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Shoulder Pain in Golf

Shoulder Pain in Golf

Shoulder pain is a common complaint with golfers. Most of us do not realize how much shoulder flexibility and range of motion we actually need in order to effectively swing the golf club without pain. There are two tests that we can utilize in order to determine if we are at risk for shoulder injury while playing golf:

  1. Golf posture shoulder external rotation test: Stand in your golf posture as if you were going to hit a 5 iron. Bring one elbow up to shoulder height, and bring your hand up towards the sky (external rotation of the shoulder joint). If you do not clear 90 degrees on either side, you are at risk for injury.

Something to note: Shoulder ER in standing or lying on your back is not the same as while standing in golf posture.

  1. Lat test: Stand with your back to a wall with a stick in between your back and the wall. Make a thumbs up sign with your hand, and raise your arms up until your thumbs hit the wall behind you. BUT, you cannot let the stick move from behind your back. Sometimes, we compensate by arching our lower back in order to get more shoulder flexion because the lat muscle comes all the way down and attaches to our pelvic bones.

If you have difficulty passing either of these tests, you may be compensating in other areas in order to swing properly.

Also, lack of thoracic extension mobility can limit our ability to raise our shoulder into flexion. We may have to address this issue in addition to working on shoulder range of motion and flexibility.

Get in Touch:

(949) 409-1339
Kevin O’Connor, PT, DPT, OCS, CSCS
TPI Medical 2 Certified
Owner - Impact Physical Therapy and Performance
Physical Therapist – Laguna Niguel, California
[email protected]


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