The sun is shining in New England and that means golf season is here.
Golf might be a low-impact sport, but it’s still associated with injuries. Many injuries are due to poor posture and repetitive movement. Before you hit the course for your first 18 holes of the season, consider a golf fitness assessment.
A formal assessment can detect any problem areas that could cause pain later on, but it can also help improve your game, according to Susan DiRocco, a physical therapist with Lahey Outpatient Center, Danvers.
Lahey’s Golf Fitness Assessment has been around one year, but DiRocco has worked with golfers for more than 25 years. She’s a golfer herself, loves the sport and its athletes.
“We assess someone’s physical capability to play golf,” she said. There are 16 Physical Therapists across the Lahey Health system offering this service.
“The literature shows about 70 percent of golfers play in pain,” she said. “We want to improve their game but also identify the trouble spots in the swing.”
Patients who are older than 55 years of age are at particular risk for injuries, according to a study by the National Institutes of Health.
The assessment is not a coaching session as you might expect from a golf pro. Instead, the physical therapist will go over your medical health history, analyzing any past surgeries for problem areas, and watch you do several rotations with a golf club.
There are 14 movements. Most problems, DiRocco said, concern the knees or hips. But therapists look at head, neck and torso rotations too. Balance, posture, and coordination is watched.
“Sometimes a person is playing with clubs that are not the right fit,” she said. “In that case, we communicate with the patient’s golf pro, if they have one, to get the right equipment.”
DiRocco talked about the Golf Fitness Assessment in detail on a recent Facebook Live. If you’d like to make an appointment for a golf fitness assessment, contact one of our physical therapy teams throughout Lahey Health.