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Chiropractic: The Link to Pain-Free Golf on the Links!

Golf has long been heralded as one of the best ways to exercise the body and relax the mind. Like any sport, however, injuries can occur if the proper precautions are not taken. Golf can be especially hard on the spine, often triggering back disorders. That is why your doctor at Advanced Chiropractic teaches patients how to keep their spines up to par.

Posture Perfect

Proper posture – both on and off the course – is key to avoiding golf-related injuries and improving your game. For instance, a level backswing is dependent on proper posture. A backswing is actually two motions in one: The up/down movement of the arms and rotation of the body – both directly dependent on spinal health.

That is why healthy spine is so vital to a golfer's game. If the spine is out of alignment, the swing will be out of alignment. That is also why so many professional and amateur golfers alike schedule regular chiropractic check-ups. By correcting vertebral subluxations, chiropractors help perfect the postures – and golf games – of patients. Vertebral subluxations occur when spinal movement is restricted or spinal bones (vertebrae) become misaligned. This common condition is linked with a myriad of health concerns, such as carpal tunnel syndrome, headaches, backaches, sciatica and the list goes on. Your doctor at Advanced Chiropractic corrects subluxations with safe and gentle maneuvers called chiropractic adjustments.

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Here is your simple way to dramatically improve your fitness level: choose to walk the course. Walking elevates aerobic activity, increases stamina and boosts immunity: maximizing athletic performance and warding off injury.

Just Bag It!

Although golfers tend to blame back-related injuries on sub-optimal swings, many golf-related injuries have nothing to do with the actual game. Golf bags themselves have substantial bulk and weight. Add to t hat the maximum number of clubs allowed during course play – a mix of 14 irons and woods – along with a dozen or so balls and assorted accessories. The result? Enough weight to cause serious injury.

Prevent bag-related injuries by asking your doctor of chiropractic to outline proper lifting techniques. In addition, never carry your bag from hole to hole. Instead, invest in a portable, hand-pull cart.

Back in Shape

Low-back injuries are particularly common among golfers. Why does golf generate and aggravate low back pain? According to researchers, the answer is two-fold: poor mechanics and today's more demanding swing. "Stiff hip and back muscles are often the root causes of flawed mechanics. Also, older golfers may have back conditions that the swing aggravates: the disks between the spinal vertebrae get less elastic with the years and , therefore, less able to distribute the stresses that swing puts on the back."(Harvard health Letter 2000;25.) Fortunately, chiropractic care can put golfers back in the swing.

Warm Up

Warming up is essential when it comes to staying in the game. However, despite overwhelming evidence supporting the need to warm up, most golfers remain cold to the idea. Why is stretching so important? Because jolting stiff muscles into action triggers muscle strain and vertebral subluxation.

Additional benefits are outlined in the PGA Tour Golf Academy Student Instruction Manual:

  1. Greater swing flexibility and motion, allowing for a solid follow-through without straining any muscles;
  2. Improved muscular endurance;
  3. Fewer aches, pain – and lessened chance of injury;
  4. Increased enjoyment of the game.

Ask your chiropractor for a pre-golf stretching program.

Shorten that Swing

A recent study shows that shortening the backswing may reduce trunk muscle activation and possibly prevent back injury and pain – without affecting swing accuracy or club head velocity. "However, the short swing increase shoulder muscle activation and may, in turn, promote risk for shoulder injury," note the study's authors (Journal of Manipulative Physiological Therapies 2001;24:569-75).

Stop for Soreness

Whoever said "no pain, no gain" was far off course. If you experience pain during an activity ... STOP! Pain is your body's way of letting you know there is a problem. Rather than playing through the pain, call your chiropractor, make an appointment, and stave off more serious injury later on.

The Hazards of Painkillers

Before reaching for a pill to ease post-golf soreness, consider this: Doctors of chiropractic do not believe that pain should be masked with medication. Instead, they focus on the source of the disorder, restoring alignment and motion to the spine with chiropractic adjustments. The other fear is that when pain is masked by medication, you may perform an action, or continue a game and further injure and damage your body.

Be Smart

Golf is a fantastic game, but no matter what level you play at, it is important to be sure you are fit and well warmed up to play. Simple things will keep you injury free and your doctor at Advanced Chiropractic can help you with a warm up plan, ensure proper spinal pre and post outings, and help deal with any injuries if they occur.

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