The demands of playing golf frequently will create predictable injuries. Golfer’s elbow and low back pain in the golf swing are extremely common. Golfers are also on their feet for a significant amount of time, so issues like plantar fasciitis that compound back, shoulder, neck, and elbow issues create a frustrating experience for some golfers.
Normally, each area of pain is addressed separately in physical therapy, massage, and other conventional techniques for treating and managing pain. Those with tendinitis, such as golfer's elbow, are often prescribed hydrocortisone injections. When those are unsuccessful, elbow, shoulder, and back surgeries are far too frequent.
Often, golfers are in an age range where they're coming into the game with preexisting injuries, and they see golf as something less demanding on their bodies that they can do for years and years to come. However, once these golf-specific injuries set in, sometimes those dreams of years and years of play can become nightmares.
Identifying the sources of golf-related injuries
At Evo Performance Rehab, we utilize the neurological soft tissue therapy method to quickly understand the real sources of these golf-related injuries. Someone may be coming in for elbow issues, but their elbow, when taken through the neurological search process, shows as less of a priority than the muscles around their shoulder blade.
And likewise, their shoulder blades can suffer from dysfunction in their thighs and hips. In the big picture, the golfer will not completely solve their issues and injuries unless the whole body starts working together.
Rewriting Muscle Memory for Improved Golf Stance
We work with people to rewrite their muscle memory for their golf stance to radically change pain, range of motion, and ease of movement through their golf swing. We have done evaluations on golfers who have substantially improved their backswing range of motion and those who have learned that their back disc issues are actually coming from dysfunction in their legs.
Instead of chasing symptoms and staying focused on the symptoms of golfers' elbows, shoulders, low backs, or feet, we look for the neurological origins of these issues and work with our technology and movement to retrain the body's movement patterns and muscle activation so that golf can be natural, free, and enjoyable again.
Avoiding Surgery and Recovering from Surgery
We have helped many golfers avoid surgery, recover from surgery, and get back to the game that they love at all ages, whether they are high school athletes with injuries all the way up to senior citizens looking to stay on the course for years to come. We have a significant track record of keeping people on the course moving how their bodies are designed to move instead of wondering why their body is fighting them as they try to golf.
Addressing Non-Productive Movement Patterns and Guarding in the Golf Swing
Oftentimes, nonproductive movement patterns and guarding in the golf swing are a result of muscle imbalances and the nervous system trying to keep areas inhibited. People will get rotationally biased in their golf swing and put far too much torque into their lumbar spine when they don't have good control of the forces that should be generated in their feet, legs, and hips.
By working to solve the actual neurological and muscular issues, we can help the golf swing feel much more natural by activating the proper muscles such as the hamstrings, the lats, the glutes, and various others.
The golf swing should not feel restrictive in specific areas because so many muscles need to work together. If the right muscles are doing their job, the swing should be free and smooth with no pain. If this is something you would like to explore for your body or that of a loved one, we would be happy to set up a consultation call and evaluation treatment.
Balancing Golf and Therapy Sessions
People often ask if they'll be involved in men's leagues and tournaments and have an active golfing schedule, and they'll wonder if they need to completely cease golfing while we're doing sessions. And most of the time, we're able to give people a lot of recovery without having to completely shut down their golf schedule. We may need to modify it to some degree, but most of the time we can get people a significant recovery, even in between weekend tournaments.
Sometimes people will also ask, "If I feel better in a session, will my body stay better for days, weeks, months, or years to come?" And the answer in a zoomed-out way is yes, if.
If we work to help people move in a more ideal and optimal fashion by getting their nervous system to talk with the appropriate muscles efficiently again, they simply need to observe some postural and set-up cues in their movements to help their body continue with the long-term ingraining of their new set of muscle memory patterns.
Essentially, the better they follow through on the work that they have done with us, the longer things stay ingrained, and they can continue indefinitely to golf pain-free.
How a junior PGA golfer was swinging with minimal shoulder pain in 20 minutes
We had a golfer a while ago who had significant shoulder pain in the front of his shoulder and was unable to swing. This is a guy who was a junior level on the PGA, and they were doing all kinds of PT and dry needling, and he was signed up to do exploratory surgery because nothing that he was doing was working to solve the pain in the front of his shoulder, and that was prohibiting the swing.
So when he came to us, we were able to determine that he had significant dysfunction in some of his shoulder blade muscles as well as some instability in his bicep tendon. We did a quick reset with the bicep tendon and re-educated the muscles around the shoulder blades, and he was swinging with minimal pain within 20 minutes instead of spending six or more months without swinging in pain.
How We Melted a Frozen Shoulder for a Pain-Free Swing
Another recent issue was an older golf enthusiast who came in with significant shoulder mobility issues. His backswing was about a third of what a natural full range of motion backswing ought to look like due to the muscles around his shoulder freezing up—a condition called adhesive capsulitis or frozen shoulder. We worked to locate the issue's origins and corrected the signaling, which allowed the frozen shoulder to essentially melt.
He was able to ingrain and strengthen his muscles in a full range of motion, leaving his golf swing totally transformed. At the same time, his shoulders eliminated their pain, and he was able to enjoy normal activities as well as golf. In the year and a half or so since I've seen him, he has reported that he has kept his results and is loving his golf swing.
This success story has had many iterations for many different golfers, especially those between their 50s and 70s who are struggling to adapt well to any sort of corrective exercise or mobility routine. Sometimes these well-intentioned corrective exercises and stretches can be stressful on the body when the body's priority is keeping certain areas shut down. If your body feels like it is fighting you to improve your golf swing, then we can help those areas unlock very quickly and respond positively through the neurotherapy process.
How we helped a golfer with disc issues unlock a new swing
I had a high-level golfer with significant disc issues in his back. We were undergoing the therapy process, and he found his way to us because he was not sure if he'd be able to continue on with his career.
When we located areas in his legs and hips that were affecting the stress in his back, not only were we able to alleviate significant pain but also improve his range of motion, which helped us discover another issue within his shoulder blade mobility, and in improving that we were able to help him unlock abilities in his golf swing that he had not had since he was much younger.
This allowed him to constructively move forward, and eventually he needed to get the disc slightly repaired. He was able to improve very quickly, returning to the level of function we had helped him establish instead of descending into a ton of guarded pain and dysfunction.
People who lack confidence in the firing of their legs for acceleration start to rely on their torso and back. Instead of focusing on these rotary forces, much of our work has ended up being on the ground forces that the feet and legs generate to create the natural acceleration of the golf club.
Improving clubhead speed and acceleration with efficiency training
Another area where golfers enjoy neurotherapy applications is golf swing efficiency training. We have worked with golf pros on using a launch monitor to track their swing and clubhead velocity, and in a two-minute protocol, we helped improve nine miles per hour on clubhead speed through conditioning the activation of the hamstrings and other muscles that contribute to the swing pattern.
Enhancing the brain's awareness and feedback from vital muscles helps the movement pattern become more natural and full range of motion because the body is allowed to have confidence in its support and not need to create stability by keeping muscles in the back, for example, guarded and restrictive.
Nine miles an hour in the club equated to about 25 to 30 yards on a driver, and that level of power and distance was already there. It was just being held back because of the guardedness in his movement patterns. The work that we did allowed his body to function optimally, which it already could but was being inhibited from.
We help people remove their limitations, and once we do, golfing becomes a lot more fun.