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Coming back from injuries


mji009

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Four year layoff, help me please
Hello,

I just hit some balls for the first time in close to 4 years and I can tell you I lost my game and am woefully out of shape. I took up golf out of college back in '96 and improved every year from 115 down to low 80s in 2002 and I was poised for the 70s. However a right knee injury forced to me to give up the game until I had surgery on it which was 2 years ago. I also had a back injury in that time period as well. All this was rec hockey related, and I am not even Canadian .

So anyway this afternoon, I hit 180 balls. I mainly concentrated on getting my swing back with a 6 iron until I was pleased enough with it where it was my close to my old slight draw for about 155-165 yards. But my shot making was erratic. I was breaking down a lot, often pushing the ball left or slicing badly, and I think it has to do with not using my golfing muscles in years. I am so sore at the moment that its ridiculous. Plus my bad knee is hurting as well.

Now that you have some background...I was wondering what I could do to get those golfing muscles back into shape (besides hitting the gym.) Also, what can I do to protect my knee better? Is there anything on the market that is a good knee brace for golf?

If anyone can give me a good routine to get those golf muscles again I would greatly appreciate it. Same with my knee. And if you had similar experiences with injuries please let me know if you were able to recover and get your game back. I am sort of depressed about it at the moment.
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Don't hit so many balls so quickly. All it's going to do is make you tired and get you into bad habits. Take your time and hit maybe 50 paying attention to one or two things at a time.

 

I'm the definition of a range rat. I hit a TON of balls, and even I wouldn't hit 180 full swings in a day. Heck, I don't know if Vijay would.

 

Take it one piece at a time. Rome wasn't built in a day and neither will your golf swing. I'd first start working on developing consistant posture, grip, and alignment for a week. A lot of swing plane and angle of attack is posture related. If you've got good golf posture your bad swings won't be as bad.

 

Then work on refining plane. Then add in other things. Take some lessons with a respected pro to help you decide what you need to work on.

 

Now for the physical aspects. I'm a third year medical student, so I've got a little idea of what I'm talking about :)

 

I feel your pain, I've torn my ACL a couple of times, and I've had to work VERY hard to get back to normal. It's a tough road, but work hard and realize that it takes time to recover.

 

Are you doing any physical therapy? Work with your therapist and tell him that you're a golfer and want to get back into golfing shape. That's the best way to come up with a targeted program to get strength back. Start slowly with resistance tubing, therabands, and walking. Then work your way up to weights and running.

 

What were your knee and back injuries? Some are worse than others and should be treated differently. Talk to your doctor about knee braces. The over the counter kind you get at a sporting goods or drug store can often do more harm than good. If you need one, your doctor will prescribe one for you. Otherwise, it's best to let the knee strengthen by itself.

 

Hope that helps. Any more questions feel free to drop me a PM.

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Wow, 180 balls after a 4 year lay off...that had me in pain just reading it. To borrow a phrase, Easy Does It! It took 4 years to get where you are today, give yourself a chance to get acclimated. I've spent too much time rehabbing in the last few years but I learned that you need to start slowly and get into some kind of rehab routine. Lots of sports specific stuff on the market today, although I really like Mike Pederson's work out routines as they include a lot of rotational and balance exercises. Hang in there..it will get better!

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Are you doing any physical therapy? Work with your therapist and tell him that you're a golfer and want to get back into golfing shape. That's the best way to come up with a targeted program to get strength back. Start slowly with resistance tubing, therabands, and walking. Then work your way up to weights and running.

 

What were your knee and back injuries? Some are worse than others and should be treated differently. Talk to your doctor about knee braces. The over the counter kind you get at a sporting goods or drug store can often do more harm than good. If you need one, your doctor will prescribe one for you. Otherwise, it's best to let the knee strengthen by itself.

 

Hope that helps. Any more questions feel free to drop me a PM.

 

Yeah I guess hitting 180 balls wasn't too smart. I had done all my physical therapy shortly after surgery. It was for a torn meniscus, and other cartilage damage. He had a lot of cleaning to do.

 

Due to work I haven't really hit the gym or exercised like I have in the past and that is probably the first hurdle to getting my game back. I will probably call my doctor who performed the surgery to see about support, or just rebuilding it back up. The pain is gone now several hours later. So it may in fact have to do with reaquainting and rebuilding the knee with exercise like you said.

 

My back got hurt a long time ago playing lacrosse. It was a lower back injury. It was a weird play...as the person I was about to check suddenly leaped in the air to take a shot and as I got into him I torqued my back and I guess the weight of his body was more than that move I made could handle. Hockey aggravated it somewhat as does golf. Surprisingly my back felt great today.

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mji,

 

I can tell you that for a meniscus injury, you will be doing more harm than good by buying a knee brace. If you had ligament / tendon instabilities in the knee, then a brace like this would help:

legendacl6_99.jpg

 

However, the best thing you can do for you knee now is to strengthen it. Get with a trainer and work hard at getting ALL the muscles around you knee stronger. Leg extensions, leg presses, calf raises, ham string curls, and toe raises (don't forget the tibialis or else you'll get shin splints). START LIGHT and then work your way up.

 

With your back injury, I'd go see a doctor about it to make sure it's not something serious that could be aggravated by golf and the exercises I prescribed. Do you experience any tingling or occasional numbness in your legs? I'd strongly suggest seeing a doctor about your back. It'll help you in the long run.

 

Hope that helps.

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