TL 14

Tom LaFountain

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The week of the US Open always provides an intense physical demand on the PGA golfers' bodies. Many golfers prepare for the demand but others arrive unaware of what physical challenges lie ahead. The unaware have come into the PGA Performance Center suffering from varying levels of shoulder and forearm strains either from repetitive practice swings out of the rough or having to over exert in a particular shot where their ball is buried in the rough. This week the PGA golfers that have prepared have had more symptoms of pain and achiness in their wrists and interphalangeal joints of the fingers particularly the thumb. The players are stronger than ever but few spend additional time strengthening their wrists and hands. Any flaws in a golfer's swing will demand accommodation in their hands to square the club face at impact is a well known fact. Those forces into the wrist and hands is compounded exponentially when hitting from the deep gnarly rough of the US Open. 

Most common this week has been soft tissue stress to the metacarpal-phalangeal (MP) joint of the lead thumb. The club position in the lead hand combined with the extra demand to grip and control the club through the thick rough stresses the ligaments and tendons supporting the MP joint as well as the extensor and abductor pollicis longus muscles. 

The sooner in the week that the golfer comes in when symptoms arise the quicker a favorable treatment response occurs. The longer they wait to be assessed and treated the more difficult it will be to meet the challenge of the US Open.


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