Spinal Mobility Massage Therapy for Golfers
Updated: Nov 22
Believe it or not, the most common complaint among golfers isn’t a fluffed shot – it’s back pain. Here at Inspine’s RMT clinic in Coquitlam, we treat many golfers for lower back pain, but it can be avoided, and this article will help you understand how to protect yourself against injury while playing the game you love.
The game of golf, and particularly the golf swing, put significant strain on our joints and musculoskeletal systems. When you hit a golf ball, the stress starts down in your ankles and travels up through the body.
Firstly, those ankles need to move in three planes, or you’ll cause problems further up the musculoskeletal chain. Next comes the knee, the hip, and your lower spine. Each must have a full range of movement to avoid injuring another. When you get everything right, the result will be a powerful, accurate hit. Getting things wrong, however, can lead to pain and even chronic injuries.
How Do My Joints Work During A Golf Swing?
The spine is a complex thing, with some mobile elements and joints and many stable joints which are not built for mobility. All the components should work together during your golf swing – in the ways that nature intended.
Theoretically, during your swing, your lower back should provide a stable base, absorbing much of the stress of hitting the ball. Your thoracic spine is a mobile joint and can play a huge part in avoiding back pain after or during a game of golf. The scapulothoracic joint is stable and articulates the shoulder blade along your rib cage, protecting your shoulder against injury during your swing. Finally, a golfer’s elbow and wrist joints, stable and mobile, respectively, represent the remaining joints vital to a good swing.
The thoracic spine, which forms the middle section of your vertebra in between your neck and lower back, is made up of a dozen of those vertebras, plus the rib cage. Thoracic mobility is massively important for everything from day-to-day posture to a good golf swing. If you don’t take full advantage of your thoracic spine mobility, the result will be pain in the neck, back, or shoulders.
Why Do So Many Golfers Experience Lower Back Pain After Playing A Round?
It’s that mixture of everyday life and the occasional round of golf that leads to so many problems. For a healthy lower back, you need your thoracic spine and your hips to be doing their jobs. The fact is, most of us can’t make it to the course very often, and when we’re not swinging, we’re sitting behind a desk or performing repetitive tasks at work.
All the while, our hips and thoracic spines are tightening up and losing mobility. If we don’t loosen that thoracic area up before a game of golf, it means we rely on the lumbar spine in the lower back for rotation – and that’s where, for many, the problems start.
RMT in Coquitlam and Port Moody: How Sports Therapy Can Help with Your Golf Swing
Sports therapists are highly trained in assessing vertebral movements and posture. When you visit the massage therapy clinic in Coquitlam or Port Moody, your therapist will perform a rigorous assessment focusing on thoracic spine movements like rotation, extensions, side bending and rib expansion.
They may also evaluate your shoulder movements and look at how you move your neck and lumbar spine. With golfers specifically, your therapist will assess your mobility during your swing, as well as when you’re sitting and standing.
Massage Therapy in Coquitlam and Port Moody: Spinal Mobility Treatment for Golfers
When you visit the clinic here in Coquitlam or Port Moody, your massage therapist can turn to a range of options that will increase mobility in your thoracic spine. They range from joint mobilizations to manipulations and soft tissue massages. RMT for golfers can also include postural and strength exercises. However, one of the most potent benefits of RMT for golfers can be the specialist exercises and stretching techniques designed to prevent injury from occurring.
When you make an appointment with a sports therapist in Coquitlam, treatment will be tailored to your specific needs. That is likely to include some manipulations designed to improve your range of movement in vital areas like the thoracic spine and hips and a certain amount of work intended to prevent future injury. While your therapist will teach you some stretching and exercise techniques at home and on the tee before a round, exercise and stretching will also for an essential part of your treatment plan during visits to the massage therapy clinic in Coquitlam or Port Moody.