Can Seeing A Chiropractor Improve My Golf Game?

Linsay Way Sports Chiropractic 27 Comments , , , , , ,

Improving Your Golf Game With Chiropractic Care
There’s a reason Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer have all relied on chiropractic care throughout their careers, and it’s not just for relief from their aches and pains. It’s the same reason chiropractors have been part of the official PGA Sports Medicine Team for decades. Even if you’re not in pain, adjustments can improve your posture, increase flexibility, allow for full range of motion and decrease the risk of injury. Now research published by the Journal of Chiropractic Medicine has confirmed what most pro golfers already know: regular chiropractic care can indeed improve your golf swing and, as a result, lead to improved overall performance of your play.

“I’ve been going to a chiropractor for as long as I can remember. It is as important to my training as the practice of my swing.”
-Tiger Woods, Pro Golfer

The study, performed by sports medicine physicians in São Paulo, Brazil, examined 43 golfers who were all of similar ages and golf handicaps. The participants were randomly assigned to one of two groups. The control group was instructed to perform a daily regimen of specific stretches and warm-ups, whereas the experimental group received chiropractic adjustments in addition to the stretches and warm-ups.

Prior to treatment, the participants were asked to perform three full swing maneuvers, and measurements were made of the average distance they were able to drive the ball. The participants were tested again following their stretching or stretching/adjustment. This entire process was repeated over a period of four weeks.

Results of the Journal of Chiropractic Medicine Study
After four weeks the results were clear: Among those in the group that were only instructed in stretching and warm-ups there was no improvement in the “full swing performance” (defined in the study as the average distance the golfers were able to drive the ball). But among the golfers who stretched, warmed up and received chiropractic adjustments, there was a statistically significant improvement in their “full swing performance.”

The physicians performing the study concluded that a treatment plan tailored to the individual that includes chiropractic adjustments in conjunction with specific exercises and stretches can make a significant difference in your overall performance and enjoyment of the game.

But chiropractic care doesn’t just help golfers play better, it helps them avoid being forced to take time off due to injuries as well!

Preventing Golf Injuries With Chiropractic Care
As a Milwaukee sports chiropractor, I know all too well that a significant percentage of the millions of people who enjoy golf suffer from chronic pain — mostly back pain. In fact, low back pain makes up 56% of golf-related complaints. It’s easy to understand why back injuries are common in golfers. Most golfers are weekend hackers; they haven’t had years of professional training and conditioning like Annika Sorenstam or Tiger Woods, and often the muscles that support their spine (specifically their core/paraspinal musculature) are weak and underdeveloped.

“I do believe chiropractic has really benefited my game. I realize how your body can get out of balance, and chiropractic care helps.”

-Fred Funk, Pro Golfer

Golf is a game of repetitive motions. Swinging a golf club requires a repetitive, unilateral torquing of the spine that’s repeated a hundred or more times over a round of golf. It takes a toll on your spine, and the problem is compounded in amateurs because they notoriously use poor swing mechanics that cause instability in the low back.

Imagine going to the gym and working only one side of your body everyday for years and neglecting the opposite side. Unless you have impeccable conditioning and perfect form, golf tends to create this same type of imbalance in your spinal column, setting golfers up for injury.

For a proper swing you need unrestricted joint motion in the spine and pelvis. Think of your body as a spinning top, with your spine as the axis around which your arms, hands, and golf club rotate. The top can move very fast if the axis remains balanced but will topple over if the axis is unstable. To allow the top to continue spinning as efficiently as possible, it is imperative to have a healthy, freely moveable spine, as well as proper balance in the muscles supporting the spine.

It’s All About Balance
Go to the driving range and watch golfers hit balls and you’ll likely see a lot of tops about to topple over. Professional golfers’ spines, on the other hand, usually perform like a perfectly balanced spinning top. The body works best when the spine is in a neutral, balanced position. When the vertebra in your spine are not in the correct position, however, the action of swinging a golf club means extra wear and tear for your muscles, ligaments and discs. If you repeatedly stretch a muscle, ligament or intervertebral disc to its limit, it will begin to deform and eventually start to tear. In the field of biomechanics this is known as hysteresis, and it can result in muscle strain, ligament sprains, disc herniations and facet joint trauma.

Many people wait until they’re hurting to make an appointment with their doctor to get out of pain. The majority of professional golfers know better and see a chiropractor on a regular basis, whether they’re hurting or not. With regular maintenance chiropractic care, proper conditioning of your core musculature, and a good golf stretching and warm up routine, you too can boost your game and avoid the injuries so common in amateur golfers.

The Wellness Way Chiropractic Advantage For Golfers
If you’re hoping to improve your rounds of golf but not seeing a chiropractor for regular care, you’re missing out on a key advantage to your game! Need a chiropractor in Milwaukee? At Wellness Way Chiropractic, we specialize in a gentle, hands-on, low-force adjusting technique that allows us to treat patients of all shapes, sizes and conditions. Make an appointment at Wellness Way Chiropractic by calling 414-367-6050 or schedule an appointment with our online scheduling app.

Resources:
Costa SM, et al. Effect of spinal manipulative therapy with stretching compared with stretching alone on full-swing performance of golf players: a randomized pilot trial. Journal of Chiropractic Medicine. December 2009; 8(4):165-70.
Gluck G., Bendo J., Spivak F. The lumbar spine and low back pain in golf: a literature review of swing biomechanics and injury prevention. Spine J. September 2008; 8(5):778-788.
McCarroll, JR. The frequency of golf injuries. Clin Sports Med 1996; 15:1-7.

About the author

Linsay Way

Dr. Linsay Way is a chiropractor in Milwaukee, WI. Recognized for her expertise in treating and training athletes in the Milwaukee, West Allis, Greenfield, Waukesha and New Berlin areas, Dr. Way's family practice is open to patients of all ages and conditions. Dr. Linsay loves helping her patients develop healthy habits through a lifestyle that embraces good nutrition, proper exercise and good spinal care.

27 Responses to Can Seeing A Chiropractor Improve My Golf Game?

  1. Next Level Wellness

    This is so true, playing golf really puts a stress on our backs and hands. Getting chiropractic care is a good thing if you want to avoid injuries.

     
  2. muqarib

    great and very informative article, new golf player must read this, and no doubt chiropractic care really help you to avoid injuries..

     
  3. Albert Nicksoin

    Wow, very nice post. It’s really awesome information for me. Thanks for this post because it’s helpful for me.

     
  4. Johnny

    I didn’t know that chiropractic therapy could be so beneficial to my golf game. When I golf I usually walk. I know that walking when i golf can cause more stress then riding a cart. It would be nice to go to a chiropractor and get things checked out. Thanks for sharing.

     
  5. John

    Informative article for golf players.I find your subject is very good and so relevant.It’s really interesting to know chiropractice care can prevent golf injuries.

     
  6. Rick

    If you take golf seriously, play it a lot and don’t rely on some form of chiropractic care then sooner or later you are going to be suffering from severe back problems.

    I have bee playing for 20 years now and for the 1st 15 didnt take care of my back at all.

    It’s taken me the last 5 years to finally get it sorted.

     
  7. Fort Worth Chiropractor

    Seeing a chiropractor will definitely help improve your overall well being as well as your golf game.You’re posture and joint will improve and can help you open up to more exercises, when i was younger i had lower back pain when i play football and after i went to see a chiropractor i was relieved alot of the pressure i felt

     
  8. Best Caller

    Hi,
    it is a great post for golf lovers and i am a golf too so this a a great for me thanks for sharing such a wonderful information

     
  9. Jenn

    I bet this would really help my swing. Lately I’ve been really off. An adjustment sounds really nice after the week I’ve had. I tend to carry a lot of tension in my upper back and shoulders.

     
  10. Home Workout Routines

    Great post you have produced here.

    Although you have listed a few Pros at the beginning saying they have all relied on chiropractic care.

    Who would have thought that Tiger would be out of the game for so long needing it for much longer than all the others mentioned combined.

    Lets hope it really works for him.
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  11. Golf Website

    Yeah agreed, you need to be very careful with swing, or you might get an injury.
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  12. Alex

    This is useful information for me, thanks for this post!
    Alex recently posted…Golf professionals play like this

     
  13. shanaya

    It’s such an amazing article. It’s great to know how active you’re in the blogging community and providing such amazing tips and techniques. Keep inspiring.
    shanaya recently posted…CA Course

     
  14. Theresa Couto

    This is helpful Linsay. Why I never thought of this is silly.
    Thank you!

     
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  24. Anna Weber

    Good player is the one who always puts constant efforts to correct his game. When we are not in proper swing sequence it can impact the positioning through golf swing. When we start the down swing we want to make sure it is initiated by the lower body. If not it can lead to too much of our lower body weight being too much on our back foot at impact. If our weight is too far back through impact then our hands and arms will rotate too much through the ball and create a closed cub face (pull). One way to help with the proper swing sequence it to find a lower body down swing trigger. This means that when you get to the top of your backswing you use something on your lower body to start your downswing action. There are different ways to do it
    • Shifting of lower body weight first
    • Pulling front knees towards the target
    • Player often put scorecard in their rear pocket closest to the target
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  25. John Pope

    body balancing and concentration on a golf ball is the main point to play professionally golf game. this article is very good for know more about how to play carefully and professionally golf game.

     
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  27. Emerson

    artigo excelente e muito informativo, o novo jogador de golfe deve ler isso, e sem dúvida, o tratamento quiroprático realmente o ajuda a evitar lesões.

     

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