The Top 3 Shoulder Tests For Golfers

Shoulder pain accounts for 8-18% of golf related injuries, and is the third most common area of injury following the back and wrist.

During most activities, the body tends to seek the path of least resistance, or move in the easiest way possible. While this may make the movement easier in the moment, it doesn’t necessarily decrease your chance of injury. Golf is a good example of this. When a golfer is restricted or can’t move in one segment of their movement pattern, they tend to overcompensate in another. For example, if you can’t rotate at the hips as much as needed, it’s easy to compensate by rotating the truck or shoulders, which can increase injury in these areas. A ballistic movement such as a golf swing can cause injury if the proper movement patterns are not occurring.

A proper setup and backswing involved good spinal mobility and hip rotation away from the ball. During the downswing this is reversed. If one component of this pattern is lacking, it is easy to compensate to get into the full backswing. This usually means rotating at the low back or shoulders, areas that are not meant to rotate during a full swing.

There are 3 tests to see how you fare with regards to rotating during your swing.

  • Posture – Check your posture on setup. If you trace a line from your hips and shoulders it should be straight and not curved. If the torso is curved, rotating it becomes more difficult causing you to compensate in other areas.
  • Seated rotation – We want to see how the truck rotates independently of the hips and ankles. Sit in a chair with your feet and knees together and rotate in both directions. You should reach 45 degrees and both sides should be symmetrical.
  • Shoulder rotation – Stand with you back against a wall and raise your arms so they are flat against the wall with your elbows bend to 90 degrees and your hands pointing strain out. Rotate your arms up and down and try to touch the wall with your palms and the back of your hand.

If any deficits are found theses should be addressed as well as hip rotation and shoulder stability. If one area of the body is not moving as it should, other areas are most likely compensating.

Come to ARC Health & Wellness, your North York Chiropractor to receive solutions to prevent and battle shoulder pain. Located between Weston Road and Jane Street on Finch Avenue West, call us to book an appointment or ask any questions. Call 647-504-4213 or visit us at