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I have Knee Pain, What Should I do?


Will Knee Pain Affect My Golf Swing?

You don’t hear this as much on the golf course as compared to back pain but it’s very common that a lot of golfers are experience daily knee pain on and off the golf course. So if you have knee pain that is stopping you from walking the whole 18 holes of the golf course, is it stopping you from your golf swing as well? 

Often times you hear people with hip and back pain in golf but not knee, however, it is a common problem - knee pain can not only affect your walking between holes, but also your ability to move properly in the swing to deliver the club.

If the knee pain is on the trail side, it will affect how you rotate and load into the hip in the backswing. If the knee pain in on the lead side, then it will affect how you transfer your weight over in the downswing to clear your body for your club efficiently.

Another common co-relation is hip mobility and back pain can also affect your knee pain. If your hip is restricted in rotation, chances are you have to get more rotation from either your spine or your knee. Often times, golfers who has restricted hip rotation can also over stress the knee when they try to load into the hip & transfer weight to the lead hip causing the increase strain on the tendon or ligament in the knee and even friction on the cartilage. This can lead to meniscal injuries commonly, but also the repetitive bending and twisting motion up and down while playing golf add stress to the knee joint.

There can be many different causes for knee pain - physiologically you can have knee pain due to cartilage degeneration, meniscus tear, ligament sprains and muscles strain. A lot of the extra stress is also caused by weak hip stabilizers that are unable to support and having to increase the strain on the knee with absorbing forces. 


So if you were told that you have arthritis in your knee, make sure your knee has full range of motion so it is functioning properly and check your hips for rotation mobility so that it is not adding strain to your knee joints when you try to rotate in the golf swing.

And if you have previous knee injury, either meniscus or ligament tear; you want to make sure you also have good hip stability and strength in addition to knee strength and mobility to help you support the lower limb when you transfer the weight and rotate.

Not sure if your hips are stabilizing properly or your knees are being loaded too much? Try doing a body weight squat - if your knees are able to stay in alignment without going inwards (towards each other) or in front of the toes, then you are using your hips properly to stabilize for the motion. If your knees tend to drop inwards as you go down or push up from the squat - then your hip stabilizers are not firing as well causing your knees to be overloaded to push your body up. This can be transferred to your golf swing as well - making sure you are not dropping your knee down and in too much as you rotate, so the rotation is coming more from your hips rather than your knee.

Here’s a tip for you if you fail this test:

Try this next time when you set up for your golf swing - Setting up to push your knees outwards a bit and feel more of the rotation from your hip so you can use your hips properly to rotate through!

This position is also helpful when you are doing any closed-chain lower body exercises with your feet locked on the ground, such as deadlift or squat. When you push your knees outwards a bit to feel the engagement of your hip stabilizers on the lateral side of your hips, then you can engage the muscles better before loading onto your hip properly without over-stressing the knees! 

So try this out next time when you are working out or practising your swing and see how you feel! If you have any questions or experiencing pain in the knee still, then it’s probably time to seek medical advice to make sure you are not training to cause more injury this off season!

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