Swing Safely: How Physical Therapy Can Help Golfers Prevent and Overcome Injury

Spring has sprung, and it’s time to get out on the golf course! One major draw to golf is that it is considered a life-long sport. However, it’s a sport that can take a toll on the body. From the repetitive motion of the swing to the various torques placed on joints and muscles, golfers are susceptible to a range of injuries. At Foothills Physical Therapy we have two Physical Therapists (Beau Lockmer and Dave Anderson) with certifications from the Titleist Performance Institute (TPI) who perform golf specific assessments, analyze body and swing mechanics, and provide tailored exercise programs and physical therapy interventions, that play a crucial role in prevention and recovery. Here are the most common sites and injuries in golf: 



Elbow Injuries (Medial Epicondylitis and Lateral Epicondylitis): These painful conditions affect the inside, and the outside, of the elbow respectively. They often stem from overuse during the swing. At Foothills PT, we prescribe specific exercises that strengthen the forearm muscles, improve flexibility, and correct swing mechanics. Additionally, certain modalities such as dry needling and soft tissue mobilization, can alleviate pain and promote healing.  



Back Pain: The rotational forces of the golf swing can strain muscles and sprain joints in your back, which can then lead to more serious conditions like herniated discs. At Foothills PT we utilize manual therapy techniques to reduce pain and prescribe exercises to improve core and hip stabilization. We also educate golfers on proper body mechanics and warm up routines to improve performance.  



Shoulder Injuries: Rotator cuff tears or strains are common in teh amateur golfer due to the repeated overhead motion in the swing. We develop individualized programs to strengthen the rotator cuff and periscapular muscles, improve range of motion, and promote stability during dynamic activities. 



Wrist injuries: The wrists endure significant forces during the golf swing making them susceptible to strains, sprains, and even fractures. We focus on restoring wrist mobility, stability, and strength, through targeted exercises and manual therapy techniques. We can also recommend ergonomic modifications to the golfer’s grip or swing to reduce strain on the wrist.  



Knee and Ankle injuries: Due to the rotational forces imposed on the knee and ankle during the golf swing, injuries at these joints can occur. We use a variety of interventions to improve strength, stability, and flexibility. We also educate golfers on proper weight distribution, foot positioning, and swing sequencing, to alleviate stress on these joints.  



For professional golfers, the most common injuries are typically from overuse. For amateur golfers, injuries are often from improper swing mechanics. Unfortunately, injury incidence increases with chronological age, and it is estimated that more than 50% of golfers will develop some kind of chronic condition. That is why it is essential for golfers to prioritize injury prevention and seek treatment if injuries occur. Now is the time to come in and have one of our TPI certified Physical Therapists assess your injury, perform a TPI movement screen, and provide you with an individualized exercise program to get you playing pain free for years to come. 





Posted by isabellesiegrist at 4/15/2024 5:13:00 AM
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