Chiropractic Care and Golf: Injuries and Improved Performance

Golf is a sport that can be mentally exhausting but just as much physically taxing on your body. People may see golf and compare it to other sports and think it’s not as physically demanding in a cardiovascular sense but when playing golf if you are not properly conditioned or your body’s biomechanics are dysfunctional then you will accrue many different ailments. Golfers, whether you are a recreational player, a professional or if you are young or old it doesn’t matter. It’s important to take care of your body so you can maintain your physical health as well as improve your mechanics which can lead to better results on the golf course.

There are many golfers who use chiropractic to improve their performance and to keep their body in the proper conditioning to prevent injuries. I will get to an example later but for now I am going to go over how important it is to see a chiropractor to have your joints properly aligned so your biomechanics are functionally sound which can help prevent injuring your back, neck, hips, elbows and many other musculoskeletal injuries. Unfortunately, many golfers do not realize the toll swinging a golf club can take on their whole body and too many walk away with chronic injuries. For example, when someone swings a golf club its estimated that there is a force of compression on your spine 10x the weight of your own body! That’s a lot pressure on a very important structure in your body. If you have never had back pain it can be incredibly uncomfortable not to mention very hard to play golf with a bad back. 4 out of 5 golfers will experience pain and injury to their back and its critical to see a chiropractor to correct this problem and/or prevent this potential injury to occur. Along with back injuries many golfers injure their elbows which is known as golfer’s elbow and more specifically called medial epicondylitis which is an overuse injury to the inside part of the elbow joint. One major reason for this is the fact that without proper conditioning like stretching of these joints and dysfunctional joint mechanics there is a lot of excess pressure on the elbow during the backswing and many golfers will hyperextend their elbow on the follow through. Once again seeing a chiropractor is important to condition your elbow joints as well as the rest of your body to have proper conditioning and joint mechanics for any dysfunction that may be present or if you are not injured make sure you get treated to prevent any injuries down the road.

The golf swing itself is one that can have various points of pressure. When your body’s joints are misaligned and the biomechanics of these joints are off then not only is your golf swing affected but this is how you create excess wear and tear on your joints as well as cause injury. When seeing a chiropractor, they will evaluate all of the components to your joint movements, your gait and if your soft tissues like your muscles, tendons and ligaments which need to be properly stretched and to also break up any existing scar tissue from current or past injuries and overuse to allow for proper healing and stronger soft tissue. Once the chiropractor corrects the joint misalignments with chiropractic adjustments and the soft tissue is worked on then it’s important to not only keep up with the treatment but to also perform strengthening and stabilizing exercises. You want to keep your back and core strong so any type of squats with or without resistance, abdominal crunches with a stability ball as well as medicine ball twists for targeting the oblique muscles are just a few examples as to what you can do to strengthen your back and core regions and prevent injury. As for improving strength in your elbows, doing supination and pronation exercises like bicep curls with your palm down and rotating your hand to a supine position (palm up) as you curl. With pronation perform a tricep extension with your palm facing you and during the extension of your elbow rotate your hand so you pronate (palm down) at the end of the exercise. You will also want to strengthen the wrists which in turn will stabilize and strengthen the elbows. Grab any type of light resistance like a 2-pound dumbbell or even just a water bottle(filled) and perform wrist extension and wrist flexion exercises. These exercises will once again help to stabilize and strengthen the regions of your arm that can be affected by your swing and help to prevent injury after you have initially corrected the problem(s) through your chiropractic treatment. It is also important to properly stretch out all of these regions just like you would for any type of sport or activity so make sure you go over these stretches with your chiropractor.

As I mentioned earlier there are many golfers that use chiropractic to improve their game and help to prevent injury, one such golfer is Jordan Spieth who has 12 professional wins and won The Masters in 2015 as well as the US Open in 2015. He has been seeing a chiropractor since he was 14 and attributes his success at the masters to his team chiropractor, Dr. Van Biezen.

“Dr. Van Biezen is an important member of my team, and thanks to his care, my all-time dream of winning the Masters Tournament has become a reality,” Spieth says. (1) Crawford, Mark (2016), Chiropractic and Golf-A Winning Combination (American Chiropractic Association)

Golf is a game that requires a strong mental aspect as well as a sound aspect of the golfer’s physical functionality. All golfers young and old, amateur or pro should condition themselves properly and see a chiropractor to maintain their physical health, have proper joint mechanics, improve their overall golf game and to correct and prevent injuries. So, next time you plan on hitting the links make sure you get treated by your local chiropractor to eliminate any joint dysfunction and receive proper conditioning treatment so you can be at your absolute best and stay away from injury.

If you are dealing with a current or chronic golf injury or you are looking to improve your overall game on the golf course, then click on the link for a FREE consult so we can get you playing at your peak performance!




*(1)- Crawford, Mark (2016), Chiropractic and Golf-A Winning Combination (Referenced from American Chiropractic Association)