Good foot health for golfers is as important as keeping your ball on the fairways. Golf players are a fit group, with the average golfer walking more than 8km for their 18 holes of golf.
During your golf swing, both legs move independently to generate both club head velocity and power (see the below picture for leg and body movements). As the golf club is taken back, your weight transfers from your back foot and then onto your front foot for your down swing. From a podiatry perspective, in addition to walking 8km, your front foot and back foot have different forces going through them during your various types of golf swings. Your back foot requires more pronation (that is, flattening of your foot arch) compared to your front foot, as this assists your weight transference with each of your swings. Consequently, this pronation and foot motions replicated throughout your golf round can lead to golfing injuries of your legs and feet.
Injuries and Your Golf
Despite being such a fit group, golf players are still human and prone to injuries (mostly non-contact injuries, unless retaliating to good banter from playing partners). Some golf injuries we commonly see at Pivot Podiatry include:
· Plantar heel pain – an overuse injury of your foot that can be corrected with custom orthotics for inside your golf shoes.
· Ball of foot pain – pain across the ball of your foot, resulting from a hard corn or callus, nerve injury, or golf spike configuration.
· Blisters; on back of heels, between toes or under balls of feet.
· Morton’s neuroma – inflammation and pain from a nerve in your foot. Pivot Podiatry resolve this with footwear adjustment, and orthotics to allow normal nerve function.
· Ankle injuries – resulting from the motion of twisting your front foot during your golf swing.
· Low Back Pain – resulting from poor foot posture and postural asymmetry.
· Tendinopathies – resulting from excess loading of your tendon from both your walking distances or golf swing.
Benefits of Golf With Custom Foot Orthoses
Research was conducted on golfers wearing custom made orthoses tailor made for both their right and left feet. The study followed the golfers for almost 2 months, and after 6 weeks of wearing the orthoses, club head velocity had increased by 7%. In addition, custom made orthoses slowed the effects of fatigue from the demands of playing 9 holes of golf. This study went on to discuss the potential for both improved consistency of golfing performance and up to 15 yards of added ball distance, when golfers wore custom made orthoses to minimise fatigue from walking and enhance their club head velocity (Stude and Gullickson, 2000).
Orthotics within golf shoes allow your body to establish even ground contact and pressure distribution during your golf swing. This benefits your golf by stabilising your body and improving your ability to perform before fatiguing.
Here at Pivot Podiatry our qualified team of Podiatrists are trained to diagnose and efficiently resolve golfing symptoms through a range of treatments and have experience working both within the United Kingdom and Australia.
We will pivot you and your feet into the right direction. Come see our friendly team today in Thornton Healthcare Centre. No referral required, just bring yourself and your golf shoes.