Objectives: This study aimed to compare the effect of myofascial trigger point therapy (MTPT) and stretching, MTPT and medicine ball exercises, and no intervention, on hip flexor length (HFL), golf swing biomechanics and performance in elite, male golfers.
Design: Single blind, randomised controlled trial with two experimental groups (stretch group: MTPT and stretching; and the ball group: MTPT, a single stretch and medicine ball exercises) and one control group (no intervention).
Setting: Professional golf academy.
Participants: One hundred, elite, male golfers aged 16-25 years.
Main outcome measures: HFL, 3D biomechanical analysis of the golf swing, club head speed (CHS), smash ratio, accuracy and distance at baseline and after the interventions.
Results: Backswing hip turn (BSHT) improved in the ball group relative to the control group (p = 0.0248). Accuracy in the ball group and the stretch group improved relative to the control group (Fisher's exact = 0.016).
Conclusions: Other performance parameters such as: smash ratio, distance and CHS were not compromised by either intervention. This study advocates the use of MTPT combined with medicine ball exercises over MTPT combined with stretching in the treatment of golfers with shortened hip flexors - even immediately preceding a tournament.
Keywords: Biomechanics; Golf swing; Hip flexors; Physiotherapy.
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