This blog is to offer a little more information on pain or injuries that Golfers can experience at some point in their lives. Massage therapy is offered to help the muscles, if there are any other pre-existing conditions such as fractures or slipped discs and other non-muscular related issues etc you will have to see your doctor or specialist. Also while massage therapy can prevent injury from taking place it isn’t suddenly going to make you a pro golf player, that will only happen with practice, practice and more practice!
One wouldn’t think that many muscular injuries are associated with playing Golf, but surprisingly there are a number! Golf is a very precise sport requiring a great deal of concentration, skill and technique – the professionals make it look so effortless and easy but there are actually a lot of muscles at work to make that perfect swing happen!
Remember when learning to play golf to take the time to learn correct technique and form, which can assist in reducing injuries. Due to the nature of golf a lot of compensation takes place and the muscles are put under a lot of strain. Stretching is also important, as in any sport, to help prevent injury by preparing the muscles for the ‘stress’ you’re about to put them through.
Golfing injuries that can occur:
· Lower back strain
· Fractured hook of hamate: related to hitting a large number of golf balls, or contacting the ground/mat repeatedly. This injury is more common in golf than in any other sport.
· Tendonitis in the Elbows (Golfer’s Elbow)
· Knee pain
· Rotator cuff pain
· Wrist injuries
· Hand and finger injuries
· Neck injuries
· Foot and ankle injuries
· Hip injuries
How can massage help you?
Each Golfer has their own style and their own goals but might be held back due to restriction of movement or pain preventing them from playing their best game. By incorporating massage therapy into their program we can help the Golfer to achieve or maintain those goals by reducing pain in the muscles, increasing mobility and thereby increasing overall sport performance. As with all repetitive strain injuries one needs to keep in mind that massage forms part of a maintenance program to help treat a problem as long as one is performing the same movement that caused the strain/injury in the first place. Please note that massage is only one aspect of self-care that you can include in your program, it is up to you to learn the correct form and technique – help your body to help you! To book a Remedial Sports Massage click on this link and remember to take a look at contra-indications (pre-existing conditions) before booking your session.
Remedial Sports massage utilises specific techniques such as Soft Tissue Release and Neuromuscular Technique to break down the scar tissue and adhesions that have formed in the muscles which could be causing pain and restriction of movement preventing the Golfer from achieving that once-perfect swing. Massage also releases tension in the muscles to prevent further strain caused through overuse from taking place. Follow this link to read more about Remedial Sports Massage.
The benefits of massage for Golfers:
· enhance performance in an activity;
· facilitate faster, more efficient recovery from an activity;
· reduce the risk of injury; and
· accelerate recovery from an injury.
· Increases circulation that assists in removing metabolic wastes that can accumulate in muscles due to overuse and the repetitive motion of the golf swing.
· Reduce muscle spasms, trigger points and adhesions that need to be addressed to help prevent injury and improve quality of movement.
· Improve range of motion and muscle flexibility resulting in increased power and performance.
· Decrease anxiety and stress levels.
· Improves mental focus.
Below is a little more information of how muscles are affected in each phase of the swing in golf:
Muscles which can be affected in the address are: tightness down the posterior chain of the hips and legs, as well as tightness in both psoai. Restriction in the gluteus maximus, hamstrings, adductor magnus, and to a lesser extent the gastrocnemius and soleus may prevent the golfer from bending effectively at the waist and maintaining a neutral spine.
· Limitation in trunk rotation and limitations in the shoulders. Trunk rotation can be restricted because of tightness in both the right and left quadratus lumborum, internal and external obliques, paraspinals, psoai and intercostals
· Limitation of external rotation of the right shoulder can be caused by tightness in the subscapularis, pectoralis major and minor, serratus anterior and intercostals
· Limitation of the left shoulder into internal rotation and/or horizontal adduction can be caused by restrictions of the infraspinatus, teres minor, rhomboids and deltoids
· Tightness or restriction in the left leg peroneals, tibials posterior and intrinsic foot muscles.
· The pelvis needs to shift, or kick, to the left, while quickly rotating from external rotation to internal rotation
· The gluteus medius, gluteus minimus, tensor fasciae latae and iliotibial band can restrict the shift of the pelvis to the left and reduce the amount of power the golfer can generate
· The left piriformis, deep external rotators, tensor fasciae latae, posterior gluteus medius and posterior gluteus minimus can restrict internal rotation of the left hip
· As with the downswing, left hip internal rotation, trunk rotation to the left and shoulder mobility remain extremely important.
· One additional movement to be aware of is the extension that occurs at the anterior hips, especially the left side, and spine at the very end of the follow-through.
· Be aware of tightness in the left tensor fasciae latae, anterior gluteus medius and gluteus minimus, as well as both the right and left abdominals, external obliques and psoai.
For more information on muscles affected please click on this link: https://bjsm.bmj.com/content/39/11/799