Why Golfers Love Their Chiropractors
Golfing is a popular sport worldwide, despite having once been described as “a good walk spoiled.” Golfing is unique among other sports partially due to the large amount of equipment required for any given player to carry with them and for the length of a single game being played. There is often a lot of walking involved, or golf cart driving, while toting heavy bags of clubs and balls. Often played by business people who may be at a desk all week as a way to escape to the greens on the weekend, it is the perfect storm for back injuries and strain. This makes having a good chiropractor particularly important for golfers.
Golfing injuries can occur due to the lifting and carrying of the heavy golf bags, which may surpass 30 pounds fully loaded. Over time, carrying that weight, often on one shoulder (since golf bags usually have a single strap), can cause inflammation and strain in the spine. The torquing motion of the spine during a golf swing can create significant compression force. In a perfectly aligned spine, that is usually not an issue and can be adjusted to quite well.
Unfortunately, the average golfer is an older adult who does not have a perfectly aligned spine. They may already have some subluxations, minor disc herniations, arthritis, and degeneration of the spine that makes it incapable of adapting to the twisting force of the swing. When this occurs, the tissues may shear, creating pain, inflammation, and injury. Another factor in golfing injuries is the tendency to pair golfing with alcohol. This can lead to accidents with golf carts, falls, and other unforeseen events.
How to Prevent Injuries
Core strengthening exercises can help support the spine when carrying heavy bags and mitigate the uncontrolled torsion of a wide swing. Using a golf cart can help by removing the issue of carrying a bag altogether, but is best done sober. Practicing your swing with a golfing coach can ensure proper alignment during swings and putts, and it can help with improving your game. Maintaining a healthy weight makes it easier on your spine when you walk, particularly on the golf course with a full bag of clubs. Overall physical fitness supports the spine with strong musculature and reduces shear when twisting.
Sometimes though, even the best prevention cannot stop an injury from occurring. An excellent example is the golfing legend Tiger Woods, who has battled with long-term back injuries for many years. If you have back pain from golfing, Dr. Grant Lisetor at Greater Life Chiropractic can design an individualized plan of care for your treatment that is worthy of an eagle. A highly skilled chiropractor like Dr. Grant can return you to the greens and hitting birdies (or bogeys) faster than you can shout “fore.” Contact the team at Greater Life Chiropractic in Charlotte to schedule your consultation today.
Costa, S. M., Chibana, Y. E., Giavarotti, L., Compagnoni, D. S., Shiono, A. H., Satie, J., & Bracher, E. S. (2009). 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, 8(4), 165–170. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jcm.2009.06.002