Did you know that PTSMC writes a column?
Drew Gallagher, Partner and Director of our Southbury clinic, contributes a monthly column in the Heritage Villager. His column answers reader submissions, offering advice on how to handle musculoskeletal problems that many people face as they get older.
Here’s a copy of the most recent “Ask the PT”, related to injuries that impact your golf game:
Q: I just had a slight pull in my low back, but it doesn’t bother me unless I’m golfing. What can I do to get that under control?
A: Golf can be a frustrating sport, even without an injury that keeps you from playing your best. A golfer can spend hundreds of dollars on the latest equipment, but may forget that golf fitness training for the body is the most important tool.
One of the primary areas of fitness and strength to help your golf game is your “core.” Core refers to musculature including abdominals, low back and trunk. A weak core, as well as overall wear and tear, can be one of the many causes of low back pain. Lower back pain is a symptom that should not be ignored; addressing this pain early is the best way to prevent long term issues. The other area that is often involved is the hips. A lack of flexibility will interfere with your swing and place increased stress on the low back. There are a few core/hip exercises that you can do even at home to strengthen and balance the crucial muscles that align your trunk and spine. A strong core can decrease strain on your lower back. Before beginning any exercise program, be sure to consult your physician
There are many online resources to find good core strengthening exercises. Ultimately it is best to perform exercises that maintain good alignment through your lower back while strengthening the crucial muscles of your deep abdominals. Believe it or not, a resource such as YouTube (www.youtube.com) can be a great place to find some core strengthening exercises. Some moves and stretches that can be found on YouTube are the “Deadbug Exercise” by Move Forward PT” or “Core Exercises for Beginners” by Life Fitness Bham, and “Best Golf Stretch to Release Hips”. If you don’t feel that you are ready to begin a few at-home exercises, I suggest having your pain evaluated. Because all of the muscles in your body are connected and working to keep you upright, you could be experiencing issues in your back because of your hips or leg muscles. A physical therapist can complete an evaluation to pinpoint the true cause of your issue and examine your body mechanics to suggest the best way to decrease your pain and frustration out on the links.
Drew Gallagher, Jr., PT, MBA is a physical therapist with 18+ years of experience. He is the director and partner of PT for Life, an outpatient PT clinic in Southbury.