Golf and Chiropractic
Anyone who plays golf, knows that it’s probably one of the most frustrating sports you have ever played but also the most rewarding. Many people tend to forget or do not to think about the amount of stress that the body goes through during a golf swing. As an avid golfer and a Chiropractor, I am constantly thinking about it and wanted to share with you why it is so important to incorporate Chiropractic into your golf game. A couple of quick points on the golf swing and the stress it puts on our body.
- We know that the golf swing is a complex and asymmetrical movement.
- During the golf swing the lumbar spine is exposed to significant compression, torsion, anteiror-posteiror searing, and lateral bending.
- During the swing phase, there are compression forces acting on the spine which are up to eight times the body weight.
To put that into perspective, the compression load on the L3/L4 joint can reach nearly 7600 newtons of force that is equal to over 1700 pounds of force in just the one segment of the spine. Compare that to a NFL lineman, who on average weighs 312 lbs, when they hit a blocking sled will create nearly 1955 pounds of force. Not much difference.
The point I am making is that the body undergoes a significant amount of compression forces. Each segment must be mobile and moving properly to not only ensure an efficient golf swing but also to prevent injury.
What are you doing to prevent injury?
Stretching and exercise is a good start. However, do you know what areas of the body you should stretch or strengthen?
Are you seeing a Chiropractor?
When it comes to golf, Chiropractic can help in many ways including:
- Ensuring proper motion in each segment of the spine to help with the Kinematic sequence. The Kinematic Sequence is the proper movement of the body in a specific order to create the most efficient golf swing. It all starts with the hips, then on to the lower back, mid back, shoulders, arms and finishing with the wrist and the club head. Many of the best golfers today have different swing types, Ernie Els vs Jim Furyk is one example. But when you compare their Kinematic sequence they are virtually the same. All great ball strikers begin by generating speed from their lower body and transferring this speed through their torso, into their arms, and then into the club. The style they use to complete this signature is completely unique to each player.
- Increasing proprioception so your body knows where it is in space. In Golf as in any other sport balance is the key to better performance. Increasing your proprioception is exactly that, increasing your balance.
- Removing any nervous system interference to insure proper muscle firing patterns. If your muscles are not doing what they are supposed to be doing, how can you expect to break 100,90,80, or even 70?
As a certified medical professional though the Titleist Performance Institute, I am able to put the athlete through a physical assessment of golf related movements that are able to identify physical limitations. Also, by using a Chiropractic exam to identify neuromuscular dysfunction, we are able to identify and correct multiple issues that can arise from the golf swing.
"Due to the amount of compressive forces on the spine during the golf swing and the amount of movement necessary to ensure a proper sequence I believe it is VITAL for every golfer of any skill and age to be under Chiropractic care"
-Dr. Alexandro J. Paulk