My Left Hip Is Killing Me – Why That’s A Good Thing

It’s all about leverage and the change I made to my setup a few days ago.

I’ll start by talking about something that seems to be completely random and having nothing to do with the golf swing modeling – I began to experience pain in my left sacroiliac joint a few years ago.

It was due to a loosened joint, either from a stretched tendon or an impact injury (having been in sports all of my life, I have had more than ample opportunity in landing on my keister or perhaps on an  extended left leg after jumping, to have damaged the joint), so I was resigned to having a chronically painful S.I. joint, because the pain comes from the straining muscles around the joint attempting to keep it stable as it jogs around.

Luckily for me, I saw something about S.I. joint pain on Youtube (the wonders of algorithm, I suppose), where I was introduced to what’s called an S.I. Belt, which goes around the hips and helps keep the S.I. joint stable while walking, running or swinging a golf club.

I immediately ordered one and, let me tell you all, it’s been a godsend for several reasons:

The Life Saver

I had been forced to curtail playing golf in recent years because by the end of the round, I could barely walk with all the strain of walking on uneven terrain and yes, even swinging a club, because of the force one exerts on the leading hip in the down swing.

That would be, a proper down swing where one plants all of the weight back into the leading foot to leverage the arms and club down from the top.  No flying foot syndrome here, proper mechanics.

I even had to cut back on my range time pre-Covid because of the increasing S.I. pain when physically active, so having had the belt for a couple of weeks now to wear when on the treadmill, doing my swing work and even walking around the city center on my trips to the mall, etc., the difference is night and day.

There is even a chance that in a few months, the S.I. joint will have stabilized and the re-alignment will mean no longer needing the belt.  Fingers crossed!

I anticipate a much more enjoyable and pain-free winter as I increase my treadmill routine, begin some light weight work and continue my swing workouts in preparation for the outdoor season.

Now, on to the title subject.

Having competed in sports all of my youthful days, I know the difference between an injury pain and simple muscle soreness.

When I therefore noticed a tightness and soreness in my lower left back and hip muscles around Monday night and continuing through the week, I knew it wasn’t injury pain but mere muscle soreness or fatigue.

I surmised that the change in my S.I. joint position when walking and swinging with the S.I. Belt on was causing a change (for the better) to the muscle work in the hip and lower back.

Would make absolute sense, wouldn’t it?  Especially since I increased my treadmill workout on Monday with more incline walking to simulate walking up hills, so I chalked the muscle soreness down to the combined effect of the belt and more intensive treadmill work.

I continued to perform my daily swing workouts and it was this morning as I was swinging that I realized what was actually causing the lower back and hip soreness on the left side – it was the swing change I’d made with my setup last weekend!

It was only coincidence that I’d increased my treadmill regimen with the added support of the S.I. Belt the next day.

I mis-attributed the soreness.

So, that tells me a whole lot when it comes to the swing work, the swing change and the significance it means for my model work.

Some of you will remember my long-ago phrase, “Left Foot Stomp.”  Let’s go with “Leading Foot Stomp” going forward, as not everyone swings right-handed.

This development is serving to prove the “Leading Foot Stomp” concept of ten years ago was right on the money, and it goes to enhance the “Leading Side Leverage” concept of simple “Leverage.”

Unfortunately, this post would be War & Peace if I continue now, so I’ll make this Part 1 and finish the thread in Part 2.