Golf season is here and it’s time to not only tune up your gear, but also tune up your body. You may be surprised to hear that seeing a physical therapist can be one of the best ways to improve your golf game. Not only can a physical therapist (PT) show you stretches for your pre-game warm up, a PT can also analyze your mechanics, help improve mobility in your joints, and give you personalized exercises. A physical therapist can help by:
Applying Joint Mobilization Techniques
Many times a lack of hip and trunk rotation leads to a weak swing and shot. A physical therapist can work on improving your hip and trunk mobility by applying joint mobilization techniques of varying degrees. A good PT will first example your range of motion in your joint while performing your swing and then again laying on a table. Joint mobilization is usually applied in a passive manner, with the patient laying down or sitting in a chair. Many times, these techniques are applied while also performing a stretch or range of motion through the joint. You will most likely notice improved mobility right after the technique. A PT can also show you how to maintain this mobility by giving you self mobilizing exercises.
Teaching Appropriate Exercises for the Back and Core
It’s no surprise that having a strong core and back is essential in a good golf game. But it is also easy to injury your back while out playing 18 holes every week. A physical therapist can analyze your specific strength needs and help improve your core strength. A good PT will give you exercises that not only focus on your central core (your abs) but also your obliques, hip rotators and back extensors to help with rotation and trunk flexion. Additionally, a PT can show you proper stance and safe techniques in picking up your ball. This can help prevent lower back injuries such as sprains, strains and disc herniations.
Administering Myofascial Release Techniques
After your first outing, you can feel a bit sore and achy. A physical therapist can help decrease the stiffness and soreness almost immediately by applying myofascial release techniques. These techniques can be applied with the PT’s hands, rollers or other metal tools. The technique help improve blood flow, decrease lactic acid build-up and reduce swelling. This treatment can be more effective than icing and anti-inflammatories in reducing stiffness and pain. A PT can also show you self myofascial release techniques to do at home.
For more tips and techniques regarding golf or other sports injuries, visit www.saramikulsky.com