Golf is a popular sport for recreational players and seasoned veterans alike, especially in Central Texas where the weather is golf-friendly almost year-round. It’s also a relatively safe sport because of the lack of physical contact, but that doesn’t mean golfers aren’t prone to injury on the course. Hip pain is a common complaint for those that play often.
What are the main causes of hip pain from playing golf?
Hip pain can be caused by several factors, including muscle weakness and decreased mobility. However, the most common reason we see hip pain in golf is from repetitive overuse and rotation, particularly in ones lead leg in a golf swing. Specifically, golfers tend to have more pain during their swing because of the stress repetitive rotation causes on the body.
“This repetitive motion can put the ball and socket into an abnormal conflict in some golfers, which can lead to a labral tear in the hip,” explains Dr. McDonald.
The labrum is a ring of cartilage that lines the outside rim of the hip joint socket. It acts as a rubber seal that helps hold the ball and socket of the hip together. The twisting and pivoting motion in a golf swing, over time, can lead to wear and tear on the joint and cause a torn hip labrum.
How do you treat labral tears?
The first line of treatment for labral tears is nonoperative management. We recommend rest, ice, anti-inflammatories, and physical therapy.
“If pain persists after three months of conservative treatment, we consider the role of surgery to repair the labrum,” says Dr. McDonald. “The indications for surgery depend on the individual and their injury.”
What are the non-surgical treatment options for hip pain?
We often recommend rest, a strengthening routine and stretching for joint mobility when golfers are experiencing hip pain.
“A daily joint mobility and strengthening routine can be an effective way to manage or prevent minor aches and pains,” says John Longoria, PT, DPT. He adds, “an individualized physical therapy treatment plan can be useful with more serious or chronic injuries.”
Other interventions may include active release therapy, dry needling, and platelet rich plasma to help improve pain.
Can you prevent hip pain from golf?
Although you may not be able to prevent an injury on the golf course, you can significantly reduce the likelihood of sustaining an injury by maintaining a daily mobility and strengthening regimen. Golfers should focus on hip and thoracic spine mobility to prevent further injury.
“If these areas of the body are not moving well, they can become excessively stressed or other areas of the body will compensate and may become problematic,” explains Longoria.
Core stabilization, lower body strength, and endurance training can also be helpful to ensure consistency of swing mechanics.
Texas Orthopedics Hip Pain Specialists
The board-certified orthopedic surgeons at Texas Orthopedics are experts in the diagnosis and treatment of sports injuries. If you are suffering from hip pain from playing golf, book an appointment online or call (512) 439-1001 to schedule an appointment with a sports medicine specialist.