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Maybe true. I have actually read a few accounts of older guys that took up Natural Golf's swing and ended up with shoulder problems, even though they did find relief for their back. Of course any golf swing can put wear and tear on your body but I think its noteworthy anyways, a person might be swapping back pain for shoulder problems.
My hip has been bothering me despite the down time from golf and I believe the wider stance of NG/MoeNorman doesn't help at all so when I went out to the range lately (only once a week, and I'm only chipping and pitching), I've been trying for a narrower stance and going with the vertical swing as much as possible. But I intend to try out a few lessons at the local driving range. I might also end up with senior clubs if I can't get the swing speed up as I believe the stiffer clubs may be encouraging me to muscle the swing with my arms too much. I'm also trying to come to terms with the reality I'm not young anymore and just try to have fun at golf and put my ego aside. That's hard to do because I can be single-minded and obsessive and I'm sure that's a good recipe for getting hurt. I'm also good at ignoring pain which is again not good.
The pain in my shoulder has gone down, so has the clicking and popping. I'm also starting to bulk up a little in the shoulders so maybe the rehab is starting to pay off. I intend to play golf this winter (taking it easy, not hitting the range constantly of course) and put off possible surgery till the summer when golf is going to suck anyways due to the heat/humidity. I may explore alternatives like prolotherapy or PRP despite the surgeon nixing them, just because they will involve less downtime and rehab than surgery, and I have read a few studies that suggest they help with pain and range of motion with labral tears.
I went to an orthopedic surgeon and he said my labral tear is not minor, its more than just fraying of the cartilage, there's an actual flap of cartilage intruding into the shoulder, and I may have had this injury for decades but something recently made it worse. He was not optimistic about the chances for physical therapy and believed surgery was the permanent fix. He also said he didn't think my injury would stop me from playing golf, although throwing or overhead sports with the left hand were out of the question. The same is true for gymn exercises, he didn't recommend doing presses or overhead type activities.
He was a bus guy in a rush between appointments and looking back I didn't get to ask him every single question. I am not sure about expectations for surgery, how long I'd be out of commission. I've heard some people regain mobility in their shoulder much sooner after the surgery, other people are basically on the couch for weeks. I'm dealing with so many overall health issues that it may not be worthwhile to do the surgery just yet, maybe in the summer. It's something I'll have to think about.
I'm also curious about prolotherapy or stem-cell therapies but he said they are strictly experimental and rarely covered by insurance. I know they aren't pain-free but its less invasive than surgery. I like the idea of keeping compression on my shoulder for several hours a day to stimulate blood flow. And I intend to go back and do more physical therapy at the local PT clinic, despite the fact it'll probably leave me sore.
I got a deep tissue massage at Massage Envy on Sunday and I noticed an immediate improvement in my range of motion in my left shoulder, especially being able to move my scapula more. My therapist said my rhomboid muscles on my upper back were very tight and I could really feel her breaking up the trigger points in my shoulders.
A few days ago I went back to the driving range and did some chipping and pitching. I wore a shoulder compression brace. Chipping was OK but the brace seemed to make pitching harder, everything felt wrong. I am no longer as interested in all aspects of the NG/Moe Norman swing, I believe the wider stance has partly contributed to hip soreness I have been experiencing the past few weeks. I'm also thinking of taking some lessons at the driving range. If I can't get substantial improvement in my golf swing in the upcoming months I will have to quit golf, as I can't afford the wear and tear on my body from making fat shots (these really seem to irritate my wrists).
I went and got the results for the MRI and X-Ray. Not good: partially torn labrum. The rest of the joint is in good shape, no torn ligaments and no impingment. I'm going to make an appointment with my family doctor and get a referral to an orthopedist.
Who decides what's the right or wrong things? The fundamentals one person focuses on may be totally different than another person.
I'd consider myself fortunate if I got to play any golf before the end of the year. "Progress" is a luxury at this point.
I have no plans to go to a golf professional for lessons. I believe the gymn was mostly responsible for the injury, not golf. Once I get rehabilitated my swing will probably improve. I was never pushing myself that hard at the driving range, certainly golf wasn't helping my shoulder but I doubt it was the main factor. Probably, my shoulder was unstable and had issues with range of motion, and trying to do pull ups and pressing type excercises injured the shoulder. I've read that rows are much better for people with unstable shoulders, usually the pectoral muscles and tendons are too tight and the detloids too weak. So I plan to work on that.
My shoulder took a turn for the worst yesterday after physical therapy, got swollen shoulder and much less range of motion, I went to an urgent care center this morning after a having trouble sleeping due to pain, and they put me in a sling and gave me a prescription for oxycodone and an MRI. I was hoping just to get a corticosteroid injection in the shoulder but I guess the doctor wants the shoulder looked at first. My guess is I got bursitis in the shoulder and its gotten worse due to physical therapy. So I'm not going to be doing much golf for a while. I went ahead and cancelled physical therapy for the moment.
Once the swelling goes down and I get some answers I plan to work with a sports chiropractor or massage therapist. I'm not impressed at all with the PT I did at the clinic, my shoulder kept hurting more and more and they ignored my complaints.
I really have to have a good relationship with any therapist. I have issues because I have autism and trouble communicating nonverbal stuff. I'll say I'm hurting but sometimes my face and body language don't convey pain very well and I'm not very good for standing up for myself, I prefer to just avoid conflict.
It's possible my doctor was thinking of MR-arthrograms, where x-rays or fluoroscopes are also used to guide some of the procedure to get the contrast dye into the joint.
Useless medical procedures are another risk from MRI's, albeit indirectly. I was diagnosed with a brain tumor by having an elective MRI. Nevermind that I was asymptomatic and a neurosurgeon later told me not to worry about it. We just monitored it for a few years and noticed no change, so he told me it probably wasn't a tumor, just unusual brain anatomy. It turns out I've read in a few books since that its common to find random oddities through MRI, and that even relatively safe medical scans expose a person to potentially unnecessary medical procedures. We live in a data driven world but there's a fine line between getting more relevant information and being drowned in misleading data, and MRI's aren't immune from leading medical staff down rabbit holes.
I wouldn't mind honestly getting the arthrogram, even though it involves x-rays and sticking a big needled into the shoulder joint... as the shoulder soreness is the worst pain I've had in my upper body in a long time and I'm scared of that kind of pain and the "unknown" factor hiding behind it. But I've learned to trust my doctors judgment. He's being conservative but I know from experience that will lead to fewer headaches overall.
Physical therapy is intense, lots of arm-cycling and rowing, and I haven't really noticed a lot of improvements in range of motion yet. More soreness, some pain, and the feeling of swelling is no better on the third day. I went to my doctor to just get an update and double-check. He said he thinks its unlikely anything is torn in my shoulder and MRI would not be worth the risks. Most likely what's causing the clicking and popping is inflammation in the shoulder. He also thinks it might be a good idea if I got deep tissue massage because there's probably scar tissue in my shoulder joint that exercise is irritating. My shoulder is also probably somewhat unstable and lacks muscular development in the right places. He's given me no real restrictions on playing golf except to take it easy at least until the shoulder gets stronger.
I've been using muscle rubs like Tiger Balm or Chinese linaments. They seem to help the shoulder relax and stretch better but sometimes seem to make the inflammation worse and now I'm noticing pain more around the bursa in my shoulder. I've avoided using ice for the most part but yesterday the soreness was bad enough I used it briefly. NSAID's are out of the question because of the stomach risks (I just got over moderate gastritis). TENS is my main method of pain relief and I take some CBD oil at night to help dull the pain a bit.
I was given a TENS unit years ago when undergoing pelvic rehab, the physical therapist thought it might help with fibromyalgia. Since fibro for me involves so many different parts of the body hurting all at once, it was never that useful during flare-ups. But it's finally gotten a lot of use on my shoulder, and it works very well... it reminds me a lot of the sort of pain relief you can get with acupuncture.
Its been weeks since I hit a golf ball and I intend to go back to the driving range and do some pitching and chipping. I miss it a lot and my body felt better overall staying much more physically active.
I believe based on my experiences at the PT and gymn that my problem was I was focused on doing too much low-rep, high effort exercise. I don't have the necessary muscular endurance to do that yet. Doing 22 reps in some of the PT excercises makes the whole joint feel stronger, and its probably the direction I need to go.
I've been trying to become an expert on the shoulder in the past week, unlike other body parts its something I never gave much thought to.
My arm pops and clicks as it moves up and down to the side, it only feels completely stable over my head or hanging down at my side, or if I bring it up and down in front or behind me. It could be a labral tear ,which would suck but I don't seem to have all the other symptoms consistently. I've never had my arm dislocated. Another possibility is tendonitis or impingement, maybe scar tissue or bone spurs.
A good follow through feels difficult to do in the golf swing, when I try lifting the club up it just feels so heavy like I don't have complete control over the golf swing. Follow through is important because its the point the club decelerates and this actually makes it easier on your shoulder long term. Otherwise you end up with the same issues baseball pitchers have, where all the energy of their arm swing can jerk on their shoulder, instead of being more circular. A lot of stuff about the golf swing is starting to click biomechanically- the arms and shoulders power the swing but the body rotation creates space for the swing to make it more rotational and therefore safer. And its not really hitting the ball, it's swinging through the ball. Otherwise you are going to have tempo problems that are probably going to ratchet up the risk because power and effort are going to be in all the wrong places.
I'm also suspicious of the gymn more than the golf swing. I also have been playing Nintendo Wii some, so that could do it too (needless to say I'm not playing Wii right now, and may even sell it off and just stick with my other game console that uses a traditional gamepad). In the gymn I tried doing a pull up a few times (like 3 times), nothing too extreme but I may have strained my shoulder trying to do it. So perhaps I am looking more at an overuse injury, because it didn't initially hurt, its more like a bunch of things happening at once. Not one single thing really, I never recall really going over the top crazy.
The shoulder stretching my physical therapist gave me just doesn't seem to be improving things, so I will have a talk with her and maybe ask my doctor about imaging the shoulder to see what's going on... if they both think that's a good idea.
Hitting fat shots has been a problem and I know that can hurt the wrist but I don't know about further up the arm, like the shoulder- I suppose its a possibility. Fat shots are something I struggle with from time to time, although doing the pitching yesterday I only got slightly fat shots, and only when not hitting off a tee.
I definitely plan on looking elsewhere if I don't get improvement. The physical therapist I used to go to dropped my insurance. They were great, very knowledgeable and skilled (they got me into foam rolling which really helped my lower body). The place I go to now is a different outfit, I'll have to see how it goes.
I never really realized how much I favored that shoulder until I took up golf. I wouldn't be surprised if I had some scar tissue in my left shoulder and that's causing problems. That can be broken up with really deep massage.
I did a little bit of pitching and chipping yesterday (only hitting off tees). I have some soreness in my deltoid near the rotator cuff and my shoulder still clicks if I lift my arm up to the side over my shoulder, but otherwise my shoulder seems to be doing better- everything is starting to feel stronger overall. Mostly I'm alternating using a heating pad with compression and Tiger Balm. Aside from the chipping and pitching, I don't think I'll be doing any golfing until I get some better news. But complete disuse doesn't seem to help either, I just feel stiffer afterwards
I'd like to gain muscle mass, not necessarily gain weight in general- my weight is already respectable as is. I'm 5'8 and usually wear medium shirts, BTW. At one time I weighed 200 lbs, but that was many years ago. I wasn't a fat kid- I was not a traditional athlete but I was very physically active (karate, riding bikes, in my teenage years I walked everywhere as I lived in Europe), I just got fat in my early 20's due to medical problems. I've been less than 185 for the past ten years. My blood pressure and cholesterol are normal.
In the past year and a half I've had periods where I was basically on a very restrictive diet. Only eating corn grits, crean of rice, bananas, and coconut oil, because that's all my stomach could tolerate. And when I could eat meat, I ate very small amounts. I had gastritis and food intolerances. Now the gastritis has gone away and I can eat normal amounts of food, but maybe that weird diet took its toll on my body. The food intolerances have not gone away, so I have to be picky in what I eat.
I got an appointment with a physical therapist for tomorrow afternoon. I expect they'll do some range of motion tests. I've gone through this about 6 months ago with a therapist working on my lower body and core, but since I didn't complain about upper body issues they were never checked out.
Well, I guess I should put "brutish" in quotes, as its not necessarily something I agree with. But I still do feel the class-based prejudices play into the perception that golf is different fundamentally from other sports, that it doesn't have the same sort of basic prerequisites to play well as other sports, such as baseball.
Cutting down a club to practice indoors sounds like a good idea. At the range all I really have is feel, and clearly my feel is off.
I bought a 1lb dumbbell and tried out a few shoulder exercises and my shoulder feels a lot weaker than I realized. I think I'm going to stick to chipping and putting for a few days, at least until I can get to a physical therapist. I may have something more serious going on in my shoulder and/or my shoulder has just weakened due to non-use. When I was a teenager I mysteriously injured my shoulder, just woke up one morning with severe pain and I couldn't lift up my arm above my head, the doctor sent me home with just a prescription for ice and tylenol. All I had been doing was playing guitar for a year, last time I checked that wasn't listed as a high risk activity.
Its too bad as I picked up a used strong lofted 3 wood and had wanted to try that out. But I'm afraid to mess up my shoulder.
Another problem I am having... I'm losing weight despite eating more. I weigh 165 now, which is a normal weight for me but it feels like all I do now is eat. I'd like to put on some muscle mass, particularly my upper body . Walking to the driving range and hitting balls for a few hours burns lots of calories.
Blame the mystique of Golf: country club culture, wealthy Americans that wanted to pretend that Golf was different than other, brutish sports like boxing or baseball that a gentleman would never engage in.
The focus on mechanics obscures the athleticism of the golf swing. Especially because so much of the mechanics of the golf swing are dependent on a persons physical ability, in some cases physical abilities that may be extraordinary.
I looked over the swing videos and they aren't worth posting. The posture is closer to the ball and the arms lower, but my left elbow keeps folding and the club goes too far over my head and not far away enough from my body on the backswing. I didn't record yesterday's driving range session.
My doctor looked at my shoulder and back today and he thinks physical therapy is a good idea, so he wrote a prescription and gave me a list of physical therapists.