Would you believe that the average golfer will walk over 8km per 18 holes of golf? There is no surprise that good foot health is incredibly important for golfers to keep on top of your game and not in a sand bunker.
During the golf swing, both legs play different roles and move differently to generate power and great club head velocity. This is shown as a transfer of weight from the back (right) to the front (left) foot during down swing. The back foot needs to pronate more than the front foot to allow transfer of weight. This motion repeated over an extended period of time can lead to golfing injuries of the foot. See the figure below for an example of how each leg works differently.
So on top of a 8km walk, the left (front) foot and right (back) foot have different stresses on them simply from the swing.
Common Golfing Injuries
Despite being a non-contact sport, Golfers still have their own fair share of injuries. The most commonly seen injuries of the lower limb include:
- Lower Back Pain – commonly caused by poor foot posture and postural misalignment
- Heel Spur – an overuse injury of the foot that can be corrected with custom Golf orthotics
- Morton’s neuroma – inflamed nerves of the foot. Treated with footwear adjustment, and Golf orthotics
- Ankle ligament injuries – usually in the front foot during swing due to the twisting motion on the ankle
- Tendonitis – overuse of the tendon and muscle which can occur from both the golf swing and the volume of walking
- Metatarsalgia – pain across the ball of the foot which can be from a golf spike, corn, callous or nerve injury
Golf and Custom Foot Orthotics
A study by Stude and Gullickson in 2000 investigated custom made orthoses in golfers and these had the left and right foot designed specifically for the patient. Following 6 weeks of wearing custom made orthoses it was found that club head velocity increased by 7%. In real terms this was equivalent to the golf ball travelling a further 15 yards per shot. It was also found that the orthoses reduced the effects of fatigue associated with 9 holes of golf; and therefore may also improve consistency of performance.
Orthotics allow a golfer’s body to establish even contact with the ground during a golf swing which stabilises the body and is proven to increase performance.
Here at The Foot And Ankle Clinic we understand you need 2 different orthotics – one for your every day shoes and one for your golf shoes – and we are proud to offer 2 for 1 on all of our fully custom orthotic range. Come in and see your friendly podiatrist for an assessment on how to improve your game and reduce your golf handicap!