Common Problems for Golfers
Amanda shared an issue faced by a golfing client of hers – and something that could easily affect you too...
KC Banks (34), is the owner of horticultural firm, The Green Team. As a very active individual both at work and outside, KC enjoys regular sessions of windsurfing, squash and golf, and holds a respectable 8 handicap at Ferndown Golf Club.
KC came to see us following a session at the driving range thinking he may have torn a muscle on his rib – feeling pain when breathing. KC was due to play in a tournament 3 weeks later, but had clearly strained his intercostal muscle, so part of the treatment was to ascertain why, and prevent similar happening again.
We identified that as KC was Asthmatic, he naturally has a weakness of his intercostal muscles around his ribs. The intercostal muscles attach directly onto the rib cage.
Furthermore, his occupation means that he vigorously uses his arms and shoulders, and, as a result of poor posture, there is a weakness of the shoulder girdle muscles, otherwise known as the rotator cuff muscles, as well as interscapular muscles. When this weakness occurs, the large muscle on the back (Latissumus Dorsi) is overworking constantly at work and at play.
The Lat-Dorsi muscle originates from the lower back and inserts into the top of the arm so is one of the back’s largest muscles, it is also responsible for moving the shoulder forwards and inwards. So when playing golf, this muscle is used a lot! This muscle can easily be overworked if the deep compartment muscles of the back and shoulders are weak.
With KC, we used deep tissue massage in the intercostals muscles, helping to identify where the weak points were, and trigger pointed these areas to help release the muscle spasms. To help strengthen up the intercostals muscles, we had KC blow up balloons for a few days, followed by a further treatment to loosen up the pectoral muscles on the chest and lower back muscles.
Finally, we created a daily strengthening routine involving multiple muscle groups including intercostals, shoulder girdle, neck, mid back and lower back.
- Strengthening up the deep compartment muscles is essential to take the pressure off the larger muscles. Poor posture and weak muscles in between the shoulder blades and lower back can effect one’s golf game.
- Strengthen these muscles in order to perform a steady and powerful golf swing , and make sure you seek advice from an accredited sports massage therapist.
Running and walking does not strengthen up the body, so get advice on how to strengthen key muscle groups. KC’s hobbies all require a strong grip, so by strengthening up key muscles, his fitness has improved and so has his golf swing, and we have reported that KC has had no further niggles with his intercostal strain.