Today I received an interesting question about a mysterious pain while playing golf. I needed to think about this one and I decided to copy it and post it here in case a reader is having a similar pain. Since the message was posted on a public forum I’m not breaking privacy, but of course the person’s name isn’t posted.
Here’s the message:
When I take a full golf swing I feel pain in my right side upper rib area on the follow through portion of the swing. The pain can be so bad that it takes my breath away, although disappearing in 2-3 seconds. I do not have pain otherwise;only on the follow through swing when golfing. I go to the gym on a regular basis and nothing else mimics this pain or affects this area. I have stopped golfing for approximately 4 years now, but each spring when I go to the driving range after a couple of sessions the pain is back. This is most annoying as I am in otherwise perfect health with no pain at all and I am really missing my golf! What exercises can I do to strengthen this area so that the pain does not reoccur. What type of injury is this?
When a person feels pain, the first thing to do is look at what muscle inserts into the area where the pain is felt. The next thing is that the problem is usually caused by a muscle that should be stretching but because of spasms it can’t so it is pulling on the bone at the insertion point. From the description you are mentioning I would say that you have a spasm in your right latissimus dorsi (lats) muscle.
Since the only time you feel the pain is on the follow through, I believe that its your lats because the lats insert into your upper arm and when you are following through your arm is coming across your body, forcing the muscle fibers to stretch. When you have a spasm in the muscles, the fibers won’t stretch. A strain is placed on the muscle and in the case of the lats, they will pull on your arm and side.
You can easily treat this muscle using a ball, or by gripping it with your opposite hand. It will help you easily move your arm and shoulder and play golf without pain.
Have a great day,