With all the rain the province has seen in the last few months, golf greens are greener than ever. Hopefully, that combined with a bit of sun will result in more British Columbians hitting the links this summer. The Physiotherapy Association of British Columbia wants to make sure that those that do, leave the course pain and injury free.
“Like any sport, it’s possible to become injured while golfing. This is especially true if players don’t take the time for a proper warm up,” says Rebecca B. Tunnacliffe, CEO of the Physiotherapy Association of BC. A dynamic warm up allows golfers to gradually warm up the body’s tissues in preparation for swinging activities. This can improve performance and help to prevent muscle strains and joint sprains. “By following some simple steps, that we call the Physio-4, golfers can reduce their chances for injury, prevent pain and golf safely,” adds Tunnacliffe.
The Physio-4 for Golf:
1. Activate with a general warm up. Start with five to 10 minutes of large muscle activity such as a brisk walk, stair climbing or a stationary bike ride before you play. Then, do some mini squats (holding on to your golf club for balance) and mini lunges to help lubricate stiff hips, knees and ankle joints.
2. Do a swing specific warm up. A sport specific, dynamic warm-up allows for optimal performance and injury prevention. Arm and leg swings and torso twists will help warm up your shoulders, hips and back. Do a sequence of practice swings before hitting any balls, starting with a half swing and gradually increasing to a full swing.
3. Ensure proper postural alignment. Incorrect postural alignment at the shoulders and torso, or hips and legs can lead to poor or inconsistent shots. Also, do your posture a favour and reduce the amount of equipment in your golf bag.
4. Deactivate after your golf game. Loosening up tight tissues by stretching in the whirlpool or shower will help regain and maintain muscle length. Self-massage can help decrease painful tension and ice can help minimize inflammation and pain.
The PABC created the Physio-4 to share the expertise of its members with fellow British Columbians. “Each month, on our website (movingforlife.ca), we provide 4 tips for a specific activity or health issue to keep British Columbians moving for life,” says Tunnacliffe. “We want British Columbians to know that if they are injured or in pain, a physiotherapist can help. After all, we are the healthcare professional physicians recommend most,” she states.
The Physio-4 for Golf is designed to keep golfers injury free and perhaps take a few points off their score.
To learn more about how physiotherapists keep British Columbians moving for life, visit movingforlife.ca