Today I shared on Instagram a little insight into my own personal treatment regiment. My process today was particularly different because I had a flare up of a foot injury over the weekend that I thought I left in the past! Imagine if someone took a knife and jammed it in to the side of your foot and then ran it back and forth. That’s about the lovely feeling I have on the lateral side of my left foot! So the goal today was simple, figure out what is going on and nip it in the bud before I get plagued all golf season with excruciating pain.
Here’s the catch though, what if I told you that my foot pain had nothing to do with my foot?
In fact, to get rid of the issue, it has absolutely nothing to do with addressing where the pain is.
The issue at hand is occurring because I started shifting my weight to the front/lateral part of my left foot on my downswing. My heel pops off the ground slightly and I roll to the outside of the foot . As a result, I continually irritate a nerve and some ligaments, the end result being pain.
Why is this happening? Well, several issues are in play. One is that my thoracic spine is not moving well to the left. Considering that I am currently working on rotating better with my chest through impact, this issue ensure that will not happen. However, even though my spine isn’t moving well, it is actually not due to a mobility issue.
I am one of the few that struggle with stability. In order to support rotation and movement, one must have adequate strength and stability in place. That means stability in the shoulder, core, hip and ankle. Yes, even joints that are meant to be mobile must be able to stabilize as well.
So in order to get my foot pain to decrease, I need to stabilize through those areas better in order to support the rotation. And if I rotate better, my weight will not shift out on to the foot. Of course this also requires some work on my actual swing to reinforce the new movement.
To summarize……..lateral left foot pain……..caused by inefficient rotation……..caused by instability in the core, shoulders and hips………which can be addressed with treatment and exercises……then rotation can be reinforced…….add in swing drills……and the foot pain goes away!
Here are 2 of my favorite exercises I did today to take steps in becoming foot pain free!
Statue of Liberty and Anti Inversion/Eversion
I love combining these two movements, they fit well together and are much harder than they look.
Statue of Liberty
- Choose a kettlebell with enough weight to provide a challenge
- Start with it in the rack position and then press to the ceiling
- Focus on keeping the shoulders level and core engaged
- Imagine your shoulder blade dropping into your back pocket
- Walk around changing direction which will result in the stabilizers having to adjust accordingly
Kettlebell Ankle Stability
- Start on one foot, preferably in your bare feet
- Begin by slowly handing the kettlebell back and forth, making sure to fully find your balance on each pass
- Focus on feeling your toes clinch the ground and resisting the direction the kettlebell wants to pull your ankle to
Start with 45 seconds of the Statue of Liberty, followed by 1 minute of the Kettle Bell Ankle Stability work. Once you complete one side, switch! Do 2-3 sets as part of your warm up and you are well on your way to a more stable and happy golf swing, and maybe a less painful foot!