Fore! If you have heard that before, you are or have been on a golf course. Golf is a great game of skill and a great way to get outside to enjoy the summer and fall. But if you have pain while playing, you may be have a suffering golf score and swing. There is a reason why the golf greats like Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, and Arnold Palmer have relied on chiropractic care.
Even young up and comers, Zach Johnson and Jordan Spieth, use chiropractic care and have throughout their careers and the PGA has chiropractors on staff: it is not always for aches and pains. When a avid golfer goes golfing, they put their body in many different positions and postures to generate torque to hit the golf ball. Add on the repetition of swing the club and bending over continuously for some people at lease a 100 times a day, adjustments and chiropractic care can be beneficial even if you are not in pain. They also increase your flexibility, improve posture and range of motion, and also reduce the risk of injury.
Evidence shows that golfers treated with chiropractic care and stretching/soft tissue therapy versus just stretching alone have an increased performance in their “full swing” performance (the average distance the golf ball was driven). Chiropractic care can help prevent injuries along with helping to improve performance. Most chiropractors can perform soft tissue therapy, therapeutic exercise, and nutrition to help support the adjustment. Not only does it help prevent injuries, but also it also helps reduce pain, increase flexibility, and it can also help with improving mobility while they do their daily activities. This could include walking during golf, carrying your golf clubs, and swinging your golf clubs, which can be stressful to the body at times. A good golf chiropractor should give you tips for helping at practice.
We think we are great golf chiropractors so here are some tips:
1. Use clubs made for your body and gender. They make women’s and men’s clubs for a reason. Make sure they are adequate for you and that they are the right size. For instance, if you are using clubs for someone smaller than you, let’s say you are 6 foot tall and you are using someone’s clubs that are made for someone 5′ 6″, then you are begging to get some back pain.
2. Stretch before you golf. I know this is silly but you need to warm up and stretch beforehand, or otherwise you can hurt yourself if you just go out there and golf cold turkey. Injuries can occur over time
3. Take Lessons. Not only is it a fun game to learn and play but it makes it more enjoyable when you are doing really well. Plus, you can make it a social event for you and go golfing with other couples or friends. The greats get coached, so why not you?
4. Wear orthotics or supportive shoes for your arches. It will help protect your feet from over-pronation and flat feet. From a bio-mechanical stand point, when you have something wrong with your feet, it can affect your knees, hips, low back, etc. It is like the foundation of your house, if you have problem with the foundation, it will eventually affect the windows and walls.
5. Use a push cart. Ideally golfers should walk to get some exercise and not ride the golf cart all day. If you carry your clubs, make sure to use two straps to evenly distribute the weight. The best way is to use a pull cart. I repeat, use a pull cart and make sure you have the correct athletic posture so you don’t make your muscles sore.
6. Practice with your non dominant hand. Every few holes take a practice swing with the non dominant hand. For example, if your right handed, you usually golf with your left hand/arm pointing toward the hole. Now do the opposite so your pointing your right hand/arm pointing toward the hole to keep your body evenly stressed/stretching.
7. Drink lots of fluids. Drink water if possible because we are 70% water. Usually it is hot outside when you golf, so make sure to stay hydrated. Sports drinks can be helpful if you get thirsty but try to limit them due to their increased sugar content.
8. Drop on a questionable shot. If your ball is on a tree root and you decide to swing the golf club to hit the root, you are probably going to have a few stressed out joints & muscles.
The chiropractors at Fletcher Chiropractic in Lincoln, Ne are pleased to be able to offer chiropractic and golf sport performance to golfers of all ages. Please feel free to give us a call today for a consultation.
Source: Massachusetts Chiropractic Society