for you?
If you are wondering if treatment is for you, I’m always happy to have an informal chat. The majority of my clients are not professional sports people (although some are) but everyday people like you and me that want to be able to keep moving and enjoying the things they do.
To book an appointment or to discuss your issues and needs call Jason on 07980 339 864
Osteoarthritis and other things
Here are some other useful links that might help your game