Golf, they say, is one game you can play all your life. A day out on the course will allow you to get some exercise walking the course, get some vitamin D while out in the sun, and offers an opportunity for social interaction. Your doctor of chiropractic can help you enjoy these outings – golf is a game of correct muscle memory, exertion, and hours of repetitive motions in awkward positions.
Exertion on the Course Can Lead to Pain and Injury
According to studies, low back pain is the most common golf injury because the torsion of the trunk during swings puts excess stress on the spine. Other common golf injuries are a pain in the wrist and elbow.
Doctors of chiropractic specialize in disorders within the musculoskeletal system. A misalignment in the spine puts pressure on the nervous system and affects the communication between the brain and the body. Misalignment can also cause pain in the back, hips, and lower extremities – all of which are highly stressed during golf.
Chiropractic care corrects misalignments in the spine, allowing the nerves to communicate optimally, increases joint mobility, and allows the golfer to perform with proper biomechanics.
How to Perform at Your Best
The cause of injuries in golf is typically excess exertion, poor conditioning, and improper swinging due to poor body mechanics. Chiropractors aren’t swing doctors, but here are five useful tips to ensure you can golf at your best.
1. Warm-up before you tee up.
A proper warm-up can increase flexibility and performance and decrease the risk of injury. Stretch your hamstrings, shoulders, hips, and torso to prepare your muscles for the upcoming activity.
Activities like jogging in place, jumping jacks, leg swings, and windmills are great pre-golf exercises. Do a few easy swings with your club to warm up the muscle groups used for that forceful golf swing.
2. Consider a weight-training regimen.
Outdated science says lifting weights makes you inflexible for golf. The opposite has been shown to be true. Increasing your muscle strength has been shown to positively correlate with skill (handicap and score), driving distance, and swing speed.
3. Start the swing right.
In addition to having properly fitted golf clubs, achieve a better golf swing by having excellent body balance in your stance before the swing. The keys to good balance are keeping the knees bent, feet at shoulder-width apart, the spine straight, and your weight placed evenly on the balls of your feet. Repetitions with a proper stance will develop muscle memory, and proper balance before the swing will decrease the stress on the low back.
4. Rethink your golf bag.
The repetitive action of hunching over to pick up your golf bag and lugging it over one shoulder for hours adds stress to your low back. To reduce stress to your shoulders and low back, choose a golf bag design with two straps, allowing you to distribute the weight to both shoulders as you walk.
5. Stay flexible with chiropractic care.
Think how many movements and positions you put your body through during a round of golf. Chiropractic adjustments can keep the body operating normally and reduce the chance of being injured.
What Golfers Should Know About Chiropractic
A doctor of chiropractic specializes in disorders within the musculoskeletal system and seeks to restore optimal function, movement, and range of motion. Chiropractors know a misalignment in the spine puts pressure on the nervous system and affects communication between the brain and the body.
Chiropractors look at the body’s efficiency through movement assessments and each person’s biomechanics. Poor biomechanics are a common cause of golfing injuries, so a chiropractor’s knowledge of how a joint is supposed to behave during a golf swing can help prevent pain and injury.
Most of all, a doctor of chiropractic’s multi-faceted diagnosis and treatment have the potential to correct any underlying issues, which itself can improve performance on the golf course.
CUKC Chiropractic Health Center
Cleveland University-Kansas City (CUKC), founded in 1922, is a private, nonprofit, chiropractic and health science-focused university in Overland Park, Kansas. The CUKC on-campus Chiropractic Health Center is open to the public and treats patients from Kansas City’s 15-county metro area. Our goal is to provide care and solutions for a better, more productive life for our patients.