Good alignment in golf is just as important as good alignment in the spine. If the alignment of your club face is off by just a few degrees you will strike the ball at the wrong angle and miss the hole entirely! Likewise, if the alignment of the joints in your spine is off by a few degrees it can have a negative impact on nerves, muscles and other regions of the spine.
The physical challenges of golf can contribute to back problems. While playing a round, golfers will repeatedly bend their bodies, twist their spine, and generate significant levels of torque. Depending on how good of a golfer you are, you can repeat this process up to 120 times in a four-hour round.
Chiropractic can help you take a proactive approach to back pain and maybe even shave a few strokes off your game!
Many professional golfers including Tiger Woods, Jordan Speith, and Zach John Johnson (who's father is a chiropractor) utilize chiropractic as part of their training team. Chiropractic members of the PGA Tour medical staff treat about 145 players on the tour. They work in conjunction with physicians, athletic trainers, physical therapists, swing specialists, and strength and conditioning coaches.
Magic Valley golfers don't have to look far for the same care that the pros get. Our Twin Falls chiropractors are highly trained and work in collaboration with local medical providers, trainers, and therapists to keep your back in shape. Studies show that collaborative care for the spine is more effective for low back pain tham therapy, chiropractic, or standard medical care alone. In fact, one study in Brazil looked at 43 golfers and the effect of chiropractic on their game. Half of the golfers were directed in a four week stretching program and gained a half of a meter on their drive. However, the other half of the golfers who engaged in stretching and received chiropractic care saw an eight meter improvement! Increased distance means lower scores.
Here are a few tips that can help improve your physical fitness and golf game:
Players who are serious about their golf game are serious about their health. Physical fitness and conditioning off the links is important. Eating a good diet, exercising regularly and stretching daily will help golfers avoid injury and reduce recovery times when things go bad.
Purchasing equipment that fits your body can keep you from bending too far forwards while swinging the club. Tall players using clubs build for a player six inches shorter or women using men's clubs are at risk for back injuries. Players should consider club flexibility and grip size in addition to club length. Having your swing speed measured and getting fitted for a set of clubs can be a game-changer.
It is a good idea to use a golf cart instead of carrying your golf bag. Riding is a cart or pushing/pulling a cart (even better) will protect your back. If you prefer to ride in a cart, make sure your driver can give you a smooth ride. Bouncing around in a cart can irritate the facet joints in the spine.
Stretching before and after a game to increase flexibility can also improve consistency in your swing plane and tempo. It can also guard against injury.
Warming up before a round of golf with a bucket of balls or on the putting green is also a good idea. It will also give you a chance to work out a few last-minute kinks.
Taking the time for a few lessons from the local golf pro is key to smoothing out your swing and developing good technique.
Staying hydrated throughout the day is something many golfers don’t consider. Dehydration can lead to fatigue and other serious health concerns.
Have fun! Golf is a game and games should be fun. Take the time to enjoy your day outdoors and away from work. Play with your friends or family and enjoy their company.
Dr. Arrington and Dr. Wray firmly believe that healthy spines have more fun. They are ready and able to help you find the quality spine care that you need. With over 16 years of experience and training in chiropractic, nutrition, physiotherapy, kinesiotaping, soft tissue therapy, advanced practice nursing, and family medicine there is certainly something our clinic can do for you.
If back pain is holding you back from doing the things you love, maybe it's time to give our Twin Falls chiropractic and medical clinic a call and let us help you "Get BACK to being YOU"!
Dr. Rusty Arrington