Hip Pain Treatment for Golfers

By Western Berks Physical Therapy on March 24th, 2020

Hip Pain While Golfing

Effective Hip Pain Treatments for Golfers

The more you use your hips, often the more power, speed, and distance you can achieve. Unfortunately, all this hip action can often lead to pain. In fact, nearly 20% of male golf professionals report experiencing hip pain, and unsurprisingly, this increased with their age. Pain can also be exacerbated if the swing is not executed correctly or smoothly. This repetitive, twisting motion and the pressure placed on the hips may cause discomfort and hinder a golfer’s ability to play.

Your hips are a ball-and-socket joint where your thigh bone and pelvis meet. The hip joints are responsible for keeping you flexible. The surrounding network of muscles, including your powerful hip abductors and hip extensors, facilitate additional motion in your pelvis, legs, and thighs. These strong muscles, along with your hamstrings and gluteus maximus, are needed as your hips are the largest weight-bearing joints in your body.

In normal daily activity, the hips usually remain sturdy. When golfing, your hips suddenly spring into full action, performing pivots and twists they’re not accustomed to. The motion of your swing also requires muscle control from your glutes and abdominals, which can result in additional strain.

For hip pain caused by golf,  the Doctors of Physical Therapy at Western Berks Physical Therapy recommend the following treatment options to keep your hips healthy while alleviating current pain, and avoiding future hip injuries.

Treatment Options for Hip Pain From Golf

  1. If you are experiencing hip pain because of golf use the RICE method of rest, icing, compression, and elevation, before beginning a rehabilitating exercise program. Call your doctor for their recommendations on how to reduce the amount of pressure put on the hip joint and how to minimize any discomfort until you move on to Step 2.
  2. Physical Therapy.After speaking with your doctor, call a highly rated physical therapy clinic near you and request an evaluation with an orthopedic therapist. Your physical therapist will determine what is causing the hip pain, and create a treatment program that can help heal it. Physical therapy can help resolve your pain and improve your game. Your physical therapy program should focus on decreasing or eliminating your pain, improving your hip range of motion and strength, and restoring normal functional mobility. To help reduce and eventually eliminate the pain, your physical therapist should provide you with at home exercises for hip pain that improve strength and increase flexibility.
  3. Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation, or TENS, involves attaching the wires of a handheld unit onto areas surrounding the pain. When turned on, the TENS unit sends electrical pulses to targeted areas to reduce pain. A physical therapist may use TENS on you or recommend purchasing a home unit.
  4. Manual Therapy. Manual therapy is considered the most effective approach to treating musculoskeletal dysfunction, including hip pain. It is a clinical approach using skilled, specific, hands-on myofacial techniques to the muscles, tendons, ligaments and joints. Manual therapy can provide pain relief while also addressing any underlying issues that could cause the pain to reoccur. *This technique should only be administered by a trained physical therapist.
  5. Building Strength. After taking a break from playing golf and seeing a physical therapist, the next step in hip pain recovery is strengthening the injured area. Some of the target muscles you’ll want to strengthen to support your hips are those in your buttocks, core and the inner, outer, and back of your thighs. Creating a stronger muscle framework will make your body better able to absorb the strain involved in golfing. Discuss with your therapist which exercises are the best for strengthening hips and plan out a routine that works for you.
  6. Increasing Flexibility. In any rehabilitating conditioning program, stretching and exercise go hand-in-hand. Ask your physical therapist about increasing the flexibility around your hips to increase the speed of your recovery.

These six steps in hip pain treatment should help relieve hip pain and get you back to playing the game you love. Once you are back on the course, though, be careful and ease into the movement. Practicing correct form is a great way to reduce the risk of injury. Ask a golf professional to evaluate your stance and swing while playing golf to assure your form is correct and safe. Sometimes a little change in your step, posture, hand placement, and swing can make a huge difference in how you feel and your performance level.

Hip pain from golf is a common occurrence and should be treated immediately before the pain and any corresponding injury worsens. The physical therapists at Western Berks Physical Therapy are specialists in diagnosing and treating sports injuries. We can assist you in recovering from hip pain at 3 convenient facilities in Wyomissing, Robesonia and Laureldale. For more information about our orthopedic and sports injury physical therapy program, visit us here or contact us at 610-589-2263.