Is your swing suffering from body pain or limited range of motion?
Every day I see patients that question why their body hurts the way it does. Each one of them has their ideas or conspiracies as to WHY this is the case. Usually, it involves some sort of past injury like a herniated disc, they slept wrong three weeks ago, or just lost flexibility over the years. Often, their main complaint is that it limits their ability to golf, either with the frequency of play or ability level.
I typically ask the question, “what are you doing to make it better?” A classic response is some stretch combination they do before they play. As they begin to describe these stretches, I often find myself scratching my head, discreetly of course… It is apparent that there is a severe lack of education and awareness with the average golfer when it comes to how to prep your body to golf and how to avoid injuries.
To address and alleviate your aches and pains, you need to know what the root cause is. I said CAUSING the pain, not where you feel the pain. When golfers come to see me with lower back pain, rarely is it the case that the lower back causes the pain. A vast majority of the time, you feel the pain because you are compensating in that area. You compensate because you lack in another area of your body. Take the golfer with back pain; they will typically have a rotational limitation in the hips, mid-back, or even the shoulders that forces them to move in their lower back in a way that it is not meant to do. This will cause lower back pain. However, until you improve the hip, mid-back, or shoulder limitation, you will never cure the lower back pain.
It can become tough to know exactly what will make YOU better. This is why I do what I do. I assess in-depth my patient’s abilities from a movement perspective and can give them precisely what they need to improve. I think of it as a “sniper” effect. You could do ten different exercises or stretches, and maybe 2 of them will work (shotgun approach) or learn precisely what your body can and cannot do with the help of a professional. Knowing what is working and focusing on those areas will speed recovery, improve range of motion, and improve your game.
Below are three exercises you can do at home to address the most common limitations I see, mid-back mobility and hip mobility limitations. These exercises are safe to do and will start providing immediate benefits to most golfers. However, it will certainly not get you to reach your potential. If you are interested in improving your rotational power, flexibility, strength, and decreasing your pain, you need to get a detailed assessment and learn exactly what you need to improve.
To watch more videos, visit our YouTube. If you’re experiencing lower back pain or would like help with your swing, we offer free injury assessments at our valley-wide locations. Request an appointment today or give us a call at 480.289.5502.
Lower back pain is the most common golf-related injury. This may be something that occurs with each swing, some soreness following your round, or something that is limiting you from playing as much as you like. Typically, lower back pain gets worse without a correct plan to fix it. On average, a golfer with lower back pain may take a week or two off to rest and let the pain subside. While this may be a good temporary solution, the cause for the back pain is still likely present, making it probable that you will experience this again. But why is your back in so much pain?
Believe it or not, the lower back is not typically the cause of your pain, just the source of the pain. Our lower back can be thought of as “the good guy gone bad.” This area tends to get overworked because other parts of your body are not doing their job. For example, our bodies are designed to rotate more through the thoracic spine (mid back) and the hips as far as the golf swing is concerned. Therefore, if the mid back or hips are not rotating well, then the lower back will try to rotate more. This is a movement our back is not designed to perform and over time will cause injuries. Many golfers that suffer from lower back pain have limitations in the ability to rotate in the mid back and the hips. When treating this ailment, it’s best to assess the hips and mid-back first and treat that before the lower back itself. If you are suffering from lower back pain, here are a couple of exercises that you can do to improve the mobility of the mid back and hips.
T-Spine Rotation Open Book:
- Lay on right side, hips and knees bent 90 degrees. Rotate your left shoulder toward the ground as you reach back with your left arm. Your arm should follow your body. Do not extend your arm past your body. Make sure you do not let your knees come apart or off the ground.
- Stand close to a wall, toes straight ahead. Raise one knee up and across your body so that your pelvis rotates around the stationary leg. Try to turn your belt buck without allowing your chest and shoulders to rotate. Do 8-10 reps each side.
To watch more videos, visit our YouTube. If you’re experiencing lower back pain, or would like help with your swing, we offer free injury assessments at our valleywide locations. Request an appointment today or give us a call at 480.289.5502.