If it Works for Tiger Woods...
BY KELLY TOLLE, D.C.
“I’ve been going to chiropractors for as long as I can remember. It’s as important to my training as practicing my swing.” – Tiger Woods
It’s no secret that golfers contort their bodies into oddly twisted postures while trying to achieve the perfect swing. Add to these contortions the act of repeatedly bending over during a period of four hours, all while walking through several miles of fairways, and you have the recipe for injury.
Golf and chiropractic medicine go hand in hand. Chiropractors evaluate and treat the body to be in balance from head to toe, which is the essence of the perfect golf swing. Anything interfering with the stance or grip can cause restrictions and will have a profound affect on the golf swing. There are three fundamental causes of golf injuries that chiropractors deal with on a daily basis: lack of flexibility, poor posture, and lack of balanced muscles.
The spine is supposed to have natural curves in the neck, middle back, and low back. These curves are designed to provide optimum balance and function for the upright human frame. Many adults, including golfers, have lost those curves, causing the spine to have to function in a way it was not designed to. This causes two problems in the body − uneven wear and tear on joints and an imbalance of muscles and coordination. With these factors in play, early degenerative changes start to develop in the spine and lead to degenerative joint disease, more commonly known as arthritis. Chiropractors are neuromuscular doctors who are trained to diagnose and treat these conditions.
But there are things you can do to help avoid injury and improve your game:
- Purchase equipment that fits; do not try to adapt your swing to the wrong clubs.
- Spend time with quality stretches before and after the game to improve flexibility in your trunk and legs. Men are stronger than women, but they are also much less flexible. Improving flexibility will maintain a more even and consistent swing plane and thus improve the likelihood of more consistent performance.
- Take lessons and learn proper swing technique.
- Warm up before starting your game. Get the blood flowing to the muscles before starting your game.
- Pull your bag to save your back!
- Drink lots of water. Dehydration causes early fatigue and leads to compensation in the swing, thus increasing the risk of injury.
- Take a few practice swings with the opposite hand every third hole to keep your muscles balanced and even out the stress on the back.
Follow the professionals and seek chiropractic advice. A doctor of chiropractic is trained to decrease the stresses and strains placed on the body. By receiving chiropractic care and following simple prevention tips, it is possible to play without pain for a lifetime.
Dr. Kelly Tolle is a doctor of chiropractic and mother of three small children. Owner of Family Chiropractic of Heathrow, she is dedicated to improving her patients’ quality of life through chiropractic, education, nutrition, and massage therapy at the Colonial TownPark location. Visit www.FamilyChiropracticofHeathrow.com