That Pain in Your Neck

August 9, 2022
Neck

Tight neck muscles can impact your golf game — and cause you pain. 

The muscles in your neck can get tight from doing normal day-to-day activities, such as sitting at a desk during the work day. Sometimes, golf itself can also be the cause of your neck discomfort and can indicate that you are not swinging your club properly. Your golf swing should not cause you pain. 

If it’s your swing

If your golf swing is causing your neck pain, make sure that your head isn’t pushed forward too much when you swing. This will place extra stress on the muscles in your neck, and they help to stabilize your head. 

You should also study your swing and look at how your club travels. If you are too far away from the ball, you will have to adjust your swing if you are to make contact. This places extra stress on your neck. 

What you can do

It is important to always listen to your body and to warm up before beginning a round of golf.

To warm up before your round, you can do basic movements of your shoulders, back and neck. Once those muscles are looser, start swinging a club or warm-up stick. Start your warm up swings small and slow and progress to a full swing at full velocity. 

If you encounter any neck pain, there are a few basic exercises you can do to potentially reduce your pain. Some of these exercises include:

Chin Tuck

Sit or stand in a tall, upright posture, and slide your head backward, keeping your chin level.  Slide your head backward as far as you are able, hold this position for a count of three and then slowly return to your resting position.  

Upper Trapezius Stretch 

Sit or stand in a tall, upright posture, and rest your arms down by your side. Slowly tilt your head to the side until you feel a stretch in your lower neck. You can use your arm to give gentle pressure to increase the stretch. Hold this position for a count of 30 and then slowly return to your resting position. Complete this stretch again, but on the opposite side. 

Scalene Stretching

Sit or stand in a tall, upright posture with one arm crossed in front of your body. Slowly tilt your head to the side in the same direction that your crossed arm is pointing. Tilt your head until you feel a stretch in your neck. This time, you may feel the stretch on the side or front of your neck — or even both. Hold this position for a count of 30 and then slowly return to your resting position. Complete this stretch again on the opposite side. 

Make an appointment

You can also visit the Middlesex Health Center for Golf Performance, which takes a holistic approach as it relates to golf. 

About Middlesex Health’s Center for Golf Performance

The Middlesex Health Center for Golf Performance, located in Middletown, assesses and addresses a golfer’s biomechanics and can help identify what is causing your neck pain. 

The center helps golfers of all ages and skill levels better understand how their body relates to their golf swing. The goal is to keep them healthy and pain free. 

Through the Middlesex Health Center for Golf Performance, physical therapists who are Titleist Performance Institute level 1 and medical certified provide a multi-point physical assessment that focuses on specific body movements, such as body rotation and posture. They also conduct a swing analysis using a sophisticated motion device. A specialized computer program gathers key data points and then creates graphs that illustrate the efficiency of a golfer’s swing. Using this system, alongside the physical assessment, Middlesex Health physical therapists will help golfers learn their pain points and limitations. 

For more information about the Center for Golf Performance, click here.

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