Why Golfers Should See a Chiropractor

In 2021 New Zealand had about 100000 causal golfers registered.  It is popular among many ages and we enjoy a great kiwi tradition of producing champions like Bob Charles, Lydia Ko, Michael Campbell and Ryan Fox.  One of the reasons I like it is that it is a game you have to connect with yourself and constantly beat yourself, yet its low force on the my middle age body, or is it?  ACC tell us between 2019-2021 there were 20499 new golfing injuries ( more than mountain biking and some contact sports like Martial arts). The most common being back injuries.

Let’s look at why this is and why we so often here in practice why our golfing patients find their adjustments help their golf so much.

Golf is a game of repetitive motions. Swinging a golf club requires a repetitive, one sided torqueing of the spine that’s repeated a hundred or more times over a round of golf. (not to mention thousands of times down at the Greenland driving range) This places a lot of work  on your spine, and the problem is compounded in us hacks (non-professionals!) as we often have poor swing mechanics that cause instability in the low back.

Imagine going to the gym and working only one side of your body every day for years and neglecting the opposite side. (this is one reason why we adjust off opposite sides of the Chiropractic table when we use our different rooms). Unless you have impeccable conditioning and perfect form, golf tends to create this same type of imbalance in your spinal column, setting golfers up for injury.

For a proper swing you need unrestricted joint motion in the spine and pelvis. Every golf swing places a lot of compression load on the spine. Studies found that this force can be at leaseight times a person’s body weight. Think of your body as a spinning top, with your spine as the axis around which your arms, hands, and golf club rotate. The top can move very fast if the axis remains balanced but will topple over if the axis is unstable. To allow the top to continue spinning as efficiently as possible, it is imperative to have a healthy, freely moveable spine, as well as proper balance in the muscles supporting the spine.  This is where your adjustments have such a profound effect

How does Chiropractic help golfers?

  • An aligned spine improves your swing:. Through careful adjustments, your chiropractor will help you realign your spine. When your spine is aligned, it creates a range of benefits such as improved posture which can help you in your swing game.
  • Less pain allows you to focus on your A-Game: Through chiropractic care, you’ll be able to experience less pain through your journey as a golfer. Many people report experiencing immediate relief after an adjustment, and regular visits will lead to improved joint mobility, circulation, and overall wellbeing.
  • Improved sense of balance: Apart from adjustments, chiropractic care involves a range of practices to help your body stay aligned and balanced
  • Improved blood flow: Bringing more oxygen to your muscles making them less prone to injuries
  • Increased Muscle Strength: Your muscles work by way of the brain sending a series of messages to different parts of the body via the nervous system. In a typical golf swing, your legs are getting signals, your core is getting signals, your arms and shoulders are getting signals. These well-adjusted limbs do a better job of receiving signals and will give you better strength, speed, and accuracy while playing golf.
  • Better Flexibility: As Golfers we all know when we are not flexible we are missing out on power and accuracy. Subluxations in your spine seriously limit your flexibility.

This is why golfers should seek chiropractic care. Regular chiropractic care not only treats and prevents injuries. It’s also a good way to improve your golf and enjoy this great yet frustrating game just a little more on the day, and add many more days to your years of golf.

Get the edge and keep your edge with your golf and get adjusted regularly with chiropractic care.

Let’s build your game and your bragging rights and not the ACC stats. Feel free to ask us specifically for what you can do on your own to build your golfers body try these drills below to start.

Best drills for maintaining spine angle in the golf swing

#1 Head against the wall drill

This is a great drill to train the feeling of staying in your posture throughout the entire swing as it gives you direct, physical feedback on how to do it correctly.

To perform the drill, do the following:

  • Find a wall inside or outside your home or apartment
  • Set-up in your normal address/stance, making sure your head is in contact with the wall in front of you
  • Grab a pitching wedge and place it across your chest, folding your arms around it
  • Make a full turn into your backswing, feeling the handle of the wedge move along the wall while ensuring your head also stays in contact with the wall
  • Try making the same movement in the downswing, with the clubhead running along the wall while your head stays in contact with the wall

Practice this each night after work, or before going to the driving range, and it will help train the correct movement for maintaining your spine angle.

#2 Butt against an object drill 

One of the most common ways people lose their posture is by humping their hips toward the ball and standing up out of their front-bend as they move into impact, rather than keeping their butt back, and rotating open. This drill is a great way to combat that.

To perform the drill, do the following:

  • Set-up to the ball as you normally would
  • Using either an alignment stick, chair, or even a golf bag, place the object behind you so that it is in contact with your butt cheeks
  • Swinging at around 50 percent speed, make a backswing while ensuring your butt remains in contact with the stick/chair/bag at all times
  • Complete your downswing and make sure your butt keeps in touch with the object right the way through impact, and until the ball is gone (start by doing three-quarter swings first)
  • After making a few three-quarter swings, take a full swing and only allow your butt to come away from the stick/chair/bag after impact, as you move into your finish position

#3 Wedge under the foot drill

One of the biggest reasons amateur golfers stand up out of their posture when they go to strike the ball is because their weight is too much towards their toes, rather than balanced evenly in the centre of their feet.This drill works well to exaggerate the feeling of keeping your weight back towards your heels, which in reality will actually make you nice and centred old

To perform the drill, do the following:

  • Set-up to the golf ball as you normally would
  • Grab a wedge (preferably a 56 or 60 degree) and place it under the heel of your trail foot, and step down so that the club shaft is lifted off of the ground
  • Make some small swings, ensuring your foot doesn’t come up off the wedge until well after you’ve struck the ball
  • Once comfortable, start making some full swings while focusing on the same thing (keeping your trail foot on the wedge until after impact)

Practicing this regularly will stop you from standing up out of your posture, and in turn help you maintain your spine angle throughout the swing.