Orthopedic Physical Therapy

Orthopedic physical therapy is the specialty practice of evaluating the patient’s body and its movements. As a physical therapist we specialize in optimizing movement which may be altered from a variety of circumstances. One way happens to people who maintain habitual postures. When you think of someone who sits at a desk or performs repetitive tasks, they are predisposed to abnormal forces which can lead to musculo-skeletal pain or limitation. Physical therapists can help modify the work environment to help minimize forces while at the same time make the patient more tolerant to those forces so that there is not tissue breakdown and therefore pain.

What impairments do you have that keep you away from your passions?

What impairments do you have that keep you away from your passions?

As an orthopedic physical therapist we also specialize in helping people who are having joint issues. As we age there can be degenerative changes that occur in our joints. The joints that come to mind first are of course the knee and hip. In those situations, physical therapists help a patient to develop a plan that will prevent limitation in daily activities as well as hobbies while at the same time help them with pain management and prevention of surgery in a very holistic way which is proven by research to help in most cases.

Not interested in taking medications, getting injections, or having surgery. A physical therapist is a great option to help you get back to doing the things you love. 

Not interested in taking medications, getting injections, or having surgery. A physical therapist is a great option to help you get back to doing the things you love. 

Another way an orthopedic physical therapist can help a patient, which in my opinion is the most effective is in injury prevention. We are trained to do thorough assessments of your nervous and musculo-skeletal systems to see if they are performing optimally. I bring up the example of doing your yearly physical with your primary care doctor. We all know the value of having a physician listen to our heart, check our blood pressure, perform blood work and check in on our internal systems to ward off disease and help cure our ailments. Why not also have a yearly checkup with your movement specialist who can help you stay active in a noninvasive way by warding off potential injuries before they happen and sideline you from doing the things you enjoy.

There is a great resource for consumers of health to educate themselves on their options when it comes to treating pain and limitation. There is a movement called GetPT1st which highlights in more detail the benefits of seeing an orthopedic physical therapist. I urge you to check out this resource and see if physical therapy will be right for you.

http://getpt1st.com/why-physical-therapy/

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If you are in the Little Rock area, there is an orthopedic clinic specialist which is a credential that very few physical therapists have in the country let alone the state. He is willing to help analyze your movement, educate you on a specific plan of care catered to your needs, and empower you by teaching you what you need to do at home to get the best timely outcome. 

Check out www.pinnacledpt.com and Dr. Brian Murphy for more information. 

Dr. Brian Murphy, DPT, OCS, ATC, PES   Owner of Pinnacle Physical Therapy in West Little Rock, AR

Dr. Brian Murphy, DPT, OCS, ATC, PES 

Owner of Pinnacle Physical Therapy in West Little Rock, AR

Swing Flaws and Body Limitation Impairments: Over the Top

Over the Top

This swing characteristic is very common in higher handicap golfers. This commonly occurs with overuse of the upper body on the downswing portion of the swing. The player brings their club from outside to in and does not keep in in the slot. The slot is the intended swing path of the club that is ideal to put the club face squarley on the ball. 

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Shot Implications

If you have this swing characteristic it is common for you to pull the shot if your clubface is square and for you to slice the shot if your club face is open at impact. This fault makes it very difficult for you to consistently strike the center of the club face when you make contact with the ball. 

Body Limitations

This swing characteristic can be seen if you have a hard time with disassociation. Disassociation is huge in the golf swing; this is the ability for you to keep one area of your body stable while moving another part of your body. Their is an ideal sequence to moving the parts of your body during the downswing. If for instance you have stiffness in your hips or pelvis and they are not moving effectively, it is not uncommon to see a golfer using more of their upper body to swing the club, this often leads to the over the top swing fault. 

A proper weight shift is also critical to prevent this swing fault. A right handed golfer shifts their weight from the trail leg the lead leg very early in the downswing. If you have poor balance, or decreased core and glute strength it will force you to not shift as effectively and you end up coming over the top. 

Exercises/Corrections

There are drills you can perform to help with disassociation, and mobility of the upper and lower body. 

The Bretzl : http://www.mytpi.com/improve-my-game/swing-characteristics/over-the-top_v2

The stretch above is a great way to work on your mobility and the stretching of key areas in your body that need mobility to make a powerful golf swing. 

If you need any advice, please feel free to reach out to me at Brian@Pinnacledpt.com, by phone or text at 501-529-2010. I offer a FREE phone consultation to see if I can help you with your impairments so that you can return pain free to this things you enjoy.

Thanks and here's to helping you reach your Pinnacle! 

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Swing flaws and body limitation characteristics: Reverse spine angle

The reverse spine angle swing flaw is evident when the player demonstrates a lean of their upper body toward the target. For a right handed golfer this would be to their left at the top of their backswing. 

This lean of the upper body toward the target is a key characteristic of the reverse spine angle. 

This lean of the upper body toward the target is a key characteristic of the reverse spine angle. 

Shot Implications

This position makes it very difficult to properly sequence your downswing. The proper kinematic sequence is for the hips and pelvis to begin the movement of the downswing followed by the upper body, arms, and finally the hands and club. This allows for the energy stored in the muscles of the trunk to be released in such a way that maximizes power into the ball. If this sequence is abnormal then power is bled from the swing and increased forces can be put into the body. This position also makes it difficult to find the proper path of the golf club as it travels toward the ball, which leads to inconsistency in the path of your ball toward your selected target. 

A SHANK IS WHEN YOU HIT THE BALL MORE TOWARD THE HOZEL OF THE CLUB. 

A SHANK IS WHEN YOU HIT THE BALL MORE TOWARD THE HOZEL OF THE CLUB. 

Body Factors

In order to maintain your spine angle during the backswing your body has to be able to do certain things. First, you have to be able to separate your upper body from your lower body. If you are unable to do this it could be because of a mobility issue ( joint stiffness, or muscular tightness). Another reason why you may not be able to separate your upper body from your lower is because of what is called a motor control/stability issue. This is when your body must be trained in how to properly move.

Mobility in the thoracic spine (upper part of your back) as well as your hips are critical during your backswing. If mobility in these areas is limited your body will lean and sway to compensate. This compensation is the reverse spine angle swing flaw. This position puts a lot of stress on the right side of your low back. 

Mobility and flexibility are shown here, but don't try this as a warm-up before your golf round. 

Mobility and flexibility are shown here, but don't try this as a warm-up before your golf round. 

Stability in the core and around the hips is critical to efficiently move and properly sequence your swing. We know stability is an issue when we test you using the TPI screen and other exam techniques. Working on strengthening the core and looking at your rolling patterns is a way that we help to train your stability. 

Exercises

Try this exercise to ensure you are keeping your pelvis in neutral. This is another body issue that can cause you to extend or arch your back which then puts you in a reverse spine angle position. 

Call today for your free phone consultation. I am here to be a resource for you. 

 501-529-2010

Thanks and here's to helping you reach your PINNACLE! 

Swing flaws and body limitations connections: Flat shoulder plane

This swing flaw has to do with the alignment of the plane of the shoulders compared to a line drawn straight up through your spine. 

Angles drawn at address 

Angles drawn at address 

As you come into your backswing you should not see the lead shoulder raise up, thus widening this angle. 

As you can see, now that he is at the top of his backswing this plane has totally changed. 

As you can see, now that he is at the top of his backswing this plane has totally changed. 

Shot Implications 

- This can lead to poor power into the ball

- Club is out of position and a compensation movement has to happen in order to get the club face on the ball. This leads to inconsistent ball striking. 

Body Limitations 

Shortened latissimus dorsi musculature or stiffness in the spine can lead to an inability to turn the upper body independently of the lower body. 

Try this exercise to stretch your lats! 

Make sure that you have tightness in this muscle before you stretch it out. You can perform 3 x and hold each one for 30 seconds. 

Make sure that you have tightness in this muscle before you stretch it out. You can perform 3 x and hold each one for 30 seconds. 

 

Both the hips and shoulders have to demonstrate great flexibility and movement. In order for you not to compensate elsewhere it is critical that the shoulders and hips both have the movement ability to help you get into an aggressive position at the top of your backswing without demonstrating the flat shoulder plane.  

Try this exercise to make sure your hips are rotating effectively. 

Sitting in this position, as one knee goes in toward the floor the other goes out. You can alternate positions performing 30 x alternating holding for around 5 seconds. 

Sitting in this position, as one knee goes in toward the floor the other goes out. You can alternate positions performing 30 x alternating holding for around 5 seconds. 

Remember that none of these exercises are meant to cause pain. You should also seek the advice of your primary care physician before starting any new exercise program. If you are having pain, you can reach out to your local TPI professional for a golf specific assessment. I can be reached at pinnacleDPT.com, over the phone at 501 529-2010, or at brian@pinnacledpt.com. 

Thanks and here's to helping you reach your pinnacle!

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