Physiotherapy Golf Press – What To Expect. Now Is The Time To Avoid Delays For Next Season
By Brandon Schomberg
Do you have pain now? Deciding on surgery? Don’t lose time next year… follow these important guidelines to prepare for next golf season.
Welcome to the Physiotherapy Golf Press, just for the golf athletes of Tee Times Magazine. Physiotherapy is the United Kingdom equivalent of a physical therapist in the U.S.A. That’s correct; any golfer is an athlete in my opinion. Granted, our athleticism varies greatly, and we all know that, but we all show similar enthusiasm and respect for the golf game. As an athlete, you should train, eat, think, and sleep like a golfing athlete. We’re all competitive, which brings out the necessity to continuously improve. Now if only our score reflected the amount of blood, sweat, and tears that we put ourselves through to improve our golf game. Some do improve, some maintain, others just like to have fun. But what happens when our athletic body starts to break down and your golf handicap starts to head in the wrong direction? What happens when pain in your ankle, knee, hip, back, or shoulder starts to limit your golf game? Is the pain you are having affecting sleep and activities of daily living? These are all important questions to answer. Some golfers are able to push through the pain and still golf, others need pain medications to get through the round, whiles others are forced to stop the sport due to pain.
Physical therapy can help a majority of golfers resume daily activities, decrease pain, and get back to golf. The golfer has to have an understanding that the large amount of force during the rotational golf swing produces a great deal of compressive and rotational force on our body throughout the golf swing. If there is degenerative changes in your joints, chronic instability, muscle, tendon or ligamentous pathology, or continuous edema (swelling), and pain, then maybe medical consultation of an orthopedic surgeon is required. First off, going through physical therapy at the first onset of pain is highly beneficial and very important during the golf season to keep you playing and decreasing pain. Modifications can be made to your body to minimize stressors to your injured area and exercises can be implemented to help augment strength. I would recommend a golf specific physical therapist, as they will work with your golf professional, golf strength and conditioning specialist, and trainer to incorporate a specific plan for you.
If conservative measures fail after a committed effort, then other options must explored quickly. We do not want to delay the start of next years golf season do we? This is when you should seek out a qualified orthopedic surgeon specialist to get accurate care quickly. Recommendations can be provided to you through your medical care team including: physical therapist, family physician, and golf professional as they see the successful outcomes. Even word of mouth from friends and family can help guide you in the right direction. If you have shoulder pain, you would want to see a shoulder specialist. The same goes for other body areas. The right surgeon, and one who understands golf will allow you to return more quickly. If surgery is then required, you want to allow adequate time of recovery and proper rehabilitation to get you back to golf quickly, but safely. The total recovery time will vary greatly depending on the surgery performed. In general, knee or hip may be quicker than shoulder, ankle or spine. Expect some healing pain, swelling, and inactivity initially following surgery. In future articles, we will touch on expectations and rehabilitation following hip, knee, and shoulder surgeries.