Chiropractic Care for Golfers
My first visit to the chiropractor came the day after my first round of golf. My back, unaccustomed to the twisting motion of a golf swing, had virtually fused - leaving any movement at all to be excruciatingly painful. I was actually crying when I arrived at the chiropractor’s office, because the drive there had been so painful with every bump and dip in the road!
I’m sure my back pain was caused by poor technique, one of the major causes of golf-related back pain. The other is spinal damage. If your spine does not move properly, with every vertebra rotating, flexing, extending and bending to the side on top of others, it will be much more easily injured when brought through extreme ranges of motion - like a typical long drive in a golf game. You could end up with back pain or even a pinched nerve, both of which can be extremely painful. If you’ve had any history of spinal injury, disc problems or arthritis of any sort, you have a greater chance of being injured.
But is there hope for your golf game, even with a little (or a lot) of damage to your spine? Yes. Here are a few tips to help you enjoy golf with less pain:
Warm up properly before you play
Run on the spot or do jumping jacks until you feel hot and a little sweat begins to appear. Then do some planks to exercise your core and some walking lunges to help warm up your legs and derriere. Practice rotating your spine while keeping your hips very still. Your golf buddies may think you look silly, but who’s sillier - the golfer who avoids injury or the one who doesn’t?
Make an appointment with your chiropractor before you tee off
Remember the old saying “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure?” It definitely applies here. A chiropractor can improve your range of motion, and patients that take care of their spine with chiropractic have better swing mechanics, less pain as they play, and a speedier recovery time. Professionals play a lot more golf during the season, too, because they are not prevented from playing by pain. Tiger Woods has had his own private chiropractor his entire career, and while you may not play at his level, you can definitely benefit from chiropractic like Tiger!
Finally, make sure you have good swing technique. A PGA pro is the best person to help you improve your swing mechanics to avoid injuring your back. Consider bringing your club to the chiropractor’s, too - he may not know much about golf, but he’ll be able to spot immediately how your swing could potentially cause you pain.