Dr Lank March Newsletter
When to shut it down
With all the PGA and LPGA injuries headlining the golf sports columns, I figured now would be a good time to discuss when it’s time to shut things down.
First off, pain is your bodies check engine light and to ignore it or cover it up with medications is similar to slapping a piece of duct tape over it and driving on. You might be able to get away with it for a few hundred miles but sooner or later that engine is going to smoke.
It’s odd to say this, but if we actually treated our bodies like we did our cars, we’d all be in better shape. You put the right fuel in your car, we eat junk. You take your car in every 3000 miles, we see how long our bodies can last. When a light pops up in the dash we immediately take it to be serviced, when pain or dysfunctions arise in our bodies we reach for the Aleve. Imagine a world where we serviced our bodies like we did our cars. That would be a lifestyle worth investing in.
Here’s a 3 step checklist to determine whether it’s safe to play
1.) Do you have pain at address? If you have pain while addressing the ball it’s time to shut it down. The address position produces less stress on the joints and soft tissues than the highly explosive movement proceeding it. So if you have pain standing over the ball you’re going to want to sit this one out.
2.) If you don’t have pain during the setup can you comfortably perform a pelvic tilt in your golf stance? (CLICK HERE TO SEE VIDEO ON PELVIC TILT). This would mean during the address position trying to create a larger curve in your lower back (or performing an anterior tilt) then flattening your back (posterior tilt) and back to neutral spine. If you can do this without pain or discomfort, play on. If there is pain it’s time to shut it down. If you experience referred pain into the butt or legs stop immediately and schedule an appointment with a chiropractor, physical therapist or medical doctor.
3.) Finally, If there is pain while teeing up the ball, or getting the ball out of the cup it’s time to shut it down and get some treatment. Generally speaking, this involves a greater chance of joint involvement.
Golf is an extremely demanding sport on ones body. In order to play it with less risk you need to train for it and seek the advice of a golf performance specialist. A golf performance specialist can help you in a variety of ways including injury prevention, golf fitness/stretching programs and nutrition just to name a few.
Bottom line, if you experience pain seek the appropriate care and FIX what’s going on. It might just end up helping your game!