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Can massage and specific stretches improve your golf game? The answer is simply YES!! Efficient conditioning of your muscles permits greater control and allows you to increase the speed of the golf head.  In short, If you want to improve your game and prevent injuries this article is written just for you! You may or may not be aware that the golf swing has four phases: the back swing, downswing, ball strike and follow-through. The back swing stretches the muscles in preparation for the powerful forward release. The forward swing segment of the drive releases the full power of the swing and determines the distance the ball is hit. The follow-through completes the proper swing. The forward portion of the swing incorporates 22 separate muscles! Muscle groups involved in the golf swing include:

    • Core muscles used in generating torque and increasing club head speed
    • Forearm muscles for controlling the golf club and supporting the wrists
    • Hamstring muscles essential to maintaining proper posture and stabilizing the lower back
    • Muscles of the wrists and fingers
    • Quadriceps used in flexing the knees
    • Shoulder muscles (particularly, the rotator cuffs), used to position the upper body and generate speed
    • Upper back muscles assisting in rotation during the backswing and maintaining an erect spine

Remember that muscular tension or joint misalignment will affect the way that you play.

Most Common Golf Injuries

The golf swing requires a combination of shoulder movement through a wide range of motion at high speed, and strong rotation of the trunk. Both movements produce risk of  injury, as do other aspects of the game. A variety of golfing injuries fall into two broad categories, cumulative (usually the result of overuse) and acute or traumatic injuries. Back injuries are common in golf and generally involve muscle or ligament strains. Such injuries tend to be self-healing within a few weeks, provided proper rest and appropriate treatment is received.

Back injuries include:

  • Muscle strains- in which muscles, particularly in the lower back are either fully overstretched or in some cases, torn.
  • Backaches – due to overuse and stress.
  • Herniated disks – in which the soft core within a vertebral disk is forced through the fibrous outer layer of the vertebrae. These more severe injuries may require serious medical attention.

Shoulder injuries include:

  • Shoulder Tendonitis, Bursitis, and Impingement Syndrome – These conditions are similar and result from inflammation, irritation and swelling of the rotator cuff and bursa. As a result, these structures may be pinched in the shoulder joint resulting in acute pain.
  • Torn Rotator Cuff – a common traumatic injury, characterized by aching and weakness in the shoulder when the arm is lifted overhead.
  • Rotator Cuff Tendonitis – Irritation, swelling and inflammation of the tendons of the shoulder.

Elbow injuries include:

  • Golfers Elbow (Medial Epicondylitis), Elbow Bursitis and Tennis Elbow (Lateral Epicondylitis) – each resulting from repetitive stress to muscles of the arm and forearm.

Wrist and hand injuries include:

  • Carpel Tunnel Syndrome: a painful, repetitive stress disorder affecting nerves of the hands.
  • DeQuervain’s Tendonitis – caused by an inflammation of the tendons controlling the thumb.
  • Fracture of the hamate – a small bone on the outside of the wrist, sometimes fractured during the golf swing.
  • Trigger Finger – caused by pressure or inhibition on the flexor tendon sheath which encases the tendon. The condition causes the finger to lock up.

Injuries To the knee include:

  • Arthritis of the knee (osteoarthritis), a torn meniscus or kneecap pain (chondromalacia).

Remember that muscular tension or joint misalignment will affect your performance. Need assistance?

REMEMBER, MAGA THERAPY WORKS!

Injury Prevention

Many injuries occur early in the season. Such injuries may affect tendons, muscles and ligaments, as well as the joints of the upper body, (including back, elbow, wrist and shoulder). Massage and stretching is a great way to avoid injuries, as is your technique. Attention to your technique is critical to avoid injury, a poor technique can result from over-swinging, twisting the spine, an incorrect grip or hitting the ground during the forward swing. I’d like to gently remind you that if you already have tension issues due to your day-to-day lifestyle and don’t have a regular therapeutic treatment you are already at a higher risk of injury.  Read  more about Tips To Improve Your Posture…..

To avoid  back injury:

  • Rotate the shoulder and hip about the same degree during the backswing.
  • Keep the spine vertical during the follow-through, avoiding any hyperextension of the spine.

To avoid shoulder and elbow injury:

  • Shorten the length of the back-swing, ending with the club head at a 1 o’clock rather than 3 o’clock position.
  • Strengthen rotator cuff and scapular muscles to prevent overuse or tearing injuries.
  • Strengthen muscles of the chest and back, which generate the power of the swing.
  • Study the mechanics of proper swing with a pro.
  • Slow the velocity of the swing in order to produce less shock to the arm when the ball is struck.

To avoid hand, wrist and elbow injuries:

  • Graphite shafts can lessen vibration
  • Select irons with larger heads and lower vibration
  • Select larger and softer club grips
  • Select the correct club length
  • Strengthen forearm muscles through exercise
  • Use a neutral grip to hold the club

Physical conditioning and a regular sports massage to the appropriate muscles along with careful attention to correct technique tends to limit golfing injury, and improve your game.

Remember that muscular tension or joint misalignment will affect your game.

Hitting practice balls with shorter irons is a good means of loosening the muscles and avoiding strains. Additionally, proper rest, a consistent warm-up routine and core-strengthening exercises should be part of an overall approach to an injury-free game.

Are you over-training?  Is Your Body Under Stress?

Do you know the difference between being just a little tired or on a down-cycle, and being legitimately run down or over tired? One of the biggest challenges to achieving your fitness goals is consistency.

Juggling your training with enough sleep and rest, as well as the ‘perfect’ nutritional diet is hard enough, but add to that your work-life, your personal/ home life and suddenly it gets more tricky! So, how do you keep up the pace without over doing it, becoming sick or injured?

What is over-training?

Overtraining occurs when a person experiences stress and physical trauma from exercise. The key to remember when training is that it’s the exercise that breaks your body down, but it’s the rest and recovery that makes you stronger and healthier. This doesn’t happen overnight, or as a result of one or two sessions.

We all know regular exercise is extremely beneficial to our general health and fitness, but we all must remember that improvements to our body can only occur given time.

Please note when I use the word stress I use it very ‘broadly’. Stress is stress, whether it’s a physical, mental or emotional stress, it still has the same effect on your health and well-being!

Whilst there are no specific tests per se there are quite a number of signs and symptoms to be aware of.

If you suffer from one or two of the following signs or symptoms it doesn’t automatically mean you are suffering from overtraining. However, if you recognise five or more of the following signs and symptoms, then it may be time to take a close look at the volume and intensity of your work load.

Physical Signs & Symptoms

  • Appetite loss
  • Chronic muscle soreness or joint pain
  • Decreased performance
  • Delayed recovery from exercise
  • Elevated resting pulse /heart rate
  • Exhaustion
  • Frequent minor infections
  • Increased susceptibility to colds and flu’s
  • Increases in minor injuries
  • Insatiable thirst or dehydration
  • Intolerance to exercise
  • Lethargy
  • Weight loss

Psychological Signs & Symptoms

  • Anxiety
  • Apathy or no motivation
  • Depression
  • Fatigued, tired, drained, lack of energy
  • Headaches
  • Inability to relax
  • Insomnia
  • Irritability
  • Reduced ability to concentrate
  • Twitchy, fidgety or jittery

As you can see by the number of signs and symptoms there are a lot of things to look out for. Generally the most common signs and symptoms to look for are a total loss of motivation in all areas of your life (work or career, health and fitness etc.), plus a feeling of exhaustion. Need help with ‘Emotional’ stress management ? Or Maga Relaxing treatments, click here to read more….

If these two warning signs are present, plus a couple of the other listed signs and symptoms, then it may be time to take a short rest before things get out of hand.

Sounds like you’re over training?

What do you do now? Click HERE to read more….

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