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Physical Therapy for Golf in Tucson

Added on April 2, 2017 by DrJAllen

Physical Therapy for Golf in Tucson

Physical Therapy for Golf in Tucson

Physical Therapy for golf is something that has been happening for years behind the scenes. With players like Tiger Woods and others, in the past decade the sport of golf has become associated with a higher level of fitness and physical expectation than ever before. On the Tour, many golfers now have their own personal Physical Therapist to help them avoid injury and improve their physical performance on and off the course.

Golf is an extremely popular sport- particularly here in Tucson. Men, women, and children of all ages can be seen out on the greens at many of the local courses. Popularity continues to grow. With the rise in numbers of people playing golf, we have seen a rise in golf related injuries. Like any sport, the most important piece of equipment is the human body. Many think it's that new $2,000 driver! The best clubs in the world cannot compensate for a poorly tuned body—and that's where a Physical Therapist comes in to help. Physical Therapy for Golf is something you should consider if you have any of the following:

Common Injuries in Golf

  • Low Back Pain
  • Sciatica
  • Herniated Disc
  • Golfer's Elbow
  • Hip Pain
  • Shoulder Pain
  • Hand and Wrist Pain
  • Neck Pain

Things That May Increase Injury Risk

Each golfer is an individual with his or her own intrinsic risk factors. Many people have heard others say "golf is bad for your back". A Physical Therapist would redirect that statement to say "A poorly conditioned back is not good for golf"! So the body must be ready for the high demands that the golf swing can put on the body.

If a marathon runner trained for the marathon by only running a mile every day, most people would say they were crazy to think they would be able to do a marathon. As a golfer, if you are not conditioning your body for the demands of the golf swing, in a way it is the same thing. Golf is a repetitive sport that requires adequate conditioning and flexibility to do it right. There are certain things Physical Therapists look for to make sure a golfer is in good condition to perform the golf swing.Physical Therapy for golf in Tucson may address the following:

Common physical risk factors for golf injuries include (the body):

  • Poor flexibility in the Spine. With limited mobility, and the rotational demands of the golf swing, this can cause undue stress on the joints and discs in the low back
  • Poor Hip flexibility. When the hips lack mobility, stress is put on the lumbar spine. Poor hip flexibility can also cause a golfer to overextend the shoulder, creating strain in the muscles of the shoulders and elbows
  • Poor shoulder flexibility. From backswing to follow through, there is a lot of mobility required in the upper body. If the shoulders are tight and cannot move the way they need to, strain is put on other areas of the body- including the upper back, low back and elbows.
  • Limited Ankle Mobility. If the foot and ankle are stiff and cannot rotate, some other area of the body has to take up the slack and do more of the rotation. The knees and hips generally take the hit from this lack of mobility, but structures as high as the lumbar spine can even be affected.
  • Weakness in the "Core". The core muscles include the abdominal muscles, gluteal muscles and others. They serve to stabilize the spine and pelvis as large movements are undertaken by the rest of the body. If the "Core" is weak, this can cause abnormal movement and shearing in the spine, pelvis and hips. Not only can this leave you at risk for injury, but it can also affect how far you can drive the ball!
  • Weakness in the stabilizers of the shoulders and shoulder blades. Power comes from not only the lower body, but also from the shoulder blades and rotator cuff of the shoulders. Weakness in this area can have detrimental effects on the shoulders and elbows. Just like baseball pitchers need a strong upper body to deliver a 95 mile and hour fastball, golfers need upper body strength and stability for those long drives. With more power comes more distance.
  • Balance Problems. Have you ever tried to sink a put and found yourself off balance or losing your balance? Balance doesn't get the credit it deserves when it comes to golf performance. Being unsteady can cause minor to major injury as other parts of the body have to compensate for this lack of stability. And we know, golf is many times won in the short game. Improving balance just a little can have a direct effect on that putting accuracy!

Common risk factors outside the body:

Risk of injury is not limited to the problems in the body, but can also be linked to factors that are outside the body.

·       Environmental conditions. Playing on a course that has a lot of uneven terrain or one that is poorly maintained can put a player at risk for spraining an ankle or other injury

·       Weather. In the Southwest high levels of heat can predispose a golfer to a heat related illness like heat exhaustion or heat stroke. It's important to stay hydrated and cool especially in the summer heat. Having an early tee time can help reduce risk of a heat related condition.

·       Equipment. Poorly fit clubs, or clubs that are damaged can put the athlete at risk. (Golfers feel free to use this as evidence that you need that next new $2,000 driver!)

·       Other factors- Hitting the ground with a club, injuries from golf carts and being hit by an errant ball are all real possibilities while you are out there. Stay alert and be especially careful if you are taking part in any alcohol consumption while you are driving the golf cart!

Injury Prevention

Other ways to avoid injury include:

  • Have a PRO look at your swing mechanics to make sure bad swing mechanics are not causing undue stress on the body
  • Make sure you warm up prior to driving balls on the range or playing a round of golf
  • Selecting clubs with a larger grip may help reduce injury risk
  • Using softer grips
  • Drink plenty of water or sports drinks to avoid heat related problems
  • Avoid alcohol consumption while playing
  • Perform a specific strength and conditioning program provided by your Physical Therapist
  • Have a golf PRO help you select equipment and make sure of proper fit

Fun Facts

  • Players that hit more # of balls in a week have a higher risk of injury
  • Players that warm up prior to playing have 50% fewer injuries than those that don't
  • Follow through phase is the phase with the highest potential risk for injury
  • Did you know that having the strength to "stop and slow down" the follow through is the most important factor in prevention of injuries in that phase?
  • Having adequate flexibility is the #1 most impactful thing you can do right now to decrease your injury risk

Do you have any of these?

  • Golfer's elbow
  • Low back pain
  • Sciatica
  • Back sprain
  • Herniated disc
  • Shoulder Pain
  • Rotator cuff injuries
  • Cervical or neck pain

A Physical Therapist can help you find the problems in your body that may be causing these conditions. Mention this article to Bodycentral Physical Therapy schedulers and you can receive a free consult with one of the Doctors of Physical Therapy to see what we can do to help. Visit for more information on how Physical Therapy can help you.



Bodycentral In Touch Newsletter Volume 1 2017

Added on March 2, 2017 by BodycentralPT

Check out our latest newsletter HERE


Top 10 Reasons to See a Physical Therapist Now!

Added on November 15, 2016 by BodycentralPT

Top 10 Reasons to See a Physical Therapist Now!

1) Low Back Pain & Sciatica - Studies show that the faster you get into Physical Therapy after you injure your back, the better chance you have to completely eliminate the pain. Don't worry... if you have back pain that has been around for years, there is a good chance your PT can help you with that too. Hands-on therapy and specific exercises for your problem are the best treatment for back and sciatica issues. Exercise is be careful if you do just ANY back exercises. They should be tailored to your body and your specific problem....stay off the internet and get into a PT that can evaluate you and get it handled.

2) Arthritis Pain- Most of us over the age of 30 have some wear and tear in our joints that can cause stiffness, limited motion, and pain. These issues left alone can slowly interfere with your activity level, and your health condition can head down a slippery slope. Exercise is important to keep you moving and keep you healthy. Ask your Physical Therapist what exercise and what hands on techniques will help your specific problem.

3) Foot Pain & Plantar Fasciitis-  If you say "Oh, my aching feet" or something along those lines when you take a step out of bed in the morning, you can benefit from some Physical Therapy. Pain in the feet or heels first thing in the morning is a sign of Plantar Fasciitis and ask anyone that has experienced it--- it is terrible! Plantar fasciitis can affect anyone from long distance runners to the armchair quarterback. Your PT will evaluate the joints in your feet, your flexibility and strength, and will take a look at your joint mechanics to find out the cause of your problem. This can take a while to completely eliminate, but there is hope!

4) Urinary Incontinence- Do you leak urine when you sneeze or laugh? Do you have to stop multiple times on the way to Phoenix to go to the bathroom? Do you have to get up multiple times at night to urinate? Well you don't have to live with these issues. Believe it or not, this issue is not considered a "normal" part of aging! Specialized Physical Therapists trained in "Pelvic Floor Therapy" can help you lessen or resolve these issues. Treatment includes a full evaluation, exercises, and specialized surface biofeedback- to make sure you are using and strengthening the right muscles. This is a lot more complicated and thorough than doing "Kegel's Exercises". Most people see results within 4-6 wks of starting therapy.

5) Neck Pain, Headaches and Jaw Pain- Working a desk job can put you in a terrible posture for many hours in a day. Abnormal postures lead to stress and strain in the muscles of the neck and upper back. This can lead to neck pain, headaches and jaw pain or temporomandibular joint problems. Other causes of neck pain and headaches may be from whiplash from a car accident. Physical Therapists are experts at soft tissue and joint problems and can help alleviate neck pain, headaches and jaw pain. They will teach you daily habits and exercises to keep you healthy for the long haul.

6) Injury and Post Surgery- Many people are aware that Physical Therapists can help after traumatic injuries and after surgery. What they don't know is that Physical Therapy is also very helpful when you are preparing to have surgery. Studies have shown that performing specific exercises to improve strength and flexibility have helped patients having total knee replacements, ACL surgeries, hip surgeries and more recover with improved outcomes vs no exercise at all. Get help from a PT before or after any surgery- to get your energy level, strength, flexibility and function back quickly.

7) Sports Injury Prevention- We know a lot more today about injury prevention measures than we ever did before. Physical Therapists help athletes and entire teams work on strength, mobility, and agility needs specific to their bodies and to the sport. Athletes of all ages and levels of performance can benefit from this type of Physical Therapy.

8) Balance & Fall Prevention- As we age we lose balance over time and may become susceptible to falling. Falls are one of the leading causes of injury and disability in the aging population, and in many cases can be prevented. Do you have to really concentrate when you step down off a curb? Have you fallen in the past year and sustained an injury? Have you fallen more than once in the last year? Balance can be trained and improved at any age. Prevention is the key when it comes to balance- see a Physical Therapist who can evaluate your balance and work with you to improve!

9) Adolescent Growth Related Pains- "Growing Pains" can occur when long bones grow faster than the soft tissues in the body. This can be a fleeting thing in some youngsters, but in others it can cause some real loss of function. A Physical Therapists can help with some of these conditions and can help alleviate the pain and loss of function that occurs. A Physical Therapist can help with conditions like Osgood Schlatter Disease, Sever's Aphophysitis, Knee pain, and conditions like scoliosis and kyphosis. Another problem experienced is generalized low back pain. This can be a result of carrying a huge backpack full of books combined with sitting in a slumped position in a school desk all day. A Physical Therapist can help tackle these problems.

10) Pregnancy Related Pain- If you have had back pain during pregnancy, you know how terrible this can be. A Women's Health Physical Therapist is an expert at dealing with all pregancy related pain- from neck and upper back pain to low back pain and sciatica. You don't have to suffer through pregnancy as many of these problems can be resolved or helped by a Physical Therapist specially trained in Women's Health. Ask your healthcare provider to send you to a Women's Health PT for relief!

For more information on how Physical Therapy can help you, visit or Call (520)325-4002 for a free consultation.



We are growing again!

Added on August 4, 2016 by BodycentralPT

We are growing again!
It's back to school time for everyone and soon we will all be in full-swing "work" mode. Summer vacation is coming to an end. All summer long we have been working diligently on improving and expanding our services and footprint in Tucson!
On August 22nd, we will open our 5th location- The Bodycentral Physical Therapy Sports & Concussion Center.
This facility in Marana- 3601 W Cortaro Farms Road will be a great addition to our practice. If you have been to the Ultimate Sports Asylum location, then you have an idea of what this facility will be like. It is an open floor plan with high ceilings- equipped like a professional sports facility with rubberized flooring and a turf area for running, jumping, agility drills....well, you name it.
This location also has private treatment rooms and it features a concussion rehabilitation center. This specialized area will be used for our concussion evaluations and treatment programs that need a special environment. The decor in this facility is pretty amazing as well...I don't want to give away all the details because I want you to come for the open house party. Let's just say it will be pretty cool.
We are excited to be able to better serve our Marana and Northwest Tucson patients - and I'm sure you will be happy to have us closer to you to save the driving time!
Stay tuned for more updates.
Dr. Tonya Bunner (Co-Founder/CFO) and I want to say a heartfelt "Thank you" to all of our past and current patients- it is because of you that we do what we do. Also thank you to the medical community that has supported us over the years. We are blessed to be a part of Tucson and this great southern Arizona region.
Jennifer Allen,PT,DPT,OCS,SCS,CHT
Co-Founder/COO Bodycentral Physical Therapy



FC Tucson Soccer Partners with Bodycentral for Athlete Care

Added on June 17, 2016 by BodycentralPT

FC Tucson Soccer Partners with Bodycentral for Athlete Care

Bodycentral is excited to announce a partnership with FC Tucson for the treatment of their soccer athletes. FC Tucson is bringing elite level soccer to Tucson, and those athletes require elite level care.

Bodycentral will be providing on-field coverage at games as well as clinical treatment on-site at the FC Tucson training room. Athletes will also have the opportunity for recovery and treatment sessions at the Bodycentral Ultimate Sports Asylum location.

"We recruit our Physical Therapists from all over the United States. The better our staff, the better we can support the Tucson community." Jennifer Allen, co-founder and COO reported. "We have an opportunity to support the growing soccer movement, and where better to partner than with FC Tucson"

Bodycentral will also be providing soccer-related education information for the FC Tucson website. The weekly blog will include topics on sports injury prevention, injury treatment, and sports performance enhancement topics.

For more information about FC Tucson and soccer, visit




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