Golf and Shoulder Injury

PT Translator 1.1

Have you ever wondered what physical therapists’ shop talk is like? Have you ever overheard them talk in jargon about shoulder injuries and wondered what they were saying? Here we translate the foreign language of orthopedic physical therapy for the layperson.

Shoulder injury is one of the most common injuries in golf. Even if an off-course accident causes symptoms, the repetition of swinging the golf club will aggravate them.

Jargon The patient reported inflammation of the biceps brachii at the glenohumeral insertion. Physical exam showed inflammation of the teres minor.

Translation – The patient had arm pain, and the evaluation revealed inflammation in the rotator cuff. Pain or tenderness in the shoulder can be symptoms of a number of shoulder conditions: shoulder impingement syndrome, rotator cuff disease, tendinitis in the rotator cuff, arthritis, or bursitis.

Jargon – Through collection of patient history, the therapist determined that repeated external rotation of the scapula resulted in inflammation.

Translation – Repeated swinging caused the shoulder pain. Pain in the lead shoulder at the top of the backswing or end of the follow through can be a symptom of a joint condition such as bursitis or impingement. This is because the golf swing requires the shoulder blade to move to its fullest extent, both inward toward the body and away from the body.

In the spring, it’s so exciting to hit the driving range, but stretching and strengthening shoulder muscles are necessary maintenance that aid injury prevention. Ten-minute warm-ups prior to play have been shown to decrease injury rates. Conditioning both active and stabilizing muscles also help. If stubborn pain develops despite these preventative measures, get in touch with a physical therapist.