Golf can be a physically demanding sport, and injuries are common. The Lahey Health Golf Fitness Assessment Program analyzes your golf swing and designs a program to help you play without pain.
“A golf swing starts with the feet and ends with the hands,” says Susan DiRocco, a physical therapist with the Lahey program. “Our therapists act as detectives to find problems anywhere in that sequence.” Targeting these specific areas can reduce injuries and help you better your game.
A Complete Assessment
The physical therapists in Lahey’s Golf Fitness Assessment Program are trained by the Titleist Performance Institute. While they may work with golf training professionals, their assessment has a different focus.
“A golf pro can tell you about technique issues,” DiRocco says. “We look at potential areas of breakdown in the swing that can cause pain.”
Your assessment starts with your health history—chronic conditions or surgeries can affect your game. For example, a hip or knee replacement may make you less flexible. Your therapist will also ask about specific painful movements, and if your pain occurs during or after you play.
Your golfing goals are also important. Do you play occasionally or are you a competitive golfer who plays most days of the week? According to DiRocco, injuries are common among competitive golfers because their repetitive motions are at high force.
Analyzing Your Swing
A golf swing is the basic element of the game, it can be broken down into 14 separate movements. Your physical therapist at Lahey’s program analyzes each one.
“We start with the golf stance and then systematically look at all the movements you need for a golf swing,” DiRocco says.
This analysis can include your:
- Balance—ability to maintain your posture as you shift your weight during your swing.
- Flexibility—ability to rotate at your neck, shoulders, trunk and hips. This is the most important issue for most golfers.
- Strength—ability to perform the necessary movements without straining.
Problems in these areas can lead to injuries of the hand, wrist, elbow, hips, shoulders and especially the back. According to DiRocco, about 70 percent of golfers play in pain.
Your Golf Fitness Handicap
With your trouble spots identified, you get a “golf fitness handicap.” This tells your physical therapist which areas of your body are likely to break down. He or she then designs a plan that focuses on your specific weak points, with exercises to help you avoid injuries and reduce pain.
A major component of most plans is core strength training, and focused stretching can help with flexibility. Your therapist may also recommend you work with a golf professional to be fitted for the right clubs and shoes.
Lahey’s Trained Golf Therapists
Lahey’s Golf Fitness Assessment Program includes more than a dozen physical therapists that are certified by the Titleist Performance Institute to work with golfers. They can refer you to a golf pro for issues with your technique or equipment.
DiRocco is a golfer herself, and she has worked with semi-pros, high-level amateurs and casual golfers. She encourages anyone who plays golf to have their game analyzed with the Lahey Golf Fitness Assessment Program.
“It can help you play longer and better,” she says. “It’s great to be able to do something you love for as long as you can.”
To get started with your golf fitness assessment, contact Lahey’s Golf Fitness Assessment Program.
*The content on this website is for informational purposes only and is not medical advice. Please consult a physician regarding your specific medical condition, diagnosis and/or treatment.