The rotator cuff in your shoulder complex consists of four main muscles:
- Supraspinatus- sits on the top half of your scapula [External Rotation]
- Infraspinatus- sits on the bottom half of your scapula [External Rotation]
- Subscapularis- is on the anterior [front] part of the scapula, and is the only muscle in the rotator cuff that allows for an internal rotational movement
- Teres Minor- lateral part of the scapula to the upper humerus [External Rotation
According to the Journal of Orthopaedic and Sports Physical Therapy, Golf is not considered an overhead sport, but in the middle to upper middle age groups, over 30% of the swing is spent with the shoulder at or above 90 degrees. The combination and repetition of horizontal and vertical movements has proved to be a high mechanism for shoulder injury.
Types of Injuries that can occur:
- Younger golfers have possibility of accruing posterior shoulder subluxation instability
- Slap Tears- occur from the abduction external rotation motion that occur along with the golf swing
- Glenohumeral and Acromial-clavicular arthritis is common from the adduction movement during swing.
Muscle activity during a golf swing:
- Left and Right supraspinatus and infraspinatus are recruited, very minimally
- Subscapularis is very active throughout entire swing
- Muscles in the upper chest and lower back provide the power when swinging.
References: William Bryan, MD College of Cornell University; Journal of Orthopaedic and Sports Physical Therapy.
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