In the last week I have seen a patient, a golf player, who had been suffering from neck pain on his left side for more than three weeks. The cause of the pain and its resolution motivated me to write this post relating golf, neck pain and osteopathy.
This patient, in addition to the pain, had restriction of some neck movements. The symptomatic treatment of this patient would have been aimed at relaxing the painful musculature with some manual techniques and stretching, which would have led to an improvement in symptoms lasting a few days.
Symptom treatment versus osteopathy
I always keep in mind the importance of treating the body as a unit, and that in many cases the place where our patients have pain does not match with the origin of the problem.
This way of thinking, typical of osteopathy, and the search for the cause of my patients’ discomfort has helped me to solve the vast majority of the problems that afflict them.
In order to achieve a lasting solution, I evaluated the structures related to neck pain and golf practice. And logically, the cause of the persistent neck pain became apparent.
My patient had a big retraction of the teres minor muscle due to overuse, apparently caused by poor swing technique.
This muscle retraction caused a decrease in the internal rotation of the shoulder, and at the same time conditioned the normal movement of the scapula.
This altered scapular mobility generated an exaggerated traction of the levator scapulae muscle on the cervical spine, causing neck pain that did not go away.
Appropriate treatment of this muscle (teres minor) resulted in an immediate improvement of the neck symptoms, which continued to improve in the days following treatment thanks to the indicated stretches that the patient continued to perform.
At the same time I recommended to contact a golf instructor to improve the sporting gesture that initiated the muscular imbalance.
To summarise, we had a golf player patient who came to osteopathy with neck pain caused by muscle retraction away from the cervical area that did not improve over the days. Appropriate treatment produced an immediate and lasting improvement.
There are many other possibilities for golf-related neck pain, it is only necessary to assess each patient thoroughly to determine the cause and choose the appropriate treatment.
At Osteofisio Marbella we will be happy to assess your individual case and apply the necessary treatment to resolve the pain that is bothering you and at the same time improve your golfing performance.
“Relieving your pain is just the beginning, improving your quality of life is the goal”.
Leonel Díaz Coria
Physiotherapist ICPFA-certified – Osteopath