Neck pain is a challenging injury for all golfers. It typically manifests itself either while carrying the bag or during the swing. Both can be problematic for your golf game. Most of my clients describe being unable to complete a swing while suffering from neck pain. Almost all non traumatic (pain not resulting from an injury, pain that just starts one day and your unsure why) is the result of poor posture and tight muscles
From a golf swing perspective a loss of neck mobility will impact your shoulder turn in both your backswing and through swing. Essentially you could flatten your shoulders plane or stand up during the swing to compensate for the loss of neck motion from neck pain. Both are bad but not as bad as being in pain so let’s stop talking about the why and get to the good stuff…..
Spikey balls are great for improving neck pain related to muscle tightness, there are a lot of different ways you can use them to help your neck. Today we are going to talk about one of those ways. You might be surprised to know that your head actually turns at the very top of your neck and there are quite a few little muscles dedicated to performing the simple turns and tilts of your head. With all the time we spend driving, watching TV and looking at electronic devices that part of our neck gets incredibly tight. Pretty soon the muscles are so tight that they are no longer able to perform their jobs and our necks no longer move properly. But hey guess what we still move our heads anyway, which means we are asking the lower part of our neck to do something it was not designed to do. Magically over time this turns into a statement like…”hey man, my neck hurts” as you set up on the tee. Your buddy gives you the look….”sure it does, you aren’t getting any strokes for that”
Grab a spikey ball and walk over to the wall, feel the back of your head, there is usually a point or ridge (the ridge runs horizontally) on the back of your head. Place the spikey ball just below it and hold it against the wall with just your head. Your shoulders should also be against the wall to avoid putting too much pressure on your head (see picture). Slowly turn your head right and left trying to keep the ball on the wall throughout the exercise. You should feel the spikey ball massaging the upper part of your neck and the back of your head. If you feel like you are going to drop the spikey ball, stop and reposition in. Perform 10-20 slow turns of your head. feel free to stop and hold over particularly sore spots and allow your muscle some time to relax.
This exercise will free up your neck and allow your head to turn better helping you to maintain better head position and shoulder plane throughout your swing. Have fun and play well!
If you do not have a spikey ball feel free to click on the link in the sidebar for my online store and order one today!