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Why Golf Pain Analysis Can Lead You To An Ideal Swing [E033]

You have to make sure your body can hit the ball the way YOUR body was designed too. Everyone has their own swing, style, and goals out on the course. Dr. Jason Hamed is certified through the Titleist Performance Institute and will share in this episode how you can not only find YOUR IDEAL golf swing but identifying were the golf pain that could be losing you distance and setting yourself up for injury.

Table Of Contents

An Introduction To Golf Pain

An Introduction To Golf Pain
Photographer: Court Prather | Source: Unsplash

Dr. Bryan: All right, welcome back to the Wellness Connection show, I’m your host Dr. Bryan Joseph, and I am joined by my cohost, Dr Jason Hamed.

Dr. Jason: What is going on, folks?

Dr. Bryan: This is Episode 33 of The Wellness Connection show, and we started this about six months ago with the intention of helping more people get well and stay well naturally. And when we discuss that topic, it’s such a broad topic because people want to stay well for so, so many reasons. It’s not just waiting till you get sick and then trying to patch things up. So today’s episode is really one of the broader spectrums of why people want to stay well, and this is to be physically active so that you can enjoy leisure activities such as golf pain. Right?

Dr. Jason: Yeah. It’s funny because you’re the one that actually shared this with me a long time ago. I don’t know if you remember when we were talking about really what a motivating factor for someone to walk across the threshold of our office was, is it’s not so much that pain is the generator that makes someone come into an office, ours, or any doctor for that matter, but it’s what the pain is limiting them from being able to do. And you’re passionate about your hobbies and I’m passionate about mine and I think we can speak to that, is if you’re hurting and all of a sudden you can’t do something that you love to do, all of a sudden you become really motivated to make a change.

Dr. Jason’s golf injury

Dr. Jason: And I definitely see that in golf. I see that a great deal in golf. One is, having a golf club in my hand since I was a young kid, I enjoy the game a great deal. I’m an average scoring golfer, but I have a high level of passion for the game. So on my own personal journey when I hurt my back eight years ago, I was really worried I’d never be able to play golf pain again. I couldn’t even walk. Remember that?

Dr. Bryan: I do remember that and I bet you you’re not alone. A lot of people have experienced those type of things, where backyard basketball with the kids and boom, injury takes place and you’re wondering, ‘Man, am I just getting too old to do any of these things?” Or “Did I just really just hurt myself?” But golf, like what you were saying, is a great leisure activity where so frequently people probably begin to wonder or drift as they age, “Man, a lot of my friends are still playing this game. Am I going to be able to keep playing?”

Dr. Jason: Yeah, I believe the answer is yes. I really do. And I think the same thing goes with basketball or anything. But I think that you have to be smarter with your body. And specifically with golf. You know this, but our audience may not know this yet, but recently I went through some advanced training with the Titleist Performance Institute up in Chicago. And really cool when you think about how many millions of providers of healthcare, chiros, PTs, orthopedists, all throughout the world right now and only a very, very small select few actually have gone on and got this training.

Getting smarter with your body

Dr. Jason: And so it’s really a science. Again, if we’re talking specifically about golf, if you want to play golf longer, if you want to feel good while you’re doing it and be able to perform really well, it’s not always about going out and get the nicest equipment, and it’s not even changing your swing. It’s just making sure your body can actually swing the club the right way. I’m not telling anyone to try to be Tiger Woods or Adam Scott-

Dr. Bryan: Or Happy Gilmore?

Dr. Jason: Or Happy Gilmore, for that matter. But you’ve got to make sure your body can at least hit the ball the way your body was designed to.

Dr. Bryan: I’ve seen you golf pain, you’ve seen me golf. We’ve played together many times, and yes, everyone’s got their own swing, everybody’s got their own style of golf and everyone’s got their own goals out on a golf course. So I think it’s very cool that obviously you’ve had a passion about golf for many years and you have pursued trying to figure out ways to help other people prevent injury and stay well for many years to come so that they can, just like you, continue to enjoy the game for many, many decades. Can you share a little bit more about what the TPI was?

What Titleist Performance Institute Is

What Titleist Performance Institute Is
Photographer: Mick De Paola | Source: Unsplash

Dr. Jason: In Titleist Performance Institute, it was again, sponsored by Titleist, one of the premier, if not the premier golf equipment companies in the golf industry. They recognized that there are certain things that prohibit people from going out and playing golf pain and they assembled an amazing team of doctors to create research, to create case studies, to have a performance lab that literally would be able to test these things. And what we found is this. The philosophy that I 100% agree with is there is no ideal golf swing, but there is, however, an ideal golf swing for you. So how I swing the club may be different than you and how someone else on TV swings a club is going to be different than the guy who sits at a desk all week long.

Dr. Jason: And the problem that we see all too often in our culture is that we see the guy on television and we go to the range once a week and we play once a week and all of a sudden we want to hit it just like Tiger Woods. And we get upset and we judge ourselves against that. And that’s not reality. Not at all.

Dr. Jason: And so when we recognize first and foremost that everyone has their own unique golf swing, you just have to make sure that your body can tolerate that. And so what that led into is understanding that your body has a series of alternating joints that are supposed to be stable and some that are supposed to move all.

A sequence of joints that moves

Dr. Jason: So thinking about it this way, it’s got to be a sequence. A joint that’s stable, a joint that moves. A joint that’s stable, a joint that moves. And it goes all the way up your body from your arch, to your ankles, to your knees, to your hips, to your lower back, your mid back, your upper back, shoulders, and your neck. All along the way you have an alternating sequence of things that should be moving and things that should be stable. And if that is altered, then you have a problem. That’s when you get injury. And so the key is really identifying in someone.

Dr. Jason: And there’s an easy a set of screenings that now we can perform. There’s 14 to 15 different movement screens. Meaning, I ask you to do certain movements or stretches, and if you can or can’t do it it tells me you either have lost movement that you should have or you’ve lost strength and stability, again, that you should have. And when those things show up in a golf swing, they lead to literally 12 different faults, 12 different things that now when I see a golf swing, I can’t help but see them, that I know when I see that fault, that’s going to lead to an injury if that person doesn’t work on correcting their body.

Why Golf Pain Exists

caving
Photographer: Hadis Safari | Source: Unsplash

Dr. Bryan: Just touch base quickly on some of the reasons why these faults or why these poor movements or functional movements begin to happen to someone’s body even before they go out to swing a golf club.

Dr. Jason: All right, I’ll just sum it up. Most traditionally, and I’m talking about not in the youth, in the teenagers that are growing rapidly, but in the adults that we see it’s from a sedentary lifestyle. Again, we’ve touched on this in past broadcasts, that when we sit for 20, 30, 40 hours in a week, we create rigidity and tension into our hips. We lose strength in our core and we create excessive tightness into our lower back. The same thing happens in your upper body. You create excessive tension and tightness in your muscles, your chest and shoulders. You lose strength in the back of your neck and you go into this hunched posture. Then you get up and you try to swing a golf club, and your body’s like, this isn’t how I’m supposed to move. You can’t even move the right way.

Dr. Bryan: Yeah. Your body is fully compensating at that point, right?

Dr. Jason: 100%. Yeah. And then all of a sudden, guess what else has to pick up the slack? Your knees, your ankles, your hip socket, your shoulder, your elbow, and your wrist. And then you wonder why, like you said, your good point, hey, yeah, your swing fault made you slice a ball and you’re all ticked off that you got a couple of extra strokes that hole, you lost a golf ball. Right?

Injured discs and torn ligaments

Dr. Jason: But the real problem as you alluded to, is if you’re at the range and you’re hitting hundreds or thousands of balls over a course of a week or a month and all you’re doing is you’re just continuing to reinforce that, you are literally tearing tissue in your elbow and your shoulder or your lower back, leading to disc injuries, leading to a herniated disc, leading to tennis or golfer’s elbow, severe tendinitis, or worse, destruction of the ligaments. Now all of a sudden you’re not golfing not just for a day, you’re not golfing for weeks or months.

Dr. Bryan: No, because every swing in that situation is like a car wreck, right?

Dr. Jason: 100%.

Dr. Bryan: You’re jamming so much force through a body that doesn’t necessarily move correctly and therefore the joints that might have already become unhealthy are getting the acceleration of your full swing into those bad joints, which is, like I’m saying, like having a linebacker on the NFL hit you each time you swing. And that’s why you wonder when you’re out there swinging sometimes, why after six holes of golf pain you feel so sore. Your back hurts, your hip hurts, your knee hurts, your feet hurt, your wrists hurt, your shoulder hurts. And people that are fully functional and that have attuned their body to this methodology can play rounds of golf pain without having the same issue.

Dr. Jason: 100%.

Tell-tale signs of a faulty swing

Dr. Bryan: I don’t know how well you can describe any of the movements that you would identify for a fault or what to do to correct this stuff or how you screen somebody. Are those things that can be show-and-telled at all?

Dr. Jason: They can absolutely be shown and telled. Spoken about is a little harder, but what I would tell you just in summarization is, if you think about the golf swing and all the movements, from taking the club at address and bringing the ball back in what we call the backswing, and then actually swinging through the ball, what the screening system has done is it’s broken up every part of that over 14 to 15 different tests, that I can identify where there may be a limitation in a player’s ability to get the ball back over shoulders and then be able to make great contact and follow through correctly.

Dr. Jason: Shown, yes, talked about, it’s a little harder to describe them. But in short, we take the big swing and we chunk it up into 14 to 15 little tests and I can identify where the swing fault is, and then therefore also predict where someone is either losing distance or setting themselves up for injury.

Dr. Jason: The other thing to keep in mind, as you were talking in this I was thinking, you ever know when you go out and you play and the first few holes are really, really good and then all of a sudden you get a little fatigued, you start getting tired, and then all of a sudden things get sloppy?

Lack of practice rounds is a big factor

Dr. Jason: What I recognized when I realized, and I was not even aware of this until this training, a lot of that is not just the fact that you haven’t hit a bunch of golf pain balls enough and you haven’t had enough practice rounds. Yes, that plays into it, but also since your body is deconditioned, you haven’t created the endurance strength or the brain-body communication enough to keep that swing as fluid as it should be.

Dr. Jason: Again, these are easy fixes. Once you know where that problem is, then you can actually open the joints up and then strengthen them around it. So now when you go and practice, now when you go and play, if you’re getting fatigued it’s because it’s too hot out, you haven’t had enough calories, you didn’t sleep enough, versus, hey, my brain can’t communicate with my body effectively and now I’m getting fatigued because of that reason. So again, that’s a beautiful thing about when you understand where these body faults are and you apply that to opening them up and strengthening your body, now when you go to the range you’re that much more efficient and you’re not going to fatigue and cause nasty bad habits just out of your fatigue.

Golf Professional Chiropractors For Peak Condition

neck and shoulder treatment at physical therapist
Photographer: Jesper Aggergaard | Source: Unsplash

Dr. Bryan: Years ago, you remember this, I went through a training CCSP, Certified Chiro Sports Physician, and a lot of people may not know this, but what was cool to me at the time was one of the instructors was actually a golf professional chiropractor. So he basically traveled around on tour with a lot of the professional golfers. And although on TV we don’t ever see that element, we see basically just the players playing, but a lot of the longevity that these professionals have is because on the sidelines they’re doing a lot of work to their body beforehand, in between rounds, and then after the rounds. And that’s what’s allowing their body to stay in really peak condition as well as to heal properly. So we know people get adjusted, almost everybody on the tour gets adjusted regularly.

Dr. Jason: They have literally either one or two things stocked. They either have their own private chiro that they bring in, and we’ve known some of these guys who are in our time and within chiropractic communities, or the actual PGA does provide services onsite for the athletes as well. That may not be as specific chiro, maybe some athletes can’t afford, they’re not at that level of the game where they can fly in their own private chiro, but the tour has these facilities set up at all the events for these guys.

Dr. Bryan: And correct me if I’m wrong, and this is just from what I would think is happening in addition to what I know is happening, but they’re not just providing adjustments. There’s a lot of muscle work and neurology that’s actually happening in this mode of treatment.

3 Major Components To All Successful Golfers

3 Major Components To All Successful Golfers
Photographer: sydney Rae | Source: Unsplash

Dr. Jason: Yeah, 100%. And as we’re learning, there’s really three major components to all successful golfers. I don’t care if it’s young golfers or high level amateurs or even professionals, budding or the best, you’re going to have your swing coach, which is your PGA professional, you’re going to have a fitness coach knowing the ins and outs of how to generate more power, generate more mobility and make sure that you can create the distance and the athleticism that you need, and you also have to have a medical provider.

Dr. Jason: In this case like a chiropractor, to know where the alignment, know where the movement issues are , diagnose any pathology or bad things in the body, and then communicate with the fitness professional and the swing coach to make sure all three of us are on the same page to make sure the athlete is getting the best of both medical, fitness, and taking his body and be able to perform with what the swing coach is asking him to be able to perform with the actual golf swing.

Dr. Bryan: So for those people that are out there that are similar to me, maybe play a couple rounds of golf pain a year, I would still want to be able to keep my body in good shape and have access to those things. So without me having my own private fitness coach and my own private chiropractor and all these different things that are traveling around with me to keep me in peak condition, do most country clubs or local golf pain courses, do they typically have a swing coach associated with the facility or even a medical professional that can help people that are in these situations?

Look for TPI certified instructors in your area

Dr. Jason: Now, traditionally they will have a swing coach. So most country clubs will have a head pro that they can go to and get lessons and usually they’ll analyze a swing using video and look for the swing faults. From a standpoint of a medical provider or a fitness provider, this is where you want to leverage some of the TPI network. So you’d go to mytpi.com and see if there is a fitness or a medical or even a golf pain instructor that’s TPI certified. In this area, obviously I am a medical provider for that. And then what I will do is also help to, and other medical providers, may align with other fitness professionals to help again work with the swing coach and/or just a regular golfer or a highly competitive golfer .

Getting a TPI screening

Dr. Bryan: How long does it take for somebody to get a screening, a TPI screening?

Dr. Jason: The actual screening itself only takes about 10 minutes.

Dr. Bryan: That’s cool. So within 10 minutes you have an idea of where your patterns are that you’ve got to start working on.

Dr. Jason: Yeah, and literally just like in golf , so for those of you who are not passionate golfers, there’s something called a handicap. It lets you know how good or how not good of a golfer you are based on your handicap. So within the screening system, which is beautiful, is I can identify what someone’s body handicap is. Is their body able to perform a golf pain swing or are they setting themself up for injury?

Dr. Jason: And the cool thing as well, Doc, is once we work someone through the rehabilitation, the adjustments, the alignment, the stretching protocols, we retest it and we watch the handicap go up. No different than you would if you were now putting in hours on the putting green, you expect that your handicap would go down. I should say, excuse me, going down, I mean, not up. Handicap in golf is bad. We want a low handicap.

Dr. Bryan: No. Hey, when I was young, all I wanted to do was hit the ball as hard as I possibly could.

Dr. Jason: Yeah, you and everyone else.

Closing Thoughts

Dr. Bryan: So I think it’s a great thing and it’s cool to have the fact that you’ve pursued this additional training to be able to provide this for the people locally. And then whoever is not local, obviously you can look up the network like he said. But what a cool tool that these things are available to help really the every day Joe golfer have a chance to understand how to prevent their body from breaking down and how to potentially enhance their golf game without having to spend all day taking lessons.

Dr. Jason: I totally agree. And if you’re looking at just the big picture, if you knew that this is something you enjoyed, for you it may be fishing, for me might be golf, and I recognize this is something I want to enjoy for decades more to come, with my kids and my grandkids and maybe even my great grandkids.

Dr. Jason: Gone are the days where I just want to see how far I can hit it. I want to see how far I can play this game. And in order to do that, I have to now really be focused on what my body can do, where there’s rigidity and tension, and what I can do to unwind that so I can play the game for as long as I want, not just worrying about how far or how long I can hit the ball.

Dr. Bryan: Awesome.

Dr. Jason: Yeah, man, thanks. It was awesome. I look forward to helping more people not only improve their game, but also improve their ability to play the game without pain and just have fun. It’s a great game.

Connect with Us!

Dr. Bryan: Well, then let’s finish up on that note. If anybody is local and is looking to actually have a screening provided, I’ll just throw the mini commercial out right now and say contact our office, The Wellness Connection. Look up Dr Jason Hamed. He’s one of the few people in the area that have actually taken this training. So if you’re an avid golfer and you want to figure out how to enhance your ability to play for many years to come, get a screening done.

Dr. Jason: If you liked this episode, if you’re a golfer and actually found it valuable and you actually want to help share the mission and helping other people or other golfers to stay well for many years to come, you could find this episode living on Spotify, Google, iTunes. It’s listed on almost every directory at this point. And this particular episode is thewellnessconnection.com/e33, and I think this summer day is the greatest opportunity for us to maybe figure out a driving range, a local driving range, or maybe when we’re going to schedule a round of golf because now I feel like I need to go play.

Dr. Jason: Well, let’s go.

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