Dr. Lank June 2014
Power Up Your Swing Through Your Feet
The key to a powerful and efficient swing begins in the most under appreciated region of the body: The Foot! Think about it this way, what other part of your body is in direct contact with earth during your swing? This connection plays a pivotal role through ground force reactions and subsequent movement above.
If the foot and ankle are not performing like they should, whether due to fallen arches, arthritis or plantar fasciitis (just to name a few common ones) then the joints above will not be able to effectively transition into key positions to deliver a powerful and consistent golf swing.
I literally spent a half day at Nike going over foot biomechanics in relation to the golf swing. I never knew just how imperative the Subtalar joint (where the heel bone and bone above it meet) was to golf performance. I do now, and hopefully after reading this you'll pay a little more attention to it as well!
Here are some common conditions and how to go about eliminating them:
Falling Arch: Occurs when the natural arch shape of the foot drops, as a result the tendons and ligaments supporting the arch are weakened and this causes an unstable foot, making a firm stance difficult during a swing, this can cause a sway or slide through the ball and create problems with your balance. It can often be corrected with orthotics or arch supports. We use Foot Levelers in our office, which is a proven orthotic stabilizing system with unparalleled research. Visit www.footlevelers.com to learn more, click on the ‘custom orthotics' tab! Tip - your insurance might just cover these!
Arthritis: Can cause pain in the joints of the toes, specifically the big toe making it hard to shift weight into the lead foot and finish your golf swing. Pain will often occur when the underlying tissue becomes inflamed; this can also create a bunion, which causes the big toe to grow at an increased angle toward the rest of the toes. This condition is often known as a hallux valgus, if this occurs on the trail foot it can force the golfer to lift the heel prematurely and drive the foot toward the ball, as a result this can effect the shifting of weight and the transfer of energy during the swing.
Plantar Fasciitis: Plantar fasciitis (fashee-EYE-tiss) is the most common cause of pain on the bottom of the heel. Approximately 2 million patients are treated for this condition every year.Plantar fasciitis occurs when the strong band of tissue that supports the arch of your foot becomes irritated and inflamed. We treat this in the office with manual soft tissue therapy such as Active Release Technique which is a painful treatment but excellent results. Cortisone injections do not answer the “how” and the “why” when dealing with what created the dysfunction. Understanding where the mechanical fault is present and CORRECTING it is your key to beating this.
Log onto our website at www.coastalhealthnc.com and check out the“ Subtalar Joint Function” exercise located in Lower Body Strengthening to reignite your ground force connection!
Have a smart phone? Well you are in luck, we have just recently added an app! Download ‘mychirotown‘ for your smart phone or iPad and then enter our clinic code ‘CIH0001‘ (that is 3 zero's). You can check your appointments, request appointments, look up exercise videos, and much more! Download it today!