Golf, although not seen classically as a physically demanding sport, is one the most complex motions in sports. All sports require certain levels of training and body maintenance to remain healthy, and golf is no different. Whether for recreation or competition, the most important thing to take care of is your health. No matter if its knees, hips, back, shoulders, wrists or elbows, if we want our health outside of golf to be unchanged, we have to be capable of safely repeating those dynamic motions. That requires proper balance, strength and, most importantly, range of motion.
Research has shown that proper range of motion in the spine (neck, mid back and low back) has been directly related with more consistency and power in a golf swing. A decrease of one range of motion leads to a compensation, causing the swing to be consistently less repeatable. Let’s give some examples:
- If we have limited shoulder mobility, in order to get to a similar position at the top of the swing we have to either bend our elbows, wrists, rotate our trunk more, or a mixture of the 3.
- If we have less motion in the neck, we have less opportunity to make a full turn while also maintaining eye contact with the ball. We have to have either take our eye off the ball to make a full turn or make less of a turn to see the ball. Less turn means less power or eye off the ball means worse ball striking.
- If our lower back has limited rotation, we then have to gain that motion from the hips, and more movement in the lower body can mean a less stable base and less balance.
The great thing about golf is everyone can swing their own swing and do well, or at least have fun. Regardless of why you golf, I think we can all agree that with more moving parts in a swing we will have less consistency, and our body will be more susceptible to injury. Creating abnormal motion patterns can place unnecessary, excessive forces onto various joints. So where does chiropractic come in to place? It doesn’t have to be following the golf round when something hurts; it can also be before the golf season to help improve our motion.
Golfers with more ROM including shoulder external rotation, spinal rotation, and hip internal and external rotation have on average more power and better ball striking, leading to lower scores. One of the greatest differences between pros and amateurs is the average rotation during a swing. Correlations have been made between low back pains and decreased hip range of motion. Many conditions, including disc bulges and arthritis lead to low back pain, muscle guarding and a decreased range of motion. Chiropractic care has been proven effective when treating many conditions of the spine and other joints. By reducing taut muscle fibers and inflammation and relieving swollen joint capsules, chiropractors are well suited to help restore proper range of motion. Not only that, but chiropractic adjustments have also been shown to increase proprioception into joints. Proprioception is essentially the body’s awareness of where it is in space. Improved spacial awareness in the spine can lead to better body control and balance, further improving your swing and reducing risk of injury.
Whether the goal is increased longevity of pain free golf or to try and get an edge on consistency and power, chiropractic care is a great supplement to your already existing practice and drills.
Our friendly, caring and knowledgeable staff’s mission is to create a comfortable and restorative atmosphere where healing can begin. Finding a reliable and trustworthy chiropractor doesn’t have to be a stressful experience, so our staff strives to reduce your stress before and during your visit.