Golf Performance and Injury Prevention.
Many PGA golfers, for example Tiger Woods and Padraig Harrington, have used chiropractic for many years in order to improve and maintain their golf performance, but they are world class athletes. Chiropractic care can help the average golfer improve their performance as well.
Golf can involve considerable strain on the spine and joints. Golfers need to be able to move from a standing position to quickly rotating. This requires good posture, balance, and the ability to rotate the spine properly. Poor posture can create exaggerated or flattened spinal curves which can limit the spines ability to rotate and that can seriously affect swing performance. In fact, Tom Ward, PGA Golf Instructor, says, “Over 50% of all golfers will experience some sort of pain due to poor posture and the problems that arise from loss of proper curves in the spine.” The most common golfing injury is low back pain, with injuries to the wrist, shoulder and neck also common.
By working to improve your spinal range of motion, chiropractic care can help correct and prevent golf injuries, maintain performance, and improve the posture needed to perform a good golf swing. When the chiropractor restores function to the vertebra, the spine can move better. An individualized treatment plan including chiropractic adjustments, specific rehabilitation exercises and muscle techniques may make a significant difference in your overall performance and enjoyment of the sport and help prevent injuries.
I have had many patients over the years report to me that their golf, e.g. consistency and drive distance, has improved since having chiropractic care. But don’t just take my word for that….
Recent research confirms that chiropractic care can indeed lead to improved golf performance. A recent study published in the Journal of Chiropractic Medicine demonstrated that the combination of chiropractic care and stretching are associated with greater improvements in golfers swing when compared to stretching alone.
The study involved two groups of golfers. One group received a program of only stretching, and the second received both stretching and spinal manipulation. The stretches given each group was the same, and both groups had similar handicaps, average ages and initial swings. All 43 participants initially performed three full swing manoeuvres, and the average distances were recorded. Over a 4-week period, all participants hit 3 balls before and after treatment.
After 4 weeks, the stretching only group showed NO improvement in swing performance. However the stretching and manipulation group DID IMPROVE THEIR SWING PERFORMANCE and there was GREATER DRIVING DISTANCE right after treatment each week. So it proves that chiropractic care can help not only top golfers such as Woods and Harrington, but it can help you improve your golf game too.
William Goddard recently travelled to Ireland to attend a course run by Chiropractor Shane Lawler, a TPI (Titleist Performance Institute) Medical Professional who has travelled the world with professional golfers to keep them at the top of their game.
References: Tom Ward, PGA Instructor. http://www.golflink.com/golf-tips/tips/ward032.aspx
Journal of Chiropractic Medicine (2009) 8, 165-170.