Lions, and Tiger, and KT tape, O My!

The golf world was set ablaze again with the sight of Tiger Woods with Kinesiology Tape on his neck. 

https://ftw.usatoday.com/2018/07/tiger-woods-kt-tape-neck-stiffness-reaction

https://ftw.usatoday.com/2018/07/tiger-woods-kt-tape-neck-stiffness-reaction

 

The rumors started flying, he is hurt, what is going on, is he done for good this time? 

I wanted to write about Kinesiology Tape to give you some more information about where it came from, what it does or reports to do, and if it is beneficial. 

Where did it come from? 

Kinesiology Tape was developed KT in the 1970’s by a Japanese chiropractor named Dr. Kenzo Kase. It is made of tightly woven elastic fibres, which can be stretched to approximately 120% of their original size.  This elasticity is similar to that of human skin. 

The Kinesio Taping Method first gained recognition outside of Japan in the 1988 summer Olympics in Seoul, South Korea. Introduction to the USA occurred in March 1995 in Portland, Oregon at the Northwest Athletic Trainers Association Annual Clinical Symposium. Europe was next to find the value of Kinesio Tex Tape in 1996. The technique is used by Physical Therapists, Occupational Therapists, Certified Athletic Trainers, Massage Therapist, Doctors of Chiropractic, Medical Doctors, Nurses, and Acupuncturists all around the world.    https://kinesiotaping.com/about/what-we-do/

https://www.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424052748703465204575208193178227952

https://www.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424052748703465204575208193178227952

 

What does it do? 

Some of the purposed benefits of KT tape include: normalization of muscular function, increased vascular and lymphatic flow, reduced pain by neurological suppression, corrected joint misalignment, relieved abnormal muscle tension, and increased proprioception. 

All of these fancy words basically mean that it can help decrease pain by having an effect on your nervous system, it can help with the process of ridding your body of bi products that are harmful to you,  and it can help with stimulating your body to help heal itself. 

Is it beneficial? 

There is conflicting evidence as the effectiveness of KT tape in doing what it reports. The problem with research is that often times it is done in an environment that is more controlled. This means that it is under conditions that are not always the same as a person may experience in the real world. There are better ways to structure a research study to leave it with as little bias as we can, but the scientific process is far from perfect. 

There is a term called placebo that I feel is beneficial to define and explain. A placebo according to Wikipedia is a substance or treatment that has no intended therapeutic value. We often know of this term from studies on drugs. A control groups is often given a placebo drug which can just be a sugar pill and it acts as a way to compare the results of the patient's who are actually receiving the drug under the study. The problem with a sham or placebo taping is that any tape that touches the skin has an effect on the body which is hard to determine. We have nerves in our skin that send signals to the brain which can have an effect on the brains response (thus the purported effect on the nervous system) 

There is a very specific way that is taught on how to apply the kinesio tape. The direction of the taping, the amount of pull, the goal of the tape, the results of the evaluation and the goal of what the tape is helping to do all need to be taken into consideration as to the value they bring to help the patient reach their goals. When I treat a patient, if they mention a prior treatment or approach that was beneficial to them, I know that they have a psychological attachment to that treatment because they found it beneficial before. I am sure going to use that treatment, because I know there is value attached. The mechanism of KT tape may just be psychological in nature, if you think it works it does. The brain and nervous system, our beliefs, our feelings, our past experiences all play a large role in the physiological response of our bodies to treatment. 

We know that when we think about positive things, they tend to happen in our lives. I feel that this holds true in medicine as well, we can't forget how powerful the mind is in healing our bodies. 

http://ispeventcenter.com/blog-post/positive-thinking-a-gamechanger/

http://ispeventcenter.com/blog-post/positive-thinking-a-gamechanger/

 

Remember that I am always here to be a resource for you. My name is Brian Murphy, I am a doctor of physical therapy and owner of Pinnacle Physical Therapy in West Little Rock, Arkansas. Please e-mail me if you have any questions: Brian@pinnacledpt.com or shoot me a call or text to 501-529-2010. 

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

Brian 

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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. 

Over the Top.jpg

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! 

Brian on Ball.jpg

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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Office Work and What it Does to Your Game!

You're the typical type A personality. You can literally sit at your desk and do work for hours at a time without a break. Although your boss and your bottom line may benefit from this productivity, your golf game DOES NOT! 

Upper Body Implications

What we see with the typical work station set up is that we are forced to take a posture that causes a rounding of our shoulders, a forward head posture, and an increased curvature of our thoracic spine. Pain can also go hand in hand with these postures. As the old saying goes, form follows function. Being in this position for most of the day will cause changes in body structures that are having a negative effect on making an optimal golf swing. 

Poor office posture .jpg

Rounded Shoulders

Tightness of pectoralis major/minor musculature and the inefficient position of the head of the humerus (upper arm bone) can prevent you from getting your arms to an efficient position in the top of your golf backswing. 

Use this stretch to prevent tightness in the pectoralis musculature and pain in the neck and shoulders. Perform 2-3 x throughout the work day. Each time you perform this stretch you can do 3 repetitions holding each stretch for 30 seconds. You should be feeling a pulling sensation just below and in front of your shoulder. If you have had previous injury in your shoulder consult with your medical provider before trying this stretch. 

You might have to find a strategic location in your office to perform this stretch. You can always tell your boss you do your best thinking when you are in a corner! 

You might have to find a strategic location in your office to perform this stretch. You can always tell your boss you do your best thinking when you are in a corner! 

Thoracic Kyphosis

This is the fancy word for increased arch in your upper back (the thoracic spine). What happens here is that the joints in the thoracic spine that allow that area of your back to move become less mobile with prolonged poor posture. This will literally reek havoc in your golf swing because you need around 50 degrees of thoracic spine rotation at the top of your golf backswing to create any type of power and coil in the musculature. This coil is then released to exert energy into the golf ball. 

Use this exercise to prevent lack of mobility in this area as well as neck, shoulder, and upper back pain. You can perform this exercise 2-3 x per day. Each time you perform the exercise you want to hold this end position shown below for around 5 seconds. Start in an upright sitting position. 10 repetitions each time is adequate. Make sure you are feeling this in-between your shoulder blades. You are basically using the top of the chair as a fulcrum to help mobilize your Thoracic Spine. 

Make sure your chair is not going to roll backward when you perform this exercise. 

Make sure your chair is not going to roll backward when you perform this exercise. 

Cervical Spine

This is the neck and with a forward head posture we find that a lot of tension is developed in the musculature on the back side of your neck which leads to neck pain and headaches. This occurs because you have now created an increased demand of trying to hold your head up against the force of gravity! Your head is not a light part of your body. Some of us even know co workers who have REALLY BIG HEADS! With the continued load of gravity pushing it further down, the ligaments, bony structures, and musculature have to counter that movement. 

What also happens in the above scenario is that the musculature that is deep in the front of your neck becomes weak, this can effect your neck's ability to move.  During the golf swing you need around 70 degrees of cervical rotation. 

Use this exercise to ensure the deep neck flexor musculature stays strong and that you are preventing increased loads on your neck which may lead to pain. Always remember that when the neck is stacked directly over your shoulders, gravity is just applying compression, not flexion (bending forward) which is what can cause neck pain. Perform this exercise 4-6 x throughout your day. Each time you perform it you can hold for around 5 seconds and perform 10 repetitions. The idea is to make a double chin, but remember you want to be gentle. Double chin is in! 

Try to keep your chin level, don't let your neck extend. Imagine your chin is resting on a desk and you are trying to push it straight back. 

Try to keep your chin level, don't let your neck extend. Imagine your chin is resting on a desk and you are trying to push it straight back. 

I included the above exercises because they can be done without a lot of equipment in your office. Remember, we are all individuals.  Finding the best exercise plan for your specific needs mean you have to have a thorough examination, evaluation, and plan of care established for YOUR SPECIFICATIONS. 

Use these exercises to ensure you are ready to play your best golf after you leave the office for the day! 

If you need extra assistance, sign up for my free phone consultation under contact on my website (pinnacledpt.com) and I can be a resource for you to help you reach your Pinnacle!