How playing golf impacts on the foot
Any golf professional will tell you that problems with the feet, even a painful corn or callus, can impede timing and balance to the point where it affects the scorecard at the end of the day.
The torque of a golf swing can strain muscles in the legs, abdomen and back. The fact that the game is usually played on hilly terrain increases these forces and can lead to injury.
A full round of golf adds up to a four or five-mile workout that can reduce stress and improve cardiovascular health.
Potential problems and pain and when to seek the help of a Podiatrist
If biomechanical imbalances are present, these existing stresses will overload certain structures and predispose the golfer to overuse of muscles and strain on ligaments and tendons.
Orthotics will equalise the weight load on the lower extremity and rest the overused muscle groups.
Problems, such as tendonitis, capsulitis, and ligament sprains and pulls will keep a golfer in the clubhouse. Improper shoes can bring on blisters, neuromas (inflamed nerve endings) and other pains in the feet.
Podiatrists see these problems daily and can treat them conservatively to allow for a quick return to the sport. Injuries must be thoroughly treated and rehabilitated to meet the full demands of golf.
If biomechanical problems are present in your swing, they will invariably cause symptoms when walking the course as well.
Addressing biomechanical problems in walking may therefore result in the secondary benefit of an improved swing through proper foot function.
Once driven by fashion, golf shoes were wing-tip oxfords with spikes. Today, shoes are constructed using basic principles of athletic footwear. Some even incorporate advanced technological innovations such as graphite shank reinforcements which keep them light and add strength.
Don’t wear anything on your feet that wouldn’t be comfortable if you were taking a good long walk. Make sure shoes fit well in the store before purchasing them.
It’s best to shop for them in the afternoon when the feet are slightly swollen. Try on shoes with the same socks you’ll wear on the course. Tie both left and right shoes tightly and walk around your store or pro shop for a few minutes before deciding on a make and model.