Golf is good for your body and your mind and is a sport that can be enjoyed for decades. Studies show that golfers even live longer. 1 In a 2016, a University of Edinburgh study found that golfers live on average five years longer than non-golfers.2 As with any sport, participants are prone to common golf injuries. PGA touring pros turn to chiropractic for the treatment of common golf injuries.
According to Dr. LaFountain, director of chiropractic services for the PGA, 72 % of pro golfers receive regular chiropractic care provided by PGA chiropractic staff.3 A recent study reported that up to 85 percent of injuries on the PGA Tour and Senior Tour relate to the spine. 4 Statistics point to the fact that one out of every two golfers (all players, from the professional ranks down to the amateur level) will incur a lower back injury at some point during their playing career.5
So while golf definitely does a body good, it is a sport. As in any sport, injuries can plague participants. Golfers frequently suffer repetitive stress injuries resulting in:
While every joint is as risk of injury, the most common golf injuries result in low back pain. During the golf swing, every joint involved is pushed to its maximum range. In the case of high handicap recreational golfers the repetitive stress is increased exponentially due to improper swing mechanics. You read that correctly. An improper golf swing puts you at an even greater risk of injury.
In case you didn’t think golf is a workout, think again. According to Paul Chek, author of The Golf Biomechanic’s Manual, an amateur golfer achieves the same peak muscular activity while driving a golf ball as they would picking up a weight that causes complete muscle fatigue after four (4) reps. This physical exertion happens at least once per hole and more often on par 4 and 5 holes. That’s quite a workout! No wonder golfers live longer!
Treatment of Common Golf Injuries
Golf injuries tend to be repetitive stress injuries to the neuromusculoskeletal system. These are the kinds of injuries chiropractors are specifically trained to treat.
Dr. Jeff Blanchard, DC, left his chiropractic practice after 10 years to play professional golf. The author of The Physician’s Golf Injury Desk Reference says that biggest barrier to improving your performance on the golf course is your physical fitness and conditioning. Dr. Blanchard says, “If you can improve your golf-specific flexibility and golf-specific stability, you can become a more powerful and more consistent golfer.”
Preventing Golf Injuries
There are ways to help prevent common golf injuries. A proper warm up is essential for peak performance and injury prevention.Before you pick up your clubs, you should do a warm up that includes stretching. Before you begin playing, you should continue your warm up routine with practice swings. However, no matter how much warming up or stretching you do, golf is a physically demanding sport.
Chiropractors are specifically trained to treat the entire neuromusculoskeletal system. If you’re suffering from pain or range of motion issues, it will definitely affect your swing and lead to inflated scores. Many common golf injuries may actually keep you off the course. Let’s not forget, golf helps you live longer… so playing golf regularly is the best thing you can do for you and your loved ones.
Fortunately, chiropractic care can effectively treat common golf injuries. Regular chiropractic care can also reduce the amount of stress playing the game places on your body. When you are free from pain and your mobility isn’t hindered in any way, you can swing freely and spend as much time as possible on the greens.