“GolfThritis™” and the Mature Golfer
Any “mature golfer” knows first-hand how inflammation, stiffness and even mild to moderate pain in the knees, neck and hips can alter one’s golf game! Some golfers with these symptoms might even avoid playing in the morning because of the impact on their game. Or maybe they give up the game they love altogether. These symptoms of pain, inflammation and stiffness can often lead to poor drives and missed putts. But what is “GolfThritis™” and what do you do about it?
What is “GolfThritis™”?
A term coined on golf courses in North Carolina recently to indicate the loss of mobility or pain and stiffness that creeps into the joints (wrists, shoulders, neck, back, hips, and knees) prior to and definitely after a day on the course. This combination of GolfThritis™ can reduce your range of motion which will affect your backswing – and ultimately the total power of your swing.
GolfThritis™ can be in your wrists, elbows or shoulders. Or you might have it in your neck, back or hips. Studies show that the force applied to the waist of a golfer at the moment of impact is as large as eight times the body weight of the golfer! But either way, every 1mph you lose in club speed equals about 3 yards lost down the fairway. And the average male golfer has a club speed of 93mph (similar to the women pros in the LPGA – whereas Tiger Woods averages 124-128mph with his swing). But over time this club speed can be reduced with age, mobility or strength by as much as 25mph.
So what Can You Do for “GolfThritis™”?
Obviously, the first thing you might do is to take aspirin, Aleve or Ibuprofen, before and after playing. But you should be careful for the long term effects of these on your stomach or even your kidneys. The other thing you may do is just compensate for less of a backswing – and therefore more strokes in your game. Some players alter their lifestyles and their game by not even playing in the morning when their bodies are not “warmed up”. Others may not even play as much due to the post-play pain which is unfortunate, and probably unnecessary.
We prefer a natural strategy to improving your GolfThritis™. This involves a two-step approach: proper stretching, and focusing on your inflammation: the possible root cause for the stiffness and pain you may be experiencing during golf.
Age appropriate and targeted stretching can improve your range of motion dramatically. A recent study in the Journal of Physical Therapy Science found that the subjects in the study using a composite stretching technique improved their “hit ball speed” by an average of 11mph in just 12 weeks! And hit-ball-speed is typically 1.5x the speed of the club. This means an average increase of 20 yards for every stroke! So clearly a dedicated and disciplined approach to stretching can provide big benefits.
Focus on Inflammation
There are typically five signs of Inflammation: pain, heat, swelling, redness (skin only) and loss of motion. For joints, the most common signs are of course pain, swelling and loss of range of motion. Inflammation is the body’s natural and healthy response to injuries in the joint where a process of “autophagy” cleans and rebuilds the damaged chondrocytes in the cartilage inside the joints. Unfortunately, when inflammation from certain foods (saturated fats, fatty meats, corn oil, gluten, etc.) causes systemic issues in our diets, the body’s inflammation and recovery process are simply overwhelmed. Chronic inflammation is at the core of most of our serious cardiac, osteoarthritis, diabetes, metabolic disorders, weight gain and even cancer. You can learn more about that here. One study showed a 51% improvement in the area of range of motion from the use of polyphenols in their diet for just 12 weeks.*
One golfer we interviewed said that he has now found a “natural relief” from inflammation and joint pain from his golf with the combined effects of an olive fruit polyphenol supplement (hydroxytryrosol, tyrosol and derivatives), curcumin and black pepper extract. He takes two capsules a day and is back to morning golf now with no pain.*
For more about GolfThritis™ – keep focused on our blog series this month. And for more information about our all-natural, and pure olive fruit polyphenols for reducing inflammation in the body see OliPura® Joint here.*
* Disclaimer: These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
“Effects of special composite stretching on the swing of amateur golf players“ 2015 (Korea) https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25995553/
Blog on inflammation signs: https://oliventuresinc.com/blog/typical-signs-of-inflammation/
Average Club head speed by Age Group:
“Pain Reduction and Improvement in Range of Motion….” See the study here: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3133683/