Golf is challenging, some might even say a frustrating enough game, that to complicate it further with back, hip or shoulder pain is unnecessary. While most players understand the importance of the psychological component, ignoring the biomechanical aspect would be a mistake. There are approximately 30 million golfers in the United States (with 25% over the age of 65) and nearly 80% will experience back pain.
When examining the mechanics of the swing more closely it is revealed how all-encompassing and traumatic this motion stands. From the backswing in which you are separating the hips and shoulders to the downswing involving the elbow and wrists, all the way to the follow through which includes hyperextension of the spine and contraction of the abdomen, it is a true full body movement. In fact, experts agree that there are 14 regions which are engaged during the golf swing.
Furthermore, a golf swing will generate 10x the body weight of the individual in compressive forces which are then transmitted to the discs of the spine. This pressure is enough to cause disc injury as well as potentially fracturing a rib or vertebrae in an older individual. Every joint involved is taken to its maximum range.
So how can we combat all this strain and tension? From a treatment standpoint, we attempt to ensure that the golf patient is symmetrical in all planes of motion. As the golf swing is a unilateral movement that tends to create imbalances in the body and misalignment in the joints, treatment is concentrated on three distinct areas. Treatment protocols focus on:
- Joint mobility
- Postural stability
Whether the patient is experiencing elbow pain due to joint stiffness or there’s too much stress on the back, or increased wrist pain while striking the ball, the right treatment can prevent further or more severe injury.
Just as we take care of our golf clubs at the end of a round, so should we take that same time and focus on our bodies. Chiropractic care and physical therapy are non-pharmaceutical solutions for golfers who want to rid themselves of pain and ultimately increase their enjoyment of golf.
HealthQuest offers these and other advanced treatment solutions such as ultrasound, transcutaneous electric stimulation and ice/heat therapy for a wide range of issues faced by golfers including golfer’ elbow, back issues, ankle issues, sacroiliac joint dysfunction, shoulder pain, and golf-related knee.