When I moved to Florida this week I had the opportunity to meet a gentleman who plays golf almost every day. He was telling me that his neck has been bothering him but when he goes to the doctor they tell him that his neck is fine. Of course, it isn’t fine — it hurts!
I started to look at the muscles in his neck and shoulder and while he was feeling the pain on his left side, the tight muscles were actually on the right side. The primary muscle involved was his right sternocleidomastoid (SCM for short) because it has to contract in order to turn toward the left when he was completing his golf swing. Other muscles that were involved, but not primary, were his right levator scapulae because of the way his right shoulder lifts during the follow-through after hitting the ball, and several other muscles of the posterior neck.
The interesting point is that he wasn’t feeling the pain on his right side, he was feeling it on his left side. I demonstrated to him (and to you via this post) that when you pull the neck of your shirt on your right side, you feel the pressure on the left side of your neck. The only way to stop the pressure on your left side is to release the tension your placing on the right side. This happens all over the body. It’s not unusual for the tight muscles to be the opposite side from where you are feeling the pain, and it’s a good thing to think about whenever you are looking for the source of discomfort.
My book, Pain-Free Golf has all the self-treatments he needed to resolve this problem and prevent its return. The best part is he called me today to tell me he shaved seven points off his score, and that he finished all 18 holes without any neck pain. We figured he lowered his score because he became more aware of his posture, and he also did some self-treatments while riding from hole to hole. Pretty exciting!
The next step is to set up a Golfers Clinic at his Club. I think I’m going to like Florida!
Wishing you well,