Sunday, February 13, 2011

Shoulder Injuries

In the recent months, we have seen a high number of shoulder complaints. The complaints have ranged from pain in the front of the shoulder to aches in the back near the shoulder blade, and everything in between. Interestingly, many patients are surprised to learn that we manage shoulder pain very effectively at our clinic. According to the Titleist Performance Institute (TPI), shoulder pain is the second most frequently suffered injury experienced by amateur golfers, accounting for more than 20% of all injuries.

Proper swing mechanics are important factors in preventing these injuries, but even swings that function properly can lead to shoulder problems. What, then, leads to these issues and how can you prevent these injuries from occurring? In addition to swing mechanics, the other important factor to evaluate is the function of the shoulder complex itself.

The shoulder complex is the most inherently unstable joint in the human body, so it is important that it functions optimally. It consists of four muscles that comprise the rotator cuff, the anterior/middle/posterior deltoid muscles, a portion of the biceps brachii, and even the pectoralis major and latissimus dorsi. Additionally, the complex includes several ligaments, tendons, and a very important labrum. That is a lot of different tissues that need to be functional in order to be pain-free.

So, in order to decrease the possibility of shoulder injuries due to the golf swing, make sure you have two things:

1) Proper swing mechanics
2) Functional performance of your shoulder complex

Check with your local PGA professional to ensure you have proper swing mechanics and check in at Germantown Golf Fitness @ (901) 590-1065 to have your shoulder complex evaluated prior to the season. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to call.

All the best,

Nathan Williams, DC, MS, CGFI-MP2

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