Have you ever noticed that the most famous and well known golfing professionals have their own chiropractor who accompanies them when they go on tour? Surely, you might say, this is a bit of an overkill as they would be fit anyway. Not quite so!
The art of being a top golfer includes correct alignment of the pelvis, shoulders and neck in order to achieve the magic swing that takes them to the pinnacle of their class. The swing of the golfer is actually pelvic rotation which involves the lumbar spine, the sacrum and most importantly the sacroiliac joint. Just read old Ben Hogan's book written years ago - somethings don't change.
In particular the sacroiliac joint can become subluxated or fixated so that the sensitive cartilage between the sacrum and hip bone or ilium becomes inflamed and painful. If this happens, then the golfer has no chance at all of performing to the best of his or her ability.
The shoulders also swing around when the golfer rotates the pelvis, one shoulder rotating backwards with the hip and the other shoulder rotating forward in the opposite direction. At the same time the shoulder blades or scapulae move also, and the head turns, placing pressure on the neck or cervical spine.
Are you starting to get the idea that maybe the chiropractor who goes on tour with the top golfer is not such a bad idea! There are many things that can affect the game of golf and all of them need to be looked at carefully and adjusted where needed,
Here are some of them:
1. The first recommendation is to choose the right equipment. The clubs you use should fit your height. Clubs that are too short can put significant strain on your low back. Professional measurement is a good idea.
2. Have properly fitted shoes that support your ankles, If necessary wear orthotics.
3. Do stretching exercises to warm up and then cool down before and after the game. The blood needs to circulate in the muscles and waste products need to be flushed out of the muscles.
4. Take lessons from a pro. Of all sporting activities this is possibly the game that needs the correct instruction. Poor technique overloads the body.
5. Visit your chiropractor regularly and you will be delighted with the improvement in your game. Your swing will improve and with it your score and upper shoulder and neck region will feel less tight and painful. It is all about 'efficiency of movement' and energy conservation, not unlike martial arts and dancing.
Don't forget, you're playing for fun and recreation; don't get injured doing something you should be relaxing and enjoying. Golf has a funny way of bringing out the weaknesses in us - even it is just bending over to place the tee.
Posted by Dr. Babak Missaghi