Need some help with your long game? Mercy Health is here for you with our golf performance program.
Michael Piscitello, a physical therapist and clinician focusing on sports rehabilitation, is on a team providing these services. He even went through training with the Titleist Performance Institute (TPI) to best prepare.
“Titleist certification is a weekend-long course that you would go to, to be certified as a TPI expert,” says Michael. “They are the world’s leading educational organization dedicated to the study of how the human body functions in relation to the golf swing.”
Learn more about how this program can help improve your skills and keep you safe playing the game you love.
What are typical golf injuries?
“Tennis elbow or golf elbow is common,” says Michael. “We also see a lot of tendinitis of the wrist, as to the repetitive nature of the golf swing.”
Neck and lower back pain are also common in golf due to the consistent rotational force during a golf swing. Michael sees a lot of shoulder injuries such as rotator cuff issues, strains, sprains, and even partial tears too.
New concerns have been arising with new strategies in golf swings. In the past, typical instruction was to swing easy and try to be accurate. Now, it’s starting to be about power. This includes factors like clubhead speed, turning speed and swinging harder. This also leaves room for error and injury.
“As a result, some people are trying to swing out of their shoes and they’re getting hurt and that’s what we’re seeing,” says Michael.
How we can help
The Mercy Health Golf Performance Program is specifically designed to help prevent these injuries.
This program consists of a team of clinical experts who are TPI certified. Patients are put through a 16-point golf screen that screens them from head to toe. This process is looking at different functional movements and every body joint.
Based on the screen, immediate results reveal what areas are affected, what areas may need to be stretched further, areas to stabilize a little bit more, and work needed on balance. All of these factors help identify red flags and prevent any injuries from coming up.
No more pain
While there have been a lot of success stories in this program, one in particular comes to mind for Michael.
“One guy hadn’t played golf in about three years. He also had several shoulder surgeries and a knee replacement. He was finally ready to play again so we started from ground zero and did the screen,” says Michael.
“We also took a video analysis of his swing to see what kind he had. We wanted to find the best swing for his body. That’s what the screen does, it allows us to make a swing specific to him.
Since our screening and advice, he’s gotten much better rotation, his flexibility has gotten better, and we’re getting him to hold his finish and balance at the end. And he’s happy. He’s not in pain anymore, he’s playing golf with his kids and his grandkids, and he’s just loving life right now.”
If you already have a golf related injury, no worries. Michael and his team members can help with therapy services. This includes treatments and corrective exercises to help many types of strains and tendinitis. Michael and his team collaborate with golf pros as well.
“We like to work with golf pros, so I’m not going to change your swing mechanics. That’s for the golf coaches themselves but, we like to work with them to help you improve overall.”
(This information is from an episode of the Mercy Health Medical Minute on 700WLW with Mike McConnell.)
The Mercy Health Golf Performance Program is offered around several clinics in the Cincinnati area. Learn more about the other Sports Medicine services offered at Mercy Health.