For many of us, it’s the season of pars and bogeys. The warm weather, fresh cut grass, and the buzz of the cart and caddies—Nothing says summer like golf.
Ok, we understand that golf isn’t considered a “rigorous” sport, but would you be surprised to know that we treat golfers all throughout the year for foot and ankle pain?
There are a number of reasons it can occur including a lack of ankle mobility, improper footwear, fallen arches, but it’s also the physical act of repeatedly swinging a golf club in practice and on the links that can lead to a condition known as hallux limitus, a jamming and deterioration of the big toe joint. The movement and weight transfer that occur during the swing’s follow through can cause this problem and other chronic foot ailments.
When golfers follow through on their swing, they can overextend the big toe joint on the back foot. Those who have played the game avidly for several years eventually can wear out the cartilage or jam the big toe joint. The likely outcome, if left untreated, is painful arthritis in the big toe, which would make it very difficult to continue playing golf.
Another foot problem that is common in golfers is a neuroma or pinched nerve at the bottom of the foot. The weight transfer to the front foot that occurs in the follow through applies pressure that, over time, can cause a pinched nerve.
Golfers who have pain and swelling around the big toe joint or have less mobility in this area than other parts of the foot should visit our office for an examination and appropriate treatment.
If you are experiencing pain, in the meantime, try the following stretch for relief:
Sit with your ankle (of the foot in pain) resting on the knee of your other foot (shaped like the number four)
Stretch the arch of your foot by pulling the toes up toward the shin bone.
Hold for this count of 10 and repeat several times (two or three times daily)
To make sure you're stretching the tissue, take your thumb and press against the middle of the foot near the heel.
To book an examination, reach out at 440-333-5888 (West Side) or 216-381-3600 (East Side). Or contact us here.