Friday, November 8, 2013

Top 3 reasons why your golf game can be affected by your foot pain

Has your foot pain affected your golf game recently? Have you noticed a change in your swing because of guarding and inability to pivot your foot? The reality of the matter is that there are contributing forces to the golf swing and poor foot mechanics can result in foot pathology that would ultimately affect the quality of the golf swing.

Here are three reasons why your golf swing can be affected by your foot pain:

Great toe joint arthritis - This is a common condition that we see in a large patient spectrum and it is independent of age. The top two reasons that patients develop great toe joint arthritis are: Genetics and/or a history of trauma to the joint. Patients with great toe joint arthritis develop significant pain and stiffness over time, which results in an inability to "push-off" the toe. By guarding the pain, your foot position and mechanics are thereby compromised which leads into a less effective swing.

Plantar fasciitis - This is a condition that involves an inflammatory response at the ligament/tendon structure (plantar fascia), which inserts at the heel. This results in significant pain at the heel and "tightness" in the arch. This, in turn can inhibit the foot from completely planting and thus, will reduce the effectiveness of the swing. We often see this condition in conjunction with tightness of the posterior muscle group which contributes to the pain and inability to plant the heel on the ground.

Achilles Tendonitis - This is a condition that also involves an inflammatory response but this time at the tissues surrounding the Achilles tendon insertion. This is precisely located at the back of the heel and is also seen in conjunction with tightness of the posterior muscle group. The result of this condition is again an inability to plant the foot or push off, which would also compromise the swing.

Here are ways to address those problems:

By relieving the contracture and "tightness" of the posterior muscle group
Physical therapy
Can comprise of ultrasound and other hands-on modalities to improve range of motion and relieve tight muscle groups
Mechanical control of the foot - Foot or Ankle and Foot Orthoses
In doing so, there is a lesser tendency or chance of aggravating the tendons.
Vitamin supplementation and antioxidants
Reduce associated swelling and pain
Shock-wave therapy
Using a combination of low intensity ultrasound guided shockwaves, an inflammatory response can be induced in the chronic tendon disease and promote healing.
Surgical repair
Most definitive but is contingent on the type of problem at hand. Typically outpatient type of setting with a brief period of Non-weight bearing (no walking)If you have any questions pertaining to any of the aforementioned conditions, then consult with your foot and ankle specialist

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