“Its all In The Hips” By Larry Justin “LJ” Georgetti, DPT
Any aging golfer can count on one of his/her friend’s bailing on an eight o-clock tee time due to “back pain”. Range of motion and strength of the whole body are essential when building a strong foundation to a healthy golf swing. I believe that the abnormalities in swing mechanics and mobility limitations in the hips/spine will cause restrictions in how one develops force in the golf swing. These abnormalities over time will result in dysfunction and eventually pain.
The golf swing has many variables, as does the human body. However, one thing remains consistent throughout all golf swings: energy must be delivered to a stationary golf ball in order to move it a desired distance. In the most efficient swings, energy is generated by the lower extremities via the ground. How this energy is gained, stored and eventually transmitted are exactly where the variables begin to differentiate between professional and recreational golfers. A golfer utilizes his/her lower extremity to generate force through the ground and eventually to the ball at impact. It is worth noting that the musculature surrounding the hips, known as the “glutes”, are the strongest in the body. These are the ones responsible for getting us up out of a chair and keeping us erect when walking. Problems arise when we do not train and utilize these muscles appropriately. As my colleague, Chris Hanson, previously discussed, the hip and the lumbar spine are closely related in the golf swing. If dysfunction arises in one, the other will suffer.
By Christopher C. Hanson, PT, MPT, DMT, OCS, FAAOMPT
Most golfers are weekend warriors and if there is extra time in anyone’s schedule for golf activities, more times than not this is allocated to swing training. As the last few articles have discussed, physical fitness is equally important. In order to have a world class swing, the function of one’s musculoskeletal system also needs to be equipped. Golf is a sport that requires strength, power, coordination and mobility; no one of these is more important than the other. This weekly dive into the physical care of a golfer’s body will discuss the importance of hip mobility and stability in all golfers.
In the golf community the importance of spinal mobility and strength is well documented. There have been numerous social media campaigns since the start of this golf season showing new creative ways to improve spinal mobility and strength. However, absent from these posts have been ways to improve hip strength and mobility; negating altogether the connection between the hip and the spine.
The hip and the spine are intricately related. If one has movement issues in one area, it can transmit increased forces along the kinetic (movement) chain. In the presence of hip mobility issues the body increases motion in other joints. The body is almost too good at this compensation and creating more (too much) movement in order to allow someone to function in a way that seems correct. In the presence of limited hip mobility there may be an excessive forces through the lumbar spine. This can happen at different points in the swing. Limited hip mobility can create issues in the back swing, during the initiation of swing and during the follow through. This also relates to other sporting activities as well.
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NovaCare Rehabilitation Thanks and Celebrates Physical Therapists and Physical Therapist Assistants
Join NovaCare Rehabilitation as we celebrate National Physical Therapy Month (NPTM)! NPTM is hosted by the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) each October to recognize how physical therapists and physical therapist assistants help restore and improve motion in people’s lives.
This October, the APTA’s focus is on the risks of opioid use and that physical therapy is a safe, non-opioid alternative for managing pain. The APTA wants you to #ChoosePT… and so do we!
Physical therapy is a unique science and art that utilizes a wide variety of evidence-based treatments to restore function to the body, reduce pain and prevent future injuries. Physical therapists and physical therapist assistants treat pain through movement and create individualized treatment plans tailored to a person’s needs and goals. Physical therapists can identify additional health issues and take into consideration pre-existing conditions to help improve a person’s overall health and quality of life.