Avoiding golf injuries
Golfers have a high incidence of injury. It is estimated that 50% of golfers will eventually suffer a golf related injury. More often then not, the golf injury is chronic, or occurs over time. Think of it as a "wear and tear" injury. These are usually the result of swinging the club in such a way that undo, and often extreme, strain is placed on muscle, tendon, ligament, joints and bones.
- Amateurs: Almost 70% of all golf injuries are either low back or elbows
- Professionals: About 35% of golf injuries are hands/wrist and about 20% are low back
Low back pain: Usually the chronic injuries in golf show up in the lower back. During the golf swing, in addition to rotation, the lower back vertebrae are subjected to forces of side bending and front to back shearing.
Most amateur golfer have not gone though golf-specific conditioning, which includes flexibility and posture training. In addition to the lack of training, many play with low back pain because they have pre-existing structural instability, i.e. subluxations, in the mid back, low back and pelvic region. Subluxations are misalignments and/or fixations within a joint. They can occur in any joint in the body. In this case, the low back subluxation may cause a decrease in flexibility and even biomechanical imbalance. The result is a lack of full range of motion in the back and eventually pain after swinging.
Elbow pain: During the backswing, when the golfer reaches the stretch barrier of the muscles and ligaments surrounding the shoulder blade, mid back area and shoulder joint of the forward arm, they compensate by bending at the elbow to keep the club moving further behind their body. During the downswing the elbow will snap into hyperextension at impact with the ball. This hyperextension can be very painful and can cause injury to the elbow.
Hands and Wrist Pain: Hand and wrist injuries occur more often with golf professionals than amateur golfers. Golf professionals injure their hands and wrists because they are required to play the ball "down" if their ball is off the course to avoid taking a penalty stroke. Injury occurs because as the club head hits the ball, it slows, however, the hand and wrist continue with the same speed. This puts immense stress on the ligaments, muscles and tendons of the wrist and hand, which can cause subluxation and strain to the area.
As a result of chiropractic care, including adjustments, muscle balancing, and postural changes, golfers can improve range of motion in the low back, mid back and shoulder. Chiropractic adjustments help to maintain the body in a biomechanically balanced way, which reduces the risk of re-injury and degeneration and helps golfers to perform at their optimum ability.