Bringing Golf Injury Prevention To The Fore (P3)
Examples of injury treatment and rehabilitation exercises for the injured golfer
Soft tissue release
Release tight global mobilising muscles (hamstrings, tensor fascia latae and iliotibial band).
Strengthening the forearm and hand muscles have also been shown to be beneficial in reducing elbow injuries.
Hold a golf club half way down the shaft. Medially rotate the elbow so the forearm is parallel to the floor. Rotate the wrist downwards towards the floor and then back up to the starting position. Three sets of 10 to 15 repetitions every other day.
Ball squeeze exercise Grip the ball in the hand of your affected arm, squeeze the ball and keep it held for three seconds, then release. Repeat the exercise for 10 squeezes, twice every other day, increasing the duration of the squeeze.
Thoracic (upper back) mobility
Thoracic mobility is vital in achieving a full shoulder turn while maintaining core and hip stability in the back swing, but it is also important in the downswing transition.
Spine mobilisations on a foam roller are a good way to develop thoracic extension and improve a hunched posture.
Additionally, kneel down on all fours, place your right hand behind your head, and point your right elbow out to the side. Brace your core and rotate your right shoulder toward your left elbow. Follow your elbow with your eyes as you reverse the movement until your right elbow points toward the ceiling. 20 repetitions each side.
Trunk rotation – standing or sitting. Hook your arms around the golf club placed lengthwise across your back. Rotate your trunk and head to the left and hold it there for 20 to 30 seconds. Repeat this on the other side. Sitting reduces the stretch in the lumbar region.
Sufficient core control
Hip mobility restriction is normally due to insufficient core control. Add rotational medicine ball variations and chops/lifts to the rehabilitation programme.
In the golf swing, it’s essential to have mobility in the hips. Not only does it take the stress off your lower back but it enables you to load weight effectively in the backswing and initiate the downswing with the lower body first. The therapist can add the following exercises to address hip mobility problems:
Hip flexor stretches – such as half kneeling, fire hydrant.
Shoulder mobility stretches
The supraspinatus muscle abducts and externally rotates the shoulder therefore stretching must involve adduction and internal rotation. Hand behind back club stretch: grab the golf club behind your back with your right hand. Pull the golf club with the other hand from above while keeping your right shoulder relaxed and your hand over on the left side of your back. Most people will benefit from holding this stretch for 30 seconds.
Stance – ankle and knees
An unstable base has the potential to introduce a number of swing faults. Things as simple as curled toes or tight arches can be a precursor of characteristics such as loss of posture (especially by standing up), over-rotation (over-swinging), or too much lateral motion (swaying and sliding). Increasing the dorsiflexion of the ankle joint is important. This can be achieved via manual therapy and self-myofascial release techniques coupled with joint mobilisations, such as foam rolling the calves – sitting on the ground with one leg on top of the foam roller, while passing the calf over the roller five or six times.