Chiropractic treatment and prevention of golf injuries

What can you do to prevent golf injuries?

So, what can you do to prevent injuries whilst playing golf?

Let's look at this from two perspectives:

  1. What you can do on the day you are about to play a round of golf, and,
  2. What you can do in preparation for playing golf.

1. What you can do on the day you are about to play a round of golf

golf injuries Chiropractic Milton Keynes Northampton Aylesbur

The first thing to do on the day that you are going to play is to make sure that you warm up properly before you start your round. "Yeah, yeah whatever" you might say, but this is the biggest mistake that most golfers make. They don't warm up!

The benefits of warming up properly are immense!

First of all you improve your flexibility and also your strength, athleticism and speed of contraction, which means that you are going to hit the ball further with less risk of injury! Doesn't that sound great!

If somebody told you “I will show you how you can hit the ball 20 % further", would that grab your attention? Or if there was a driver that would make you hit the ball further, would you buy it?

I'm sure the answer is yes on both counts! If it is, then why don't you warm up next time before you play! It will make you hit the ball further, you will be less likely to get injured and you will save yourself £400 by not buying a new driver!

So, in summary, you should therefore:

  • Perform a proper warm-up!
  • It is also important that you don't overstretch, particularly rotating the spine and over extending the joints.
  • Adopt the right posture
  • Pre-tense stabilising core muscles when hitting the ball

2. What can you do in preparation for playing golf to prevent injuries?

You need to improve your core stability, flexibility and you need to do balance training. You also need to improve coordination and then think about improving strength and athleticism.

All these things are important, but it is also important to do it in the right order, otherwise risk of injury can increase.

  • You need to improve your core stability, the support for your spine. You should not try and improve your flexibility in the spine through general stretching, that is likely to lead to injury. The spine is a chain of joints, or flexible segments. If you do a general stretch you are more likely to move the most flexible part of your spine the most and the stiffest part will move the least, and if you keep doing that you will make some parts of your spine unstable, or even injure those part in the process.
  • Instead, you need to improve the flexibility in your hips and shoulders, and increase the stability of the spine.
  • Balance training can be done through a series of balance exercises. Coordination can also be improved by practising certain tasks specific to golf.
  • Strength and athleticism can only be improved whilst the core is stable, otherwise you are likely to injure yourself.

Pre-shot routine

Everybody should have a pre-shot routine, according to my PGA golf professional, all professional players have one, so we should all have one too. This is to make sure we remember to line up properly, grip the club correctly etc.

This is one example of a pre-shot routine:

  • Practice swing
  • Put the club down on target
  • Grip the club and adjust your stance
  • Hit the ball

I would suggest that your pre-shot routine should also include another step, which is 'posture check'.

You might have other steps in your pre-shot routine, but if you look at the previous pre-shot routine as an example, I would suggest that you change it to the following:

  • Practice swing
  • Put the club down on target
  • Grip the club and adjust your stance
  • Posture-check
  • Hit the ball

Postural checklist for golf

  • Stand upright and 'lengthen the spine'
  • Arch your lower back slightly and tense your abdominal muscles
  • Straighten your mid-back
  • Pull the shoulders back and down
  • Tuck in your chin
  • Press the tongue against the roof of your mouth, but don't clench your teeth
  • Relax!
  • Get in position to hit the ball by bending from the hips and knees slightly

This postural change will put your body in a much better position to execute the golf swing. It will give you better mechanical advantage and reduce strain on certain parts of your body that are prone to injury.

If you make better use of the natural lever systems in the body you will get better mechanical advantage, which will mean that you get more power (= distance).

When you go through the postural check you will also, in a way, 'standardise' your position so you have the same, or more similar, position every time. That will give you more control, which in turn will help with your accuracy. You are less likely to hit the ball 'thin' or 'fat' (topping the ball or grounding the club).

And finally, the most important thing of all, you will be less likely to get injured, especially your spine, but also your shoulders, elbows, wrists, knees and ankles.

What else do you want to know?

Thank you for taking the time to read this! We are in the process of adding more information and these are the planned points we want to talk more about :

  • Core stability training
  • A golf-specific warm-up routine
  • Stretching for golf; improve hip and shoulder mobility
  • Balance and coordination training
  • The importance of foot positioning and foot posture in golf
  • A more detailed explanation of specific golf injuries and how Chiropractic can help

We would be grateful if you want to leave some feedback and tell us what you want us to write about and if you have any specific questions after reading these pages please feel free to contact us here and post your question.

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Thank you for taking the time to read this! We hope that this information will help you become a better golf player and have less injuries. Happy golfing!

Return to Chiropractic and Golf Injuries - Part One.

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