Improving Your Golf Swing

March 10 | drsingh

Golfer Swing

Whether you play golf competitively or recreationally, the sport is one of improvement—golfers are constantly looking for ways to refine their swing, lengthen their drives, or fine-tune their putts. That’s part of the attraction of the sport for players at any level because there’s almost always room to do better, and therefore always new challenges to meet. However, research makes it clear that it isn’t just what players do on the course that can affect how they perform when they step up to the tee.

A study done at two golf clubs in São Paulo, Brazil, compared golfers randomized to one of two groups: the first group received a stretching program, while the second group received the same stretching program as well as spinal manipulative therapy (chiropractic treatment) on dysfunctional joint segments in the neck and back. [i] The results confirmed what professional golfers like Tiger Woods, a long-time proponent of adding chiropractic care to a golfer’s training routine, already know: it really can improve your swing and, by extension, your overall play.

What the Study Showed

During the course of the study, participants completed four weekly sessions. Prior to treatment, each participant completed three full-swing maneuvers with their driver using a 7-cm tee and standard balls provided by the club. The distance of each drive was measured, with the average being noted as that player’s full-swing ball range. Participants assigned to both groups then performed a series of static stretches under the supervision of a chiropractor and were evaluated for low back, thoracic, or neck joint dysfunction. However, only those assigned to the second group received spinal manipulative therapy to address any dysfunctions found. After treatment, all players repeated the full-swing maneuvers, with full-swing ball range being calculated again as before.

While the golfers assigned to the first group (stretching only) showed no improvement in their full-swing performance over the four weeks of the study, the golfers who also received chiropractic treatment in addition to the stretching regimen did. The study’s authors noted that the increase in the distance they were able to drive the ball was statistically significant after the final session and recommended further study to confirm and expand on their findings.

The Importance of the Back in Golf

Golf is generally seen as a low-impact sport suitable for players of all levels of ability. While that’s true, it’s also true that golf can put a great deal of stress on the back. A well-executed golf swing requires the player to rotate the knees, hips, trunk, and shoulders in one direction on the backswing, and then rapidly turn the other way as they bring the club through the downswing to connect to the ball. The follow-through of a full swing ends with the club behind the head and the chest facing the target.

Of course, that action is repeated again and again over 18 holes, putting repetitive stress on the spine. If your spinal alignment is off or your muscles are unbalanced, the compressive load of your golf swing has the potential to cause painful injuries such as muscle strain, ligament sprains, or even a herniated disk or vertebral fracture. A program of preventative care focused on improving spinal mobility and building strength and flexibility can help avoid injury as well as boost athletic performance in the sport you love.

Your Sports Advantage

At Singh Chiropractors and Rehabilitation, we work with patients at all levels of fitness to not only treat injuries but also build resilience and prevent injuries in the first place. Our unique combination of chiropractic care and physiotherapy is designed to treat the root cause of any pain and provide long-term relief. Our overall goal, though, is to build sustainable wellness through an individualized treatment plan that aligns your musculoskeletal system and corrects movement patterns that can lead to injury.

Whether you’re experiencing pain that interferes with your golf game or you’ve hit a wall in what lessons and practice can do to help your swing, Singh Rehabilitation can help. To find out more about our treatment options or to schedule an initial consultation, contact us here.


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