04/10/2017 by Margaret Grace 0 Comments
Golf and Podiatry
Are your aches and pains interfering with your game?
Pain in your, hips, knees and back can be linked to your foot mechanics. In golf, a proportion of the swing comes from the lower limbs. It is therefore crucial to address any lower limb related problems correctly.
If you are experiencing pain in these joints or even the feet themselves, asking basic questions and taking simple measures can often be enough to address the problem.
1. Do my shoes fit my feet correctly? Wearing shoes that are too tight is an obvious problem but wearing shoes that are too big can be just as bad. If a shoe is too big for the foot, the little muscle in the foot and even further up the skeletal system have to work really hard to keep the shoe on and maintain stability.
2. Have I just recently purchased a new pair of golf shoes? If so, do they still need to be ‘broken in’? Shoes that are too stiff can rub against the skin creating blisters and chaffing. An easy way to break in new shoes is to wear them for short periods in the rain! Alternate your new shoes with your old ones until you’re ready to make a permanent switch.
3. Am I wearing good quality golf socks made from natural fabrics? Do I change my socks during the day if I am playing golf in a hot climate? Are the seams of my socks causing irritation against my skin? Wearing comfortable, good quality socks is just as important as wearing good quality golf shoes.
If you do have any soft tissue problems i.e. issues with your toes nails or skin (e.g. corns, callouses, athletes foot e.tc) seek professional advice from an HCPC registered podiatrist.
If you have joint or muscle pains in the feet that cannot be relieved by addressing the above issues, you would probably benefit from an MSK (musculoskeletal) podiatry assessment.
MSK podiatrists, including those at Podiatry Solutions, specialise in foot mechanics. If a foot turns incorrectly during the walking cycle, this can cause other muscles and joints in the feet, legs and back to compensate. Compensation often comes at a price since other muscles and joints end up working too hard – resulting in aches and pains. These aches and pains don’t disappear. Often they get worse and can affect the scorecard at the end of the day.
MSK podiatrists often prescribe special medical insoles called orthotics. Orthotics are frequently prescribed to help prevent
injuries in the first instance. This is because they improve lower limb mechanics and do not require other muscles to compensate – this therefore avoids over-use injuries. Orthotics work by supporting the foot in the places it needs it – they vary in thickness depending on what support is required.
The orthotics prescribed by Podiatry Solutions are made from a material that compresses with the heat from the foot and therefore fits easily into any golf shoe.
Research has shown that orthoses can actually reduce lower limb fatigue whilst playing. In some instances this may increase the distance
the ball is hit.
Other things worth considering that will help you.
1. Increase the amount of time you play gradually
2. Make sure you bend properly at the knees – continuously bending from the waist will aggravate the lower back
3. Stretch before and after each round of golf