Let’s revisit the kinematic (movement) sequence for a moment as related to the golf swing. Power is transferred from the ground up through the body to the arms into the golf club. Smooth sequenced transfer of motion through the body from feet to hands leads to an efficient swing.
The shoulders represent a major mechanical shift from weight bearing movement of the legs and torso to non- weight bearing movement of the arms. To achieve the transition the shoulder blade must be stable on top of a mobile thoracic spine while allowing the shoulder joint to achieve maximum mobility. The shoulder joint is the most mobile/least stable joint in the body making it very susceptible to injury. Many times, shoulder injuries result from the shoulder compensating for soft tissue and joint mobility issues in other parts of the body.
When golfer comes to my office with complaints of shoulder pain, I will always look at bilateral hip rotation, thoracic spine mobility and Pecs and Lats mobility with external rotation and straight arm overhead reach to assess if these areas have dysfunctional patterns that force the shoulder to work too hard.
Once I have a proper diagnosis of the contributing mechanical issues leading to the shoulder pain, I can focus on mobilizing the stuck soft tissue and joints followed by corrective stretching and exercise to remediate the painful symptoms. With improved mobility I encourage a visit to see Adam or Dave to “tweak” the swing mechanics with this new- found mobility and not go back into old patterns.
If your shoulders are hindering your play, remember the cause may be from other areas of your body. Relief is just a phone call away!
Michael Rende, OTR