Do You Know What a Yip Is? You Should.

Kathleen Bissell (wonder if she’s related to the vacuum people) wrote about Ernie Els’s putting problems during The Masters over on Why do we care at PatientWorthy? Because Bissell notes that dystonia, a movement disorder, seems to be a more common problem for golfers.

Sometimes when golfers are trying to putt, they can get “the yips”–involuntary spasms. Most everyday sufferers of dystonia think of it as a neurological problem, not just a movement disorder. Bissell acknowledges that it’s a result of muscles getting the wrong information from the brain, causing them to involuntarily spasm. Sound familiar, dystonia sufferers?

So that got me wondering. Have any golfers come up with techniques that could help others with dystonia?

golf pool shot dystonia
Yeah… this is probably going a little too far, but…. [Source:]
Bernhard Langer is a golfer who suffered from the yips for decades. He tried changing his grip and also the length of his putter, which is something quite a few golfers seem to have tried. Maybe someone with dystonia that affects them in some other aspect of life could attempt to perform that action in a way different than what they’re used to. Working with a physical therapist might help in that regard.

It’s pretty well accepted that stress or anxiety can increase the frequency and tenacity of dystonia when it does appear. Maybe cognitive behavioral therapy could help sufferers of dystonia find alternate ways to deal with stressful situations in their own lives.

I’m not saying it’ll work…but it’s worth a try, right?

James Ernest Cassady

James Ernest Cassady

Though "Ernest" is a family name that's been passed down for generations, James truly earned his middle moniker when, at the age of five, he told his mother that "laughing is stupid unless EVERYBODY is happy." Since then, the serious little bastard has been on a mission to highlight the world's shortcomings (and hopefully correct them). In addition to his volunteer work at hospitals and animal shelters, James also enjoys documentaries and the work of William Faulkner. He is originally from Oklahoma.

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