Last week we covered some essential tips and tricks for anyone heading out for a game of golf this spring, but today were going to talk a bit more about some of the specific benefits that chiropractic care offers golfers. Whatever your sport, chiropractic care can be a real benefit – but golfers in particular can see significant improvements in their game when under chiropractic care. In fact, According to Dr. Tom La Fountain, a chiropractor who tours with the PGA, 70 to 75 percent of the athletes on the tour are under regular chiropractic care!
Chiropractic beats back pain
If you’re a golfer, you wont be surprised to learn that back pain is indeed the most common physical complaint among both professional and recreational golfers. The reasons for this tend to vary – professional golfers struggle more with issues related to overuse or strain of the back muscles resulting from the swing, whereas amateur golfers are actually more likely to suffer from problems caused by less than ideal equipment – like a poor choice of bag.
Either way, chiropractic care is an effective, drug free and safe way to address and prevent back pain for all golfers.
Chiropractic improves your swing!
Exciting new research indicates that chiropractic care may actually provide a tangible boost to golfers’ swing performance!
In a recent study, investigators followed 43 golfers at two golf clubs in Sao Paulo Brazil. The participants were divided into two groups. Between the two groups average age, handicap, and initial swing were comparable. Both groups took part in a stretching program, but one group also received chiropractic care once a week for four weeks.
At each session, all the golfers performed 3 full-swing manoeuvres with a view to finding average ball range – which was considered as the average distance for the 3 shots. After four weeks, golfers who underwent both stretching and chiropractic care enjoyed significant improvement in full-swing performance. On the other hand, full-swing performance did not change significantly in the stretching only group.
If you read last weeks blog, you’ll also note that in both groups the implementation of a proper stretching program prevented injury!
Proper Posture Promotes Perfect Putting
Say that one three times fast! Another way that chiropractic care enhances a golfer’s performance is by focusing on posture. Here at complete chiropractic, we take this a step further with our postural analysis, which allows us to detect even minor imbalances in posture which may contribute to a higher risk of injury, and a sub optimal game.
For instance, a level backswing is almost dependent on proper posture. A backswing is actually two motions in one: the up/down movement of the arms and the rotation of the body – both are directly dependent on spinal health.
When we think about the swing, we tend to concentrate on the drive – but any golfer knows that it’s the putt which can really make or break your round. Posture and proper muscle balance is perhaps even more important when putting, as even a slight imbalance could bias the ball one way or the other – without you ever realising it! Always swinging left or right at the last moment? – book a chiropractic check-up!
Look after your lower back
Low-back injuries are particularly common among golfers – which is a problem since lower back pain is also one of the most prohibitive issues for golfers!
Why does golf generate -and aggravate – low-back pain? According to researchers, the answer is two-fold: poor mechanics and today’s more demanding swing. “Stiff hip and back muscles are often the root causes of flawed mechanics. Also, older golfers may have back conditions that the swing aggravates: The disks between the spinal vertebrae get less elastic with the years and, therefore, are less able to distribute the stresses that the swing puts on the back.”
Chiropractic care can make a big impact here, since its exactly this kind of stiffness and spinal distress that we’re ideally positioned to help with. Regular chiropractic check-ups result in:
- Greater swing flexibility and motion, allowing for a solid follow-through without straining any muscles.
- Improved muscle endurance.
- Fewer aches, pain
- Lessened chance of injury.
- Increased enjoyment of the game.
Make sure you stretch!
Like any sport, golf requires a proper warm up – but an element of that warm up should be targeted stretching. Simply doing some all-round stretches is enough! At Complete Chiropractic, we help clients develop a routine for that is particularly tailored to your needs. It’s important to ensure that all of your personal trouble spots are taken care of to reduce the risk of injury and to improve performance.
Ditch the painkillers!
Painkillers are a frequent sight on the course, especially with all the back pain out there! Before reaching for a pill to ease post golf soreness however consider this: Doctors of chiropractic don ‘t believe pain should be masked with possibly hazardous medication. Instead, we focus on addressing the source of the disorder, restoring alignment and motion to the spine with chiropractic adjustments.
Covering up pain with painkillers might bring you temporary relief, but it also drastically increases your chances of a longer-term injury developing. So, before hitting the links this season, schedule an appointment for a chiropractic check-up!
 J Chiro Med 2009;165 -70.)
 J Chiro Med 2009;165-70
 Harvard Health Letter 2000;25