Golf Injuries: The Causes & How to Avoid Them
Imagine if you will, spending the day contorting your body into oddly twisted postures to generate power as you whip this metal stick down to the ground and back up. Combine this motion with a bent-over stance that is reminiscent of seniors after their spine has started to curve. Repeat this process 100 times (if you are an average golfer) over three or four hours while walking several miles. For some, this sounds like horrible torture. For others, this is an obsession worth doing again and again.
According to the American Chiropractic Association (ACA), the most common injuries to male golfers are lower back (53%) and elbow pain (24%). The most prevalent injury to female golfers is also lower back (45%) and elbow pain (27%). 63% of all beginner golfers suffer from back pain at some point while learning this sport.
There three most common causes of golf injuries are:
1. Poor posture.
2. Lack of flexibility.
3. Poor swing mechanics.
It is fairly obvious why these three things cause injuries to golfers. When playing a round of golf, the physical exertion from the body is intermittent. An average golfer will attempt anywhere from 50-70 swings, one every five minutes or so, while playing 18 holes. The average amateur can swing their club 80-100 miles per hour.
That same golfer can hack at golf balls 60-100 times in an hour at a driving range. This repetitive motion over the course of time can and will strain back muscles, not to mention the other parts of the body it can affect. The common end result will be some form of low back injury, ligament sprain, tendonitis or bursitis.
Chiropractic care can help deal with poor posture. The lack of flexibility in a golfer can also be addressed by treatment and a customized stretching program focused on the golfer’s restrictions. Poor mechanics can often be tied to a physical restriction or some mechanical dysfunction. Chiropractic treatment may help alleviate those issues as well.
Here are some more tips on how to avoid injury and maybe even help your game:
- Your equipment should fit you. You don’t go to work in a suit or dress two sizes too big and you shouldn’t do that with your clubs either.
- If you have “inherited” golf clubs from a family member or spouse, they might be difficult for you to use. For women especially, the clubs are often too long and the shaft not flexible enough for a woman’s grip. Women are usually more comfortable with clubs that are composed of lighter, more flexible material, such as graphite.
- It is a good idea for men to adequately stretch before and after their round to increase their trunk flexibility. Men are generally stronger than women, but not nearly as flexible. To maintain a more even and consistent swing, they need to improve their flexibility.
- If you have arthritis in your hands, try a larger, thicker, more specialized grip.
- Learning proper swing technique is critical for both performance and protection from injury. Taking lessons will help you learn what to do and how to do it.
- Metal spikes, while more popular, are not the best option. They damage the greens and increase stress on your back.
- Use some wheels. Carrying a golf bag for 18 holes can cause your spine to shrink, leading to disk problems and nerve irritation. Pull your bag, or if you prefer to ride in a cart, alternate riding and walking every other hole.
- Dehydration can cause fatigue, leading you to adjust your swing. This increases the risk of injury. Don’t smoke or drink alcoholic beverages while golfing, as both cause loss of fluid. Drink water.
- Take the “drop.” Unless you are playing in the Master’s with a green jacket on the line, there is no reason to put yourself at risk. Striking a root or a rock with your club, which is more common than you think, could injure your wrist, shoulder or back.
Hopefully something on this list will help your game or keep you from sustaining a painful injury. If you have lower back pain, do not despair. There is hope. Chiropractic treatment can help you get out there on the back nine in no time.
For further information about this topic, please contact me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. See my Blog HERE.
People who see chiropractors
It's true. Numerous studies have confirmed what chiropractors and their patients have known for a long time: people who visit chiropractors for regular care are healthier - no matter how old or young.
For example, in one study the researchers concluded: "[Chiropractic] patients report significant positive changes in physical health, mental/emotional state, stress and life enjoyment..." (1)
While in another study it was found that: "Chiropractic is associated with significant benefits in physical and mental/emotional state and combined wellness." (2)
In yet another study the authors found that: "Chiropractic users were less likely to be hospitalized, less likely to use a nursing home, and less likely to use prescription drugs, more likely to have better health, to exercise, to be mobile." One of the more interesting things about this study was that it involved people over 75 years of age!!! (3)
There's even more. An informal research poll we recently conducted in our office has revealed that not only are people who visit chiropractors healthier but they are also better looking, funnier, wittier and they sing better too!
Special report: Posture and chiropractic
Good posture is a comfortable, relaxed, balanced state that provides you with energy, poise and stability. When you have good posture your head is balanced over your hips, your chin is parallel to the floor and your pelvis is level. You walk with energy and lightness to your step. Good posture is essential for physical and mental health.
Poor posture, on the other hand, stresses your neck, back, hips, legs, knees and feet - even your brain! It can lead to chronic fatigue, pain, decreased lung capacity, headaches, eyestrain and brain stress. In time, poor posture can lead to loss of height, and spine, bone, joint and disc degeneration - your movements become stiff and halting, you look older and you age faster.
In a few short years computers have invaded our workplaces, homes and laps. The dream of the original computer pioneers of a computer in every home has become a reality - and so has computer stress: eye strain, wrist pain and the other discomforts that occur from long periods of computing. How can we avoid such stress?
To relieve eye stress, keep your eyes at least 18"-24" from the screen and rest them periodically - look out into the distance or out a window. If you face a wall, place a mirror near your computer and focus on a distant object through it. Also breathe deeply because shallow breathing creates tension and fatigue. Remember to get up and walk around, stretch and relax.
Proper sleep posture can relieve stress on your brain, spinal cord and discs, enhance body healing and repair, restore lost energy and improve psychological health.
But if you awaken tired, achy, tense or irritable it may be because of poor sleep posture. For example, a "fetal" position, with your knees up and your head down reverses your low back and neck curves and increases stress. Stomach sleeping hurts your neck, mid back and hips (a pillow or towel under the hips will help straighten the spine if you continue stomach sleeping, which you shouldn't).
The ideal sleeping posture is on your side, legs nearly straight, head level and supported by a soft pillow; lying on your back is second best.
What about mattresses?
In a comfortable bed you may move, in your sleep, 20 to 30 times a night. But on a hard bed you may move up to 100 times a night! A too hard mattress that doesn't "give" in the hip and shoulder area will resist, rather than conform to, your shape. That can cause spine, shoulder and hip discomfort and pain just like a too soft or a lumpy mattress.
Return to good posture
As your doctor of chiropractic relieves stress on your spine, nerves and muscles, you'll discover increased balance, coordination and energy. That's one reason why professional athletes, who are exquisitely sensitive to their balance and poise, use chiropractic care to maximize their performance.
1. Is it good if a vacuum really sucks?
2. Why is the third hand on the watch called the second hand?
3. If a word is misspelled in the dictionary, how would we ever know?
4. If Webster wrote the first dictionary, where did he find the words?
5. Why do we say something is out of whack? What is a whack?
6. Why do "slow down" and "slow up" mean the same thing?
7. Why do "fat chance" and "slim chance" mean the same thing?
8. Why do "tug" boats push their barges?
9. Why do we sing "Take me out to the ball game" when we are already there?
10. Why are they called "stands" when they are made for sitting?
11. Why is it called "after dark" when it really is "after light"?
12. Doesn't "expecting the unexpected" make the unexpected expected?
13. Why are a "wise man" and a "wise guy" opposites?
14. Why do "overlook" and "oversee" mean opposite things?
15. Why is "phonics" not spelled the way it sounds?
16. If work is so terrific, why do they have to pay you to do it?
17. If all the world is a stage, where is the audience sitting?
18. If love is blind, why is lingerie so popular?
19. If you are cross-eyed and have dyslexia, can you read all right?
20. Why is bra singular and panties plural?
21. Why do you press harder on the buttons of a remote control when you know the batteries are dead?
22. Why do we put suits in garment bags and garments in a suitcase?
23. How come abbreviated is such a long word?
24. Why do we wash bath towels? Aren't we clean when we use them?
25. Why doesn't glue stick to the inside of the bottle?
26. Why do they call it a TV set when you only have one?
27. Christmas - What other time of the year do you sit in front of a dead tree and eat candy out of your socks?