It’s spring! Do I hear some birdies?

This is a post by Dr. Dustin Lee PT, DPT

It is now springtime in Georgia. For some of you, this means it is time to get out and pound that pavement, spin those wheels or even enjoy splashing in the water (for me, otherwise known as trying to swim with good form). For others, it is a time to dust off those irons, regrip your clubs and start to use that high-tech yardage gear you received over the winter holidays. With the change of seasons, I figured this would be a great time to pass on some injury prevention knowledge to help you enjoy this beautiful weather by playing a round at your favorite course.

The golf swing is as simple or as complex as you can make. Tom Watson once said, “My golf swing is a bit like ironing a shirt. You get one side smoothed out, turn it over, and there is a big wrinkle on the other side. Then you iron that one out, turn it over, and there is yet another wrinkle.” I am not here to critique your swing, change your lag angle or help you close the club face on the down swing. However, I am here to explain how amazing the human body is at performing the golf swing motion. The result of your swing is a product of the club, which acts as an extension from your body to carry that ball toward the hole. First and foremost, you need to take care of your body because no matter how expensive your clubs are, you only get one body with which to use those clubs to their advantage.  

The golf swing requires a complex interaction between joint mobility, muscular strength and stabilization and appropriate tissue length. This article is intended to highlight areas of major importance without overwhelming you with detail. Out of all the body motions needed for the golf swing, hip and spine rotation deserve the most attention. Lacking these motions places increased stress on surrounding joints and soft tissues, which can lead to injury. First and FOREmost (all credit given to my wife for coming up with this pun), the spine is made up of 33 vertebrae. Twenty-four of these bones are not fused, while the remainder have a degree of fusion (namely the sacrum and coccyx). Joints between the vertebra allow for movement to occur. Each of these vertebra therefore has the ability to move through small ranges of motion before influencing the movements of the vertebra above and below. When you combine small amounts of motion from each vertebra, your sum equals tot