The Pain Conundrum

We’ve all had to deal with pain at some point in our life. Whether it be from trauma or repetitive activity, pain can be a unwanted experience. However, it is a crucial sensation needed to help protect our body. Without it, you would keep doing the same activity over and over without any feedback as to whether it was harmful or not. When it comes to athletics, especially golf, discomfort can be regularly present. But how much discomfort does one need to experience in order to seek help? We are going to discuss this and give you a very easy way to figure this out!

So You Have Pain, Now What?

This is the age old question, right? Like we mentioned previously, everyone’s pain experience is different. Pain is an experience. It is also multi-factorial and not solely based on mechanical or anatomical issues. What might seem insignificant to one person may be completely different for another, so context matters when discussing pain. Pain is a response by the brain to let your body know if there is a potential threat.

We see golfers experiencing discomfort while playing on a regular basis. If the demands of the golf swing exceeds what the body can handle, it can potentially cause discomfort that makes you alter how you play. Could the pain be due to mechanics? Maybe. Could it be due to lack of strength or mobility? Possibly. But like we’ve mentioned pain is multi-factorial! Most golfers who are playing regularly won’t think much about these repetitive stress injuries until it is too late. Most athletes or people will push through the issue until it forces them to miss time away from the sport.

The Wilk Scale

The Wilk scale was created by physical therapist Bruce Wilk, who specializes in endurance athletes. He came up with this scale to give endurance athletes an idea of when they should look to seek help if dealing with an issue. Although this scale was made for the endurance athlete, I believe this scale can be applicable across different sports and activities. This scale can give you a better understanding of when pain is something that you can manage on your own or if seeking help is the best solution.

The scale is as follows:

Stage 1 – Pain upon exertion

Stage 2 – Pain at rest

Stage 3 – Pain that is still present with normal daily activities

Stage 4 – Pain you take medication for

Stage 5 – Pain that cripples you

If you are reading this and you are at a stage 3 or above, then it is likely you need further guidance to help address the issue. If you are at a stage 1 or 2, but are taking medication to address that discomfort, then you are technically at stage 4, which would prompt our recommendation to seek some help. Without getting too technical, this scale is very basic and gives you a framework to utilize if experiencing pain that is limiting activity.


If you are experiencing discomfort that has been going on for more than a few days or weeks with minimal improvement, now is the time to address it. Waiting for it to go away is likely not the best solution at this point in time. Being proactive and finding the right help will ensure that you can address the source and not just treat symptoms temporarily. If you have any further questions, feel free to fill out the form below and let us know how we can help! Never let discomfort dictate what you can or can’t do, seek help to allow you to play golf pain free!