Four Important Techniques to Prevent Golf Injuries

By Tim Abel, PT, DPT, OCS

One of the most common physical symptoms during or after a round of golf is low-back pain. There are several strategies you can employ to reduce or prevent that annoying low-back pain so you can get in that extra 9 or 18 this weekend.


1. Reduce your backswing. In the modern golf swing, when we take our backswing, our hips and shoulders rotate away from the target. When our hips naturally stop rotating, our shoulders and trunk rotate even further to coil up the body and get ready to unleash that energy toward the golf ball. This extra trunk rotation can be a vulnerable position for the lumbar spine and often contributes to pain.


2. Walk smart. If you like to walk the course for exercise, that’s great, but don’t do it at the expense of your low back. If you like to carry your clubs, make sure you have a bag with two shoulder straps. If you like to use a cart, make sure you push it in front of you – don’t pull it behind you. This will preserve strength in your core muscles to help last the entire round.


3. Don’t spend a lot of time on the practice green. The typical putting stroke requires you to bend forward a considerable amount. If you are practicing your putting for a long time, you have already begun to fatigue these important muscles that support good spine posture, and they might not be able to do their job during the actual round of golf.


4. Train your body to succeed at golf. While golf isn’t considered an intense activity by a lot of people, you need specific strength and flexibility to reduce the stress on your spine. You also need good muscular endurance to maintain a consistent swing for up to five hours. Seek professional advice and training from a physical therapist who has golf-specific knowledge.


The Importance of Scapular Stability for Healthy Shoulder Mobility

By: Wesley Weaver, PTA


In the human body, the shoulder is the most mobile joint and the most susceptible to injury. This ball-and-socket joint is made up of the scapula (shoulder blade) and the head of the humerus (arm bone). The scapula contains the glenoid fossa, which is the socket of the shoulder. When the arm moves, the scapula also moves to position the glenoid to assist in shoulder movement. Because the scapula has no bony articulations, muscles attached to the scapula are responsible for its movement and its stabilization. Scapular muscles contract in coordination with the rotator cuff to anchor the scapula and move the shoulder efficiently. Consequently, imbalances and/or weakness of the scapular musculature can result in shoulder dysfunction and lead to injury. Resistance exercises can be done to strengthen the scapular muscles and reduce the risk of injury.


The main stabilizers of the scapula are levator scapulae, rhomboids major and minor, serratus anterior, and trapezii. These muscles can be strengthened through exercises using resistance as well as body weight.


Some examples of exercises are shown below:


D1 flexion/extension and D2 flexion/extension are proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation (PNF) diagonal patterns that mimic functional movements of the shoulder joint.


The prone I, T, and Y exercises target the main stabilizers of the scapula. These exercises are begun lying face down with the arms hanging freely. The arms are then brought up as shown in the pictures below, with an emphasis on squeezing the shoulder blades together.


Shoulder injuries typically occur when the muscles of the shoulder girdle are fatigued. For this reason, these exercises should be performed for 2–3 sets of 10–15 repetitions in order to increase muscular endurance in the shoulder girdle.


The muscles of the shoulder work in coordination with the scapular muscles for proper functioning of the shoulder joint. If scapular muscles are not balanced or strong enough, shoulder injury can result. PNF patterns and prone I, T, and Y exercises can aid in the recovery and prevention of a shoulder injury. Try these exercises at home or visit a Sports PT of NY office if you feel that you may suffer from weak scapular muscles!


What to expect on your first visit to Sports PT of NY

By: Julie Wolfley, PT, DPT, OCS


Welcome to Sports PT of NY! Thank you so much for choosing us!


What can you expect?
In one phrase, it’s our mission . . . which is, “To be the premier provider of quality physical therapy services in a positive, professional, and compassionate environment.” That’s our culture, with every patient, every time. Let’s explain what you can expect to experience.


First call:
When you make the first call, you will be warmly greeted by one of our Patient Services Coordinators (PSCs) who will help schedule your initial evaluation appointment at your convenience. We will obtain information about your injury, as well as insurance information so our experts can verify insurance benefits. We want to support you in every way, so you can focus on your care.


First Visit:
On your first visit, you will be welcomed by one of our PSCs and your paperwork will be thoroughly reviewed. Many patients prefer to fill out paperwork from home, which is available on our website at If patients choose to complete this at our office, it typically takes between 10 and 15 minutes to fill out. The PSC will go over your insurance coverage with you and any other questions you may have.

Your Physical Therapist (PT) will be delighted to meet you, and you will be welcomed into an evaluation room. This is where your PT will seek to learn more about your injury and to determine a diagnosis and treatment plan. The evaluation is thorough, with a combination of discussion and hands-on evaluation. Comfortable clothing is recommended, and clothing that can allow access to the injured area is recommended. Your PT will ask questions for about 10 to 15 minutes regarding symptoms, goals, and medical history.

After this discussion, your PT will perform a physical evaluation to determine what needs to be addressed in physical therapy. Often there are areas of tightness and weakness that a PT will assess. The objective of physical therapy will be to help restore your normal activities and to achieve your goals! If for some reason your injury or condition requires a different health care provider, a referral to the person will be facilitated that day.


We are committed to patient education, which includes: injury, prognosis, and treatment plan. Our PTs will use medical resources such as posters, models, computer videos, and demonstration to help understand your injury and WHY/HOW physical therapy can help. The PT will make a recommendation as to how many times a week you will attend physical therapy and what the main focus of your treatments will be. Most patients attend physical therapy two to three days per week, depending on the condition. Sometimes more, sometimes less.


In most cases, you will be given between one and three exercises on Day 1 with photos and clear instructions for home. Many times, the PT will perform some type of hands-on skilled care to help restore motion or to help reduce pain. You will have the same PT for the majority of your visits to maximize your consistency of care.


Day 1 is complete! What’s next?
After the evaluation, treatment, and hands-on care, your PT and PSC will coordinate an appointment with you. The average first visit is a little over an hour. After your visit, the PT will write up your initial evaluation note. If an MD referred you, that evaluation will be sent to him or her.


This begins your Physical Therapy journey with us! Thank you again for choosing Sports PT of NY. We are committed to clinical excellence and outstanding customer service in a fun environment.


For more information or to schedule your first appointment, visit us at


Causes Of A Common Sports Injury: Quadricep Tears

By: Alanna Pokorski, PT


Matt Adams of the St. Louis Cardinals tore his quadriceps tendon on May 26 and underwent surgery last Friday. The first basemen tore his quadriceps running between first and second base, and left the game shortly afterwards.


The MRI showed a tear, however surgical intervention showed the extent of the injury was more severe than expected. Matt will be out of baseball for 3-4 months to heal and recover.


The quadriceps tendon works the muscles in the front of the thigh – to straighten and extend the knee. Although anyone can tear the quadriceps tendon, it is most common in middle aged individuals who are in running or jumping sports. Because the quadriceps tendon functions in an “explosive nature” in high level activities, athletes are more prone to this type of tear.


Generally speaking, a tendon is more susceptible to tearing when it is weakened. Often times, it is due to tendonitis or chronic inflammation of the tendon. This is called quadriceps tendonitis and can develop into a chronic condition. With tendonitis, the tendon becomes inflamed and doesn’t function as effectively when strained. It then becomes swollen, and doesn’t have as much tensile strength which is predisposes it to more serious injury.


Physical Therapy can treat tendonitis conditions which can help prevent tears. While it is unknown if Matt Adams had tendonitis prior to his quadriceps tear, many athletes develop tendonitis.


Some initial signs of quadriceps tendonitis are:

  • Swelling and tenderness over the tendon ( located just above the kneecap)
  • Increased discomfort of the quadriceps and knee during sporting activities, especially running and jumping
  • Relief with rest
  • Dull achiness and clicking in the joint


Physical Therapy looks to effectively reduce inflammation of the tendon and joint with specific stretching and strengthening activities. Physical therapists also evaluate the entire lower leg which can sometimes offer clues on how the body maybe contributing to abnormal mechanics during sport, therefore creating tendonitis symptoms.


Since surgery, Matt Adams will continue to be in a brace for a period of time to allow the tendon to heal, and then will begin rehabilitation to increase his knee motion and restore strength. The expected timeframe for this would be about 3-4 months.


For more information on a quadriceps tendon tear or tendonitis, please contact us at