Hooray! Golf season is finally here. But be careful to avoid these golf swing issues that can potentially cause foot pain or even surgery.
The Golf Swing and Big Toe Joint Pain
When you swing a golf club, your weight shifts to your front foot. It’s actually your back foot that is going to have this issue. Your back foot should be ending up on the toe. Some golfers end up over flexing the big toe joint. This hyper-extending of the big toe joint gradually causes irritation of the bone and joint and can result in a condition called hallux limitus.
Hallux limitus is a painful problem of the big toe joint. Your big toe joint can become painful and swollen. You may also start to notice a decrease in range of motion of the big toe joint. On an x-ray, we may see bone spurs on the top of the joint.
If you are starting to get pain in the big toe joint after golf, here are some steps you can take for relief:
- Try not to flex that big toe joint so much in your golf swing – maybe take a shorter golf swing
- Find a golf shoe with a slightly stiffer sole – this will reduce how far you can flex that joint
- If the problem is still painful, apply ice and rest the foot
- NSAIDs like ibuprofen (Advil) or naproxen (Aleve) may help
The Golf Swing and Ankle Pain
If you watch the pro golfers, the ankle on their front foot really twists a lot at the end of their golf swing. Most of the pros are young and flexible. They also do exercises to strengthen the muscles in their feet and legs. Strong muscles help prevent the ankle from twisting too much.
Weekend golfers usually can’t spend hours every day working out. Their ligaments also aren’t as elastic as those younger pro golfers. Weekend golfers are much more prone to injury.
Over swinging can lead to over twisting of your front ankle which can lead to soreness and pain.
Prevent ankle injuries during golf by:
- never swinging at 100% – an 80% swing is more accurate and actually will go farther
- develop a tighter, more compact swing – stay within yourself
- try to play your game, not the game of that big swinger you are playing with
I recently played golf with a younger person who could out-drive me by a mile. On one whole, he actually hit the ball 350 yards. Believe it or not, we tied on that hole, because there is more to golf than just a big drive.
Don’t get sucked in playing their game. Swing your swing and you will do just fine. Trying to keep up with that golfer will only frustrate you and ruin your game.
If you find yourself in pain this week, call our office for an immediate appointment at (845) 298-9074.
Hollowbrook Foot Specialists serving the Hudson Valley from Wappingers Falls.