How Spinal Misalignment May Be Affecting Your Golf Game
By Dr. Katie Schuler D.C.
The spinal column is made of bones called vertebrae, which are composed of soft, cushioning disks that act as shock absorbers, and strong, heavy ligaments that add form and stability. Attached to the spine are many muscles that give strength and movement to the spine. The spine houses the spinal cord and spinal nerves that carry information to the entire body. The spine is a complex structure designed to move and is susceptible to dysfunction. When the spine becomes misaligned, it can affect function in a variety of ways. There are several key signs that your spine, or the supporting structures, may be out of alignment.
Golf can be one of the most technically demanding sports to play. The slightest thing can change a golfer’s game, whether it’s equipment, course conditions or body mechanics. With the use of chiropractic care, those variables related to body mechanics can become more repetitive and predictable. Consistency and accuracy are the keys to a good golf game.
Golfers and athletes from many other sports use chiropractic care to help improve their performance. Chiropractic care takes form with clinical care referred to as “adjustments” to the spine. These procedures are safe, effective and maximally benefit the golfer. Adjustments are for more than just back pain. They help your nervous system, maximize joint mechanics and improve your overall health.
A solid golf swing starts with a strong foundation in your body. Your pelvis is where most of your power is created. Your lower body and pelvis create torque during the swing, while your upper body acts like a whip. Without that strong foundation on the bottom half and flexibility on the top, your swing will suffer.
Your pelvis is the weight-bearing foundation of your trunk and spine. There is a Sacro-iliac (SI) joint on each side of the pelvis. Most people have what is called a “Subluxation” of these joints – a “mis-alignment”. If one of the SI joints have micro-tears or weakness in the ligaments, the pelvis can not bear weight on that side. It is comparable to having a sprained ankle, but in the pelvis. This condition could be painless, but it may include pain in that joint, the lower back or hips.
This injury creates a poor golf swing. If the SI joint is weak, the golfer will not be able to finish their backswing, and will not create enough torque in the body to generate power. The ball will either fade or slice and the distance of the shot will be reduced in an unhealthy individual. If the front side of your pelvis is unstable, this will also create a severe loss of power.
Chiropractic care can re-align the pelvic bones and give those ligaments a chance to heal. A chiropractic adjustment can also re-align your lower back, improving the muscle action of your lower body. The combination of chiropractic treatment and core stability training should help you improve your game considerably.
You now have a strong foundation for your swing. The next thing you need is flexibility in the torso and shoulders to create that whip action. Nerve supply to your upper body comes from your neck. Subluxations in your neck, decreased cervical curvature or poor body posture all limit nerve flow to your upper body. The stance of most golfers is head forward, shoulders rounded forward and chest drooping downward. This affects the consistency of the swing.
If you look at the posture of many of the young golfers today, they stand with chest out, shoulders square and head in alignment with the rest of their spine. Regular chiropractic adjustments to the cervical spine can improve nerve flow to the upper body. This helps improve posture, flexibility and strength, which in turn helps to create a more repetitive golf swing. Strengthening the muscles in your shoulder is also extremely important. Rotational stretches for the entire spine can help create the flexibility needed for a powerful, fluid swing.
Solid mechanics in golf start with your nervous system. Regular chiropractic care will help keep your swing on track. Strength and flexibility training are also essential in making this game easy and enjoyable. This is one of the only sports that can be played at any age, so keep your spine healthy and you’ll be playing for decades.
OUR SERVICES INCLUDE:
• Family Care
• Neck and Back Pain
• Sports Injuries
• Migraine and Tension Headaches
• Muscle Sprains and Strains
• Personal Injury
• Motor Vehicle Accidents
“When I started chiropractic I used to keep myself up at night with the stress of making sure my life was perfect. I would get heart palpitations due to anxiety, my menstrual cycle was unpredictab le and I just wasn’t that pleasant to be around. Now, after 3 months of regular adjustments I am sleeping better and am a happier person in general!” Shannon R. ~ bank teller
“I love Synergy!! My body feels like I did when I was 30. I was suffering from joint pain in my knees and feet, and I couldn’t keep up with my grandkids. Now, I am very involved and the fun grandmother I always wanted to be!” Betty N. ~ retired school teacher
Dr. Katie Schuler
Doctor of Chiropractic
807 N. Union St.
Wilmington, DE 19805