Download Shoulder Injuries In Golf - David Lindsay

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Reactivate Physiotherapy & Massage
By David Lindsay PT MSc
Shoulder injuries in golf are quite common and usually occur in the lead shoulder. They are often
caused by insufficient body rotation through and after impact causing the lead shoulder to elevate
excessively rather than turn. This excessive elevation causes the rotator cuff muscles to be pinched under
the cap of bone at the point of the shoulder. This pinching is made worse by lack of appropriate muscle
strength and flexibility in a very important group of muscles called the rotator cuff.
Rotator cuff injuries usually start as a mild inflammation within the tendon. If left unattended,
they may progress in severity and lead to fraying of the tendon or rupture of the muscle. Rupture of the
rotator cuff can also occur, especially amongst senior golfers, after taking a deep divot.
Another area prone to injury from taking a deep divot is the small joint on top of the shoulder
(acromio-clavicular or AC joint). It can also be injured from overuse caused by repeated compression
when the upper arm is forcefully brought across and under the chin (e.g. at the top of the backswing and
follow-through). Repeated minor sprains may lead to osteo-arthritis.
Prevention of both injuries involves correcting any technique faults, strengthening the rotator cuff
muscles and ensuring adequate flexibility of the shoulder and upper body. Ice, anti-inflammatory
medication and appropriate physiotherapy may be necessary for more persistent problems.
Attach the elastic tubing, at elbow height, to an immovable structure (e.g. door knob). Stand side-on to
where the tubing is attached. While keeping your elbow bent to 90 degrees (i.e. your forearm will be
horizontal) and your upper arm against your side at all times, rotate your lower arm out away from your
body--against the elastic resistance. Perform 3 sets of 10-20 repetitions on each side. Fatigue should be
felt in the back of the shoulder. Stop if you feel pain.
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