In order to swing a golf club effectively, all parts of the body must work together to produce an efficient and effective swing. This series of movements is not only important to generate club head speed or making solid contact, but also to minimize your chances of stress and injury.
In relation to the golf swing, we must consider how our body is designed to work.
Energy is transferred from the ground up. Any disruption in the transfer process will lead to loss of power and inconsistency. If we consider the golf swing and look at certain body parts we will see that some joints should remain stable while others freely moveable, it is this alternating sequence of events which will ultimately produce power, consistency, and club head speed (lower scores). When one of these regions isn’t acting properly, for example the upper back, the areas above and below are forced to compensate for this loss of function.
“For many of my golfing patients suffering from low back pain, I find that it is a result of decreased rotation in the upper back.”
“This causes the golfer to try to make of for this loss of rotation with their low back, which isn’t designed for excess rotation,” says Dr. George Sarantos, owner of East Naples Chiropractic & Wellness Center.
“Using chiropractic treatments, physiotherapies, myofascial treatments and tailored exercises/conditioning, we aim to properly restore function to the whole body thereby reducing the likelihood of injury to the golfer.”
It is important when dealing with golfers as with any patient, to treat them as individuals. Functionally we are all unique and present with our own individual strengths and limitations. Every golfer, from weekend warriors to tour pros has limitations. Learning how to recognize and treat these limitations allow you to achieve your most efficient golf swing.
These functional limitations can be attributed to a number of different factors such as, muscle tightness, weakness, arthritis and poor swing mechanics to name a few. Common causes can include postural habits, work ergonomics or sedentary lifestyles. Muscles that should be loose are often tight, or muscles that should be strong are often weak, leading to muscle imbalances which promote pain and injury.
“In my experience, the majority of golf injuries I see are not so much a result of what happened on the course, but a reflection on what condition that golfer was in when they walk up to the first tee box,” says Dr. Sarantos.
So whether you’re dealing with sprains, strains, tendonitis, bursitis, shoulder, knee or back pain, it’s important to see how your entire body is functioning in relation to your swing.
“Individual assessment is important; there is no cook book for dealing with pain. The stretches or exercises that work for your golf partner may not be suitable for you,” says Dr. Sarantos.