Good mobility in joints is very important for a sport like golf. Mobility in joints allows free flowing movement and acceleration in these movements. A lack of mobility in joints will lead to interrupted movement, additional compensatory movements, poor rhythm, and a higher risk of injury.
The mobility of a joint is determined by two factors:
1. Structure of joint:
This refers to the health or condition of the joint itself. This includes the bony structures that form the particular joint, the condition of the ligaments attaching these bones to each other, and the alignment of these bones.
- If the articulation area of a joint is damaged by “wear and tear” or degenerative conditions like arthritis and calcification, it will limit the amount of movement in the joint. This type of limitation can only be repaired surgically, for example a knee replacement.
- Ligaments that are completely ruptured can also only be repaired through operation, like a reconstruction of cruciate ligaments in the knee. In some cases, when a ligament is not completely torn, an Orthopaedic Surgeon will recommend rehabilitation instead of an operation.
- If the two bones coming together in a joint are not properly aligned, because of one or both of these being out of position, it will limit the joint space with resulting impaired mobility. This can be corrected through rehabilitation exercises with a Biokineticist to improve posture and alignment.
2. Functionality of joint:
This refers to the condition of the muscles and their attachments (muscle tendons) onto the bones of a particular joint. Inflexibility of a muscle can limit the mobility of a joint, even if the structure and alignment of the joint is 100%. A lack of mobility because of inflexible muscles can also be corrected through correct exercise therapy. Eccentric strengthening through a full range of motion is as important as stretching. Muscles lose their flexibility as they become weaker with ageing. It is very important to keep muscles strong and flexible for healthy joints!