Did you know, that, according to official figures from four UK, and Ireland golf unions, participation in golf in 2022 was the second highest since records began, over 30 years ago!!  Research and data collected by The R&A along with England Golf, Scottish Golf, Wales Golf, and Golf Ireland report that 5.6 million adults played at least one 9, or 18 hole round of golf in Great Britain, and Ireland in 2022. That is A LOT of people, and that’s ONLY ADULTS!! Furthermore, research showed that golf participation is more than 50 percent above pre-pandemic levels (1). 

My ONLY ever exposure to golf in my youth was through television, when my father occasionally watched Jack Nicklaus. There was nothing ‘calling’ to me to want to play the game, the only part that intrigued me…warm weather in February!  I wanted to be where the golfers were because I wanted to be in sunny warm weather!  Years later, when I married into a family of golfers from Yorkshire, and then when my son decided he LOVED golf at the age of 9, I thought I better get interested, even if there was a lack of warm sunshine in Berkshire.  I bypassed pretty summer clothes, dug out boots, warm clothes, and waterproofs, and started to investigate the draw of golf.   

This is what I learned…

Golf can be considered a low-impact sport whose benefits may include:

– Letting go of stress, at least for a while. By focusing on your game, you have the opportunity to not overthink everything else!          

– Fitness. Good cardio from walking. Great exercise – a full body workout (shoulders, arms, legs, abs)  

– Get fresh air, and be surrounded by beautiful greenery

– Companionship- be with old friends, and make new ones 

– Satisfaction, because your golf skill has improved! Very satisfying. 

HOWEVER…I also learned there are plenty of injuries waiting to happen!! In golf?!! Really??!

– Mass General Brigham Hospital in Boston, US says because of improper mechanics in your golf swing, and/or a lack of strength and mobility could be the reason you may begin to experience lower back, hip, shoulder, and elbow pain and injuries (2)

AND…

– A review of biomechanical risk factors published by Sports Medicine and Health Science in 2020 tells us that professional and amateur golfers both can experience overuse injuries; professionals because of reduced swing variance, and amateurs because of improper technique and musculoskeletal imbalances.  They also tell us risk further increases if a golfer lacks adequate mobility (3).

Now…even though I have taken golf lessons, and managed to hit a ball over a good-sized lake, I still don’t play golf.  I prefer the walk, but, as an ultra distance trail runner, with many multi-day events under my belt, I understand how frustrating injuries can be, with forced recovery time, not being able to do what I love. 

What do I do as part of a routine to help prevent injury, or recover from injury? 

Apart from strength training, I have rest days and I get regular massages. 

SO… HOW DOES MASSAGE THERAPY HELP??

A research report published in Sports Health (4) states that massage might be beneficial for patients with chronic nonspecific low back pain, particularly when combined with exercise and education.  They also report that the pressure point massage technique was more effective than a traditional classic massage. 

A VERY brief history of Massage Therapy:

First recordings of massage therapy being used were in China 2700 BC, India 2500 BC, and Egypt in 2500 BC, and the ancient Greeks had recognised the value of deep friction massage with olive oil.  According to Hippocrates…a post-exercise massage helped to ease muscle pain. Modern research verifies massage increases blood flow, relaxes muscles, and can help break down scar tissue. (5)(6)

Further techniques and movements in a massage include stroking to promote muscle relaxation, kneading, lifting, twisting skin to increase muscle movability, deep friction with the thumb, or hot stone to break down scar tissue, and adhesions whilst neuromuscular technique (NMT)a sustained, targeted pressure to help release stubborn tight muscles which can improve your mobility and flexibility. 

So, if you are experiencing low back pain, lack mobility, recovering from injury, or want to help prevent injuries, massage therapy may help.  I know it keeps me running!  

Please email for more information ro******@ru********.com.

 

Article resources:

  1. The Golf Business Article – UK Golf Participation Was Second Highest Ever In 2022
  2. Mass General Brigham Article – Comm Golf Injuries
  3. Edwards N, Dickin C, Wang H. Low back pain and golf: A review of biomechanical risk factors. Sports Medicine and Health Science. 2020 Mar;2(1):10-18. DOI: 10.1016/j.smhs.2020.03.002. PMID: 35783335; PMCID: PMC9219256.
  4. Petering RC, Webb C. Treatment options for low back pain in athletes. Sports Health. 2011 Nov; 3 (6):550-5. doi: 10.1177/1941738111416446. PMID: 23016058; PMCID: PMC3445234.
  5. www.natural-therapy.com Jennifer Morgan History of Massage Therapy, last activated 15/11/23
  6. Nomikos NN, Nomikos GN, Kores DS. The use of deep friction massage with olive oil as a means of prevention and treatment of sports injuries in ancient times. Arch Med Sci. 2010 Oct;6(5):642-5. doi: 10.5114/aoms.2010.17074. Epub 2010 Oct 26. PMID: 22419918; PMCID: PMC3298328.

Rochelle

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