What hurts?

Something bothering you? Use this information resource to look up common conditions affecting golfers.

Diagnostic Golfer Model
Foot / Ankle

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Hospital for Special Surgery Rehabilitation has created golf-specific information on conditions and injury prevention specifically for you.

The Golfer's Head and Neck

The neck, also known as the cervical spine, is the most mobile part of the spine and allows us to move our head in different directions. Golfers should be able to move through their swing with enough motion in their neck to keep their eyes fixed on the ball without moving, as their thoracic spine (middle back) rotates below the neck and the head.

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The Golfer's Shoulder

The shoulder is the most flexible joint in the human body. It is also one of the most complex, with a greater range of motion than any other joint. It enables us to raise, bend, rotate and swing our arms. A properly functioning shoulder is not only critical to the golf game, but to many activities of daily living.

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The Golfer's Elbow

Three bones come together to form the elbow joint: the lower end of the humerus (upper arm bone), the upper end of the radius (forearm bone on the thumb side) and the upper end of the ulna (forearm bone on the pinky side.) The elbow is a hinge joint; it enables us to bend and straighten our arm.

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The Golfer's Wrist

The wrist is a complex joint that connects the hand to the forearm. The wrist is comprised of the ends of the two forearm bones (the ulna and radius) and eight small bones called carpals.

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The Golfer's Spine

The spine, or backbone, is the center of support for the upper body. This column of bones and cartilage extends from the base of our skill to the pelvis, enclosing and protecting the spinal cord.

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The Golfer's Hip

This hip is called a ball-and-socket joint. The "ball" refers to the rounded upper part of the femur, or thigh bone, which fits into a cup-shaped hollow socket in the large pelvis bone.

Twenty-nine different muscles come into play in a properly functioning hip joint. Muscles perform a critical role in hip movement and must work in concert with each other to allow the hip to bend, extend, rotate and move outward and across the body. This variability in movement makes hip strength and motion a vital part of the golf swing, but it also makes the hip prone to many types of injuries.

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The Golfer's Knee

The knee is the largest joint in the body and one of the most complex. Healthy knees are not only vital to the golf game, but to many activities of daily life. The knee is designed to withstand all kinds of stresses and strains, but one wrong move, let alone a fall or other accident, can cause significant damage. A knee injury or condition such as arthritis can make it difficult to climb stairs, run, jump, play golf or another sport, even walk or sit down.

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The Golfer's Foot and Ankle

The foot is an anatomical marvel in terms of its strength, flexibility and functional design. It is able to support the weight of our entire body. With every step we take, the foot must absorb a tremendous amount of force and stress. On an average day, walking can bring a force equal to several hundred tons of pressure to bear on our feet.

The foot and ankle contribute largely to our balance and proprioception, which is how we subconsciously perceive our body's position and movements. In uneven terrains, the golf course can be a challenge for individuals with foot and ankle conditions.

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