There are many common injuries that arise while playing sports; this is due to the nature of sports requiring repetitive motions. Repetitive motions cause overuse of certain areas of the body, therefore athletes will experience pain/stress in those areas. It is important to note performing the repetitive motion in sub optimal positions can cause greater damage sooner.
Different sports will cause different areas of the body to be strained. It depends on where the repetitive motions are repeated. Below are some examples of common sports injuries .
-Knee injuries especially those to the anterior or posterior cruciate ligament (ACL/PCL) and to the menisci (cartilage of the knee).
-Tendency for ankle sprains
-Knee injuries (ligaments, menisci, anterior cruciate ligament, Patellofemoral inflammation)
-Back (mechanical, disc-related, arthritis, stress fractures etc.)
-Shoulder (rotator cuff injury)
-Elbow (golfers elbow or medial epicondylitis)
In this review, we are going to focus on back and knee problems in golfers since the “Northcroft Golf” products is aimed to alleviate the strain that golf can put on these areas of the body.
How does it work?
The Tee-up Compact has a handle with a clamping control mounted to the end of the handle. The tee and ball fits into the clamp snugly until released when tee is in the ground. Beside the clamp, there a spring part that presses down to the ground and helps offer control when teeing up the ball.
Set-Up and Ease of Use:
There is not much to setting up the device. It is self explanatory and easy to use. Basically, insert your tee and ball into the clamp area, press on trigger to keep the tee and ball held tightly in the clamp, then insert tee into the ground, finally release trigger at the desired height of the tee.
Sometimes, the ball will roll off the tee, when this happens, I find that it is easier to take out the tee and repeat the above motions instead of trying to put the ball on the tee when the tee is still in the ground. (This happens 2-3 times on average)
After the ball is teed up and ready for your shot, you can simply place the Tee-Up Compact on the ground and pick it up with your club by putting the butt end of your club through the rubber loop.
A) Does the device accomplish its intendant use?
Yes it is effective in its goal which is teeing up the ball easily and with limiting the bending motion.
B) How do you know if this device will relieve your pain?
To fix any problem you need to know the root cause of it. The problem is there are so many causes for back and knee pain based on the Mayo Clinic.
Mayo Clinic Back Pain Causes
Mayo Clinic Knee Pain Causes
Due to the overwhelming amount of reasons for pain in the body and that having pain is a sign/symptom of your body telling you that there is something wrong. I recommend seeing a doctor to check if everything is okay before proceeding with your activity. Better be safe than sorry! I also suggest running your own experiment. Start golfing when your back/knees are feeling good and use the device when playing 18 holes. Record on a scale of 1-10 what pain or discomfort you had when you started the round and when you finished the round. Do a few rounds using it and a few rounds not using it. This way you can asses the feedback on whether this device works for you.
(Note: Do not go when your back is already hurting because thats not starting at baseline and wont give you accurate feedback, any movement can hurt your back when its already in pain)
C) Other things you can try to alleviate your back.
Do exercises to increase strength and flexibility. As I found out this is much easier said then done. Only when you find the weak link, can you start picking the exercises needed for improvement. Eddie Lu a chiropractic student from England helped me understand what was really happening. Thanks Eddie!
Here is Eddie’s Article
Your spine is divided into sections which rotate certain amounts
Thoracic 70° of rotation
Lumbar 15° of rotation
Hip 35° of rotation
The reason you could be having lower back pain is because if your thoracic is stiff and cannot rotate up to 70°, your body will compensate for the loss of motion with rotating the lumbar spine more. The lumbar spine should not rotate more than 15° since it causes facet problems and discal problems. Repetitively the lumbar spine starts to get jammed up and causes lumbar joint dysfunction or something similar. Same thing goes for loss of hip internal rotation or external rotation. Since during a swing both of them will be needed. During the backswing I will need to have internal rotation of my right hip and external rotation of the left. Then at the end of the follow through, when the golfer is up on the left side, at that point I need external rotation of the right hip and internal rotation of the left hip. If I don't have it, the body will create the extra motion by rotating more of the lumbar. At the same time it's not only the hips that moves, you are at the same time pronating the right ankle and supinating the left ankle, and at the end of the swing the right ankle supinates whereas the left pronates. The reason why the lumbar spine should not rotate more than 15° is because the zygapophyseal joints on the lumbar does not allow much rotation. Once you "overuse" it, it gets dysfunctional. As on the picture (Pic A) if you look at how the Z joints of the thoracic are positioned and compare that to the lumbar Z joints. The facet joints are angled at a 90° which actually does not allow much movement through there. The problem now is that most of us are hypomobile in our thoracic and hypermobile in our lumbar and again hypomobile in our hips. Why? Probably because of how we live our lives nowadays. We sit most of the times in front of the computer or the phone which causes flexion of the spine and rounded shoulders that reduces mobility of the thoracic. At the same time in a seated position flexion of the hips occurs. That shortens the hip flexors such as iliopsoas while lengthens the gluteal muscles which disrupts the balance of the hips muscles which effectively affects the internal and external rotation range of motion of the hip. Since gluteus maximus is the strongest external rotators of the hips you want to have a strong and explosive glute max (which won't be if you sit all day).
This is called Joint-by-Joint approach by Gray Cook and Michael Boyle, which identifies which structures of the body that commonly needs more stability and more mobility. As you see on the picture (Picture B) the thoracic spine needs more mobility and the same goes for the hips. The lumbar spine on the other hand needs more stability. So Loss of mobility causes increased mobility in areas where it's normally already hypermobile and actually needs stability instead of more mobility.
If you compare these two pictures, see how much extension that goes through the spine on picture C1 compared to the Picture C2. Also look where the ball is. Gerrard (Picture C1) on the left has the ball just next to his left foot and the other guy has his left foot in front of the ball (Picture C2). When you create impact with the ball, your spine wants to be as neutral as possible to minimize the the injury risks to the spine. You can't be neutral when making contact with the ball if your feet are not next to each other. Translate that into golf. Make sure your spine is as neutral as possible when making impact on the ball.
A proximal stability also gives distal mobility. So making sure the core is tight and strong will eventually give the proximal joints more mobility (shoulders and hips etc). If your core is not stable, your distal muscles of the extremities will not allow you to go to your end range because they can sense that the core is not stable so they have to give the stabilization to prevent the body from injuries, which leads to less mobility of the distal joints. When the core is stable and tight, the extremities will sense that and allow themselves to go to the end range.
End of article
There was a lot of scientific stuff in the article but basically you need to increase strength/stability and flexibility/mobility in specific areas or change your swing like Tiger Woods did to limit the damaging motion. I was experiencing pain in my lower back which was caused by my lack of mobility in my middle back. It was a simple issue to understand but not an obvious one.
-This device is well built, and very durable.
-I've thrown it on the ground after using it to tee up my ball and before I teed off, and I did not have any problems with it breaking, cracking..etc.
-The device is light but does not feel cheaply made.
-The trigger have never gotten stuck
-I will continue to use this device for a long time as it not alone alleviate my lower back pain, but it also allows me to tee up quicker. I also feel less tired after a round of golf since I do not have to bend down so many times.
The only issue I had with the device was the bulky size and trying to fit it into my bag. That being said the tee up compact alleviated my lower back pain/soreness therefore I wouldn't go golfing without it. I would definitely recommend anyone who has back/knee pain to try it out. It doesn't matter if you're young or old, all golfers can develop injuries due to repetitive stress. It is a common problem among aging golfers but also happens in golfers like Tiger Woods, due to the repetitiveness of the sport. The difference between him and older golfers is that, Tiger has already played rounds of golf that normally take a life time for us to do. If you know what the common injuries are in your sport, you can take steps to prevent them. I believe this is the key to adding extra years of being able to enjoy the game.
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Enabled for life website selling NorthCroft golf Tee-up compact
Neat pics of various tee up devices on google images
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RealWire.com Gadgets keep senior golfers playing for longer
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The National Academies of Science/Engineering/Medicine (Great Gadgets for Aging Golfers)
Express.co.uk (New gadget to help older golfers continue to tee-up)
Savvysenior.org (Great Gadgets for Aging Golfers)
Newsok.com: Gadgets can help aging golfers stay in the game
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Popular Science Aug 1948 (electric tee helps lazy golfer article)
News Channel 4 (4 Seniors: Gadgets to help with your golf game)