TL 14

Tom LaFountain

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The PGA championship is the last major of the year and will present unique challenges to all PGA golfers. Bellerive Country Club in St. Louis, Missouri will be an enormous challenge reflective of the PGA of America’s objective to test all aspects of the PGA golfer’s game. The course will give big hitters all the distance they can handle, but will require shot making skills by all golfers on approach shots to avoid big scores.

 The sports medicine demands on our staff will reflect the overuse demands of golf at this stage of the PGA season. Since it is at the end of the season these demands will be at a pinnacle. Players have been playing weekly as the season is winding down. The significance of each event is at a premium with Ryder Cup selections and the FedEx playoffs right around the corner. The demands on the PGA chiropractors and physical therapists will be maximized since there can be no downtime at this time of year for the golfer. 

 Assessments have to be accurate, treatments effective, and exercise protocol efficient. Joint mobility, muscle flexibility, and structural stability all have to be addressed in detail for maximum results. Throughout most of the year problematic areas of break down to the PGA golfer are the lower back, shoulders, and wrist/forearms. This time of the year you can definitely expect these areas to be symptomatic and require treatment. In the lower back muscle strain and vertebral facet inflammation are very common. The shoulders will be subject to muscular imbalance and/or rotator cuff impingement. The wrist and forearms will suffer from sprains and lateral or medial epicondylitis in some capacity. Our focus in the PGA Performance trailers is on correcting the localized condition and symptoms as well as providing biomechanical support globally throughout the body. We are aware that maintaining sequencing patterns is crucial to swing mechanics at a time when the body is wearing down and fatigued.

 To be effective the sports medicine specialist is required to have a vast array of manual procedures to correct problems and maintain efficient movement patterns. It is critical to alleviate symptoms of overuse at this crucial time of the season. Rest is not an option.

 To expedite healing advanced soft tissue procedures will include Active Release Technique, Instrument Assisted Soft Tissue Manipulation, and Dry Needling. Procedures for joint manipulation and mobilization must be precise and implemented efficiently in all areas of involvement. It is very important that muscle activation and strengthening protocol be done concurrently to decrease the response time for full recovery. This logarithmic approach has to be integrated aggressively yet respective of the golfers tolerance.

 The goal of the PGA golfer is to finish the season strong. Performance at this time is mandatory to complete the year as a success. The Tour Championship and Ryder Cup are the rewards for the golfers hard work. The pressure of stabilizing conditions in the lower back, shoulder, and wrist/forearm efficiently is on the sports medicine specialist. The reward is high level performance of the PGA golfer in the remaining events on the PGA Tour. When done properly the relationship between the PGA golfer and the sports medicine specialist they depend on is solidified. The gratification felt by the sports medicine specialist is special!


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