Don't let your tee time become pain in the neck
Affinity’s ‘Golf Your Personal Best’ aims to keep golfers on the links
03 / 10 / 2008
Maria Nelson, Media Relations
Affinity Health System
(920) 554-0686 (pager)
According to the American Orthopedic Society for Sports Medicine, more than 27 million people golf in the
“Many golfers are inviting injury because they tend to swing too fast and too hard with swings that are out of control,” says Brian Borchardt, physical therapist for Affinity Health System. “Any swing that that uses excessive muscular tension and force increases the risk for injury.”
Borchardt and the Rehabilitation Services team at
“Most golfers have never been asked to think about their golf posture, balance, strength or flexibility,” he says. “We all buy new equipment, get swing tips and consider the mental side of the game, but we don’t consider these physical components of the golf swing.”
The golfer completes a medical history that identifies any specific problem areas, such as in the lower back, shoulders or neck.
“We do a swing assessment and develop goals in a treatment plan. It’s very similar to any other rehabilitation program but with a focus on golf.”
Borchardt videotapes the golfer’s swing and analyzes it with special software. In addition, the golfer is assessed for posture, balance, strength and flexibility.
“Everyone has their own unique body type and their own unique swing mechanics,” says Borchardt. “Our goal is to develop a plan that reduces pain, reduces physical restriction, reduces injury risk and improve swing efficiency with optimal performance.”
The program is designed for all golfers, no matter what age or gender. The rehab team can even design plans for golfers who have undergone joint replacement surgery. “After a joint-replacement patient has been cleared to play the sport, we find techniques to protect the new joint during the swing,” say Borchardt.
What swing factors should a golfer be conscious about?
Borchardt says posture and flexibility are two very important factors. “I disagree with the conclusion that golf is bad for you back. It’s poor posture and faulty swing mechanics that put our backs at more risk.”
Posture and flexibility are important for all ages, but become more crucial as golfers age. Borchardt advised that a golfer experiencing pain now should be evaluated, and if they are experiencing joint and trunk tightness, they need to be aware that it can lead to soft tissue stress and strain.
“We want people who want to play golf when they are 90 to have that opportunity. Correcting any problems now is the first step towards a lasting relationship with the game.”
# # #
For the Editor:
Affinity Health System, a faith-based regional health care network, is the Fox Valley’s second-largest employer, according to the Fox Cities Chamber of Commerce & Industry. For the fourth consecutive year, Affinity has been named one of the nation’s top 64 health systems based on clinical performance according to Thomson Reuters, a leading provider of information and solutions to improve the cost and quality of health care. For ten consecutive years, Affinity Health System has been named to the SDI (formerly Verispan) Integrated Health Network Top 100, an annual assessment of the 100 most highly integrated health care networks in the nation. Both St. Elizabeth Hospital in Appleton and Mercy Medical Center in Oshkosh rank among the top 1 percent of hospitals nationwide in terms of quality and efficiency, as determined by the 2007 Premier | CareScience Select practice National Quality Award. Members of Affinity include Mercy Medical Center and Mercy Health Foundation, Oshkosh; St. Elizabeth Hospital and the St. Elizabeth Hospital Foundation, Appleton; Affinity Medical Group, a regional network of 25 family practice and specialty clinics – 22 of which are recognized as NCQA Level III medical homes, the highest level of recognition – in 14 communities; Calumet Medical Center, Chilton; and Affinity Occupational Health.