In fact, and perhaps it’s because I have scoliosis and am very careful about hurting my back, I always listen to what my body is telling me when it comes to pain or soreness.
Soreness is natural when not having played or swung in a while, but a nagging soreness is likely something you’re doing wrong in your mechanics.
I’ll give you all an example – when I played some rounds this past autumn at the end of the season, my left S.I. joint was really bothering me. I chalked it up to not having walked 18 holes of golf regularly, but then I was having soreness issues with the S.I. joint into the early part of the winter break.
Something interesting happened however, when I began to break down my setup and mechanics to see where the issues in my playing swing had cropped up.
As I’ve blogged in the past weeks, I discovered that the adjustments I’d made to my setup weren’t quite what they should have been to account for my spinal deformity.
I was still having to turn hard into the leading hip to avoid getting past the swing bottom with my leading shoulder, and that’s what was causing the early trailing heel lift and the hooks when I didn’t time it right, or the straight right blocks.
And wouldn’t you know, in the weeks since I made the final (I hope) adjustments to my setup, I’ve been swinging quite a good deal, and even after having taken the Kettle Bell back up for some good hard swinging workouts – I have a little soreness in the left S.I. joint today from all of the working out with the KB I did yesterday, but only the soreness from returning to working out, not the “Boy, does that hurt!” kind of soreness that I was feeling in the autumn when swinging slightly out of my optimal setup.
So, I know that I likely won’t have a repeat of that pain – my left S.I. joint has been chronically sore for years, making me groan when I first get out of bed or tying my shoes at times, but that’s something I have to live with.
The problem I will run into with my personal swing is that I’ve been working for years to develop the optimal swing model and to hone my own motion to that end – and the closer you get to the optimal model, the higher your risk of little injuries.
Don’t be – the closer you get to optimal, the more freely, the harder and more vigorously you can swing, and that means, like a fast sports car turning a corner at high speed, you don’t need much to go wrong to blow a tire.
Swinging Hard? Be Very, Very Careful…
So, the most dangerous times for incurring an injury are when you’re so far off proper mechanics that you’ll hurt something (Modern Golf Swing Syndrome), or when you’re actually swinging very well, but there’s just enough of something being off somewhere that the strain of your maximum swings can cause an injury.
You’ll remember I once said that Jason Day’s swing, modern or not, was very close to being as good as it got – but I added that the modern style of over-twisting and the violent change of direction put him at risk of injury, even as good as it was and… I was correct!
So, there was nothing actually wrong with my swing – it’s just that, being my own theory tester, and being a power swinger to begin with, I swing and always have swung as hard as I can, both because I love the long ball and because you have to swing full out to see where your mechanics are.
That goes especially if you’re swinging long drive clubs as I do in addition to playing clubs.
That will put a good deal of stress on your body, especially if you’re over 40 and don’t swing every day so… I should be hurting myself, but I don’t.
And the reason I’ve never injured myself in 12 years of swing research (with much of that time spent hitting hundreds of drives per day some days), is because I listen to my body, and when it’s complaining, I take heed!
I was feeling pain and soreness during playing and range work, and even when swinging the SwingRite at home, for a couple of weeks following the end of the season, and I didn’t ignore it.
Rather, I said, “It could be just that I’m getting older, but let me just see what’s going on with my mechanics…”
And I’ve found and fixed the little issue that caused me problems swinging at the speeds that I do during that short period last autumn.
So, I would have found the setup issue eventually, as I always take the winter to re-evaluate my swing as it stands – but the nagging soreness made me take a look sooner than I would have, and my S.I. joint thanks me for it!
Something to keep in mind if you think that chronic pain is the price of playing golf.
It isn’t – it’s the price of swinging incorrectly, either with thousands of reps or at a high speed.
I’ve said many times that one shouldn’t hurt oneself swinging essentially a 13 oz stick.
Pain is a good thing – it tells you when you’re doing something wrong.
And that means… you have to find the problem and fix it.
Back Pain or Back Injury Swinging a Golf Club?
Lacking Power, Speed, Distance and or Consistency?
Need A Swing That Is More Easily Maintained?
If You Answered “Yes” To Any Of The Above Questions, The Answer Is In The Formula For The Golf Swing: