Course Instructor (P1)
Chiropractic Treatment of Golf Injuries
- Approximately30 million Americans play the game of golf.
- Inherent in the golf swing is the potential for injury to the neck, mid and low back, upper extremities, hip and knees.
- During the course of playing 18 holes, depending upon one’s skill level, a golfer will take approximately 70150 swings.
- While practicing at a golf range, a golfer may take 50-100 swings per half hour. This routine may last for several hours in one practice season.
- The golf swing requires the spine to flex, laterally bend, rotate and extend very quickly. Most golf swings take less than 1 second and the average club head speed is approximately 80-100 MPH. Tremendous kinetic energy must be generated to achieve sufficient club head speed and resultant ball flight distance.
- A study of PGA players indicated that approximately 77% of all professional golfers reported having acute or chronic low back pain from golfing.
- Most professional golfers train year round specifically to meet the demands of their sport. These elite athletes possess good to excellent golf swing mechanics. Yet a high percentage sustain low back injuries.
- The amateur golfer typically possesses less than excellent golf swing mechanics and rarely trains year round in order to golf. Therefore, it is reasonable to assume that the amateur golfer’s incidence of low back injury is as high as or higher than that for the professional golfer.
- The majority of golf injuries are caused by poor swing mechanics resulting from mechanical dysfunction and physical limitations, poor posture and decreased flexibility.
- Golf injury prevention requires building a fundamentally sound golf swing, reducing golf swing faults, and performing golf specific exercise and flexibilitytraining.
- Chiropractic care, such as spinal and extremitymanipulation, passive physiotherapy and active exercise, are efficacious treatment methodologies for golf related injuries.
- The act of driving a golf ball requires tremendous muscular intensity at a given point in time. The energy required is equivalent to the power needed to lift a load that can only be lifted 2-4 repetitions before the onset of muscular fatigue or swinging at and striking a baseball causing the ball to travel 300 feet. Often times, the amateur golfer does not possess the required strength and or technique to meet the demands of playing highly competitive golf.
Spinal Posture and Golf Swing Biomechanics
- The golf swing is a compilation of static and dynamic postures.
- At address the golfer assumes a static posture at approximately45º forward flexion with the lumbar spine in lordosis and the cervical spine in slight lordosis.
- Excessive forward flexion at address can result in repetitive spinal strain injuries.
- During the golf swing the golfers posture is dynamic. The golfer’s strength, flexibility and fitness level determines their ability to maintain proper dynamic posture.
- Poor golf posture (hypo or hyper lordosis of the cervical and lumbar spines), will restrict spinal rotation and decrease club head speed. Poor spinal rotation often causes golfers to swing too fast, have an accentuated backswing and over swing resulting in repetitive strain and even disc injuries.
- Having the cervical and lumbar spines in lordosis during the golf swing allows for increased spinal rotation and increased strength and ease of movement of the spinal column.