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Chiropractic is a Golfer’s Best Friend

Chiropractic is a Golfer’s Best Friend

If they weren’t a necessary component of a popular sport, the movements involved with a golf swing would be banned by most chiropractors. The repetitive, one-sided nature of the golf swing makes it a common cause for back injuries. They’re several reasons why the golf swing is so problematic for the body. First, it requires great flexibility, which most people lack.

Second, it requires good posture, which is also uncommon. Third, the power move in golf is always one-sided, leading to muscle and joint imbalances.

Flexibility for Power

According to Butch Harmon, one of the foremost authorities on the golf swing, in order for golfers to generate more power and more distance, they are coached to “feel their arm staying in front of the body as they turn back.” Todd Anderson, a Golf Digest teaching professional, goes into more detail by suggesting that a proper backswing should see ” the shoulders starting parallel to the target line and turning 90 degrees, the hips turning to 45 degrees, and the knees turning to 22 degrees.” This means the backswing will generate a lot of spinal twist and loading.

Compounding this amount of torque with near-maximum acceleration in the downswing is a recipe for disaster. Repeating this move 50-70 times per round makes it difficult to stay injury free over the course of your golfing life.

This kind of movement requires flexibility not only in the spine, but also in the shoulders and hips. To ensure that you have the kind of flexibility that allows you to take a proper golf swing, have your chiropractor check the range of motion of these joints. If you have any tightness in these areas, your chiropractor can perform specific adjustments to help these joints move better and may suggest stretches to help keep them moving properly.

Good Posture for the Set Up

When a golf pro is asked to create a good, repeatable golf swing, one of his first tasks is to establish a proper set up. This is the golfer’s starting position when addressing the ball. Posture is of utmost importance here. Maintaining natural curves throughout the spine with good posture ensures that maximum rotation will be achievable in both the backswing and the follow through.

To illustrate this point, sit on a bench and allow your body to slouch. Cross your arms, placing your hands on opposite shoulders. Then, try to rotate fully to one side, then the other. Ask someone to observe how far you can go. Try again, but this time start by sitting upright first. Notice how much further your spine can rotate when you start with good spinal posture.

Ask your chiropractor if your lower back has the proper spinal curve when standing normally and when demonstrating a set-up position for the golf swing. If you suffer from restrictions and displacements in your body, these could be preventing you from achieving normal postural positions. And it could be taking 10, 20 or 30 yards off your best drives! See how much easier it is to swing the golf club after your chiropractor corrects this problem.

One-Sided Sport Requires Special Attention

The amount of effort exerted by most amateur golfers when driving a golf ball has been estimated at 90 percent of their peak muscular activity. This level of exertion has been compared to those used in sports like football, hockey and martial arts. This amount of physical effort, combined with the one-sided nature of the swing, requires a lot of special attention. If a person is not careful, over-exertion can easily lead to stress and strain.

Chiropractic treatments are very effective at re-establishing proper biomechanics in and around every joint of the body. However, maintaining proper function remains the patient’s responsibility. Preparation for golf should include an adequate warm-up, proper stretching, and a lot of core stabilization training. It’s no wonder that many of the PGA professionals have trainers and chiropractors join them when they go on tour. Make sure to tell your chiropractor that you are a golfer so particular attention will be given to the areas of the body to maximize your golf swing.

Walker Road Chiropractic can help golfers maintain a healthy back in Beaverton, Oregon.

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