Is foot pain ruining your golf swing?

Golf

The barrier to a perfect golf swing could lie in your big toe. Or your heel. Or on the ball of your foot. These are the three areas of your feet most likely to cause pain that can ruin your golf swing.

Behind these pain-prone spots can lie stiff joints, stretched-out tissues and even nerve damage. But pain relief is possible and frequently does not require surgery.

The three most common painful foot conditions that can ruin your golf swing are heel pain, arthritis and pinched nerves. Arthritis can cause pain in the joint of your big toe that makes it difficult to follow-through on your golf swing.
Heel pain typically results from an inflammation of the band of tissue that extends from your heel to the ball of your foot. People with this condition compare the pain to someone jabbing a knife in their heel. Heel pain can make it uncomfortable for golfers to maintain a solid stance during crucial portions of their golf swing.

Neuromas, according to FootHealthFacts.org, are nerves that become thickened, enlarged and painful because they’ve been compressed or irritated. A neuroma in the ball of your foot can cause significant pain as your body transfers its weight from one foot to the other in a golf swing.

Several other painful conditions can also cause instability during your swing. Some athletes and former athletes develop chronic ankle instability from previous ankle sprains that failed to heal properly. Motion-limiting arthritis and Achilles tendonitis can also affect your balance. Ill-fitting golf shoes may cause corns and calluses that make standing uncomfortable.

For the majority of golfers and other patients I recommend simple treatments such as custom orthotic devices (shoe inserts), stretching exercises, changes to your shoes, medications, braces or steroid injections and physical therapy. However, if these conservative measures fail to provide adequate relief, surgery may be required.

Foot pain is not normal. With the treatment options available to your foot and ankle surgeon, a pain-free golf swing is clearly in view. When your feet aren’t in top condition, your golf swing won’t be either!

Author
Dr. Scott Carrington Scott Carrington, DPM, is a fellowship-trained foot and ankle surgeon restoring mobility in patients throughout the community of Castle Rock, Colorado, at Castle Rock Foot & Ankle Care. A highly skilled clinician, Dr.Carrington specializes in trauma, foot and ankle reconstruction, sports medicine, arthroscopy, cartilage restorations, and total ankle replacements. A native of Colorado, he attended Cherry Creek high school and went on to complete his undergraduate studies at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah. He received his medical degree from Des Moines University College of Podiatric Medicine and Surgery in Des Moines, Iowa. As part of his education, Dr. Carrington completed a competitive scientific research fellowship in which he performed more than 300 hours of research. Dr. Carrington returned to Denver for residency training at the highly competitive Highlands Presbyterian/St. Lukes hospital program for Podiatric Medicine and Surgery. He then went on to complete a rigorous fellowship for foot and

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