As a chiropractor and Active Release Technique (ART) provider in Wilmington, NC – a city notorious for its love of golf – I am well acquainted with patients that have suffered injuries as a result of golfing.
On the surface, it doesn’t seem plausible that golfers could injure themselves. There is no contact, minimal intensity compared to other sports, and the game is played at a reasonable pace. However, the repetitive nature of a golfer’s swing can indeed cause injury – specifically to the shoulders and the lower back.
Later in his career, legendary golfer Tiger Woods has continued to struggle with numerous injuries – the most significant to his lower back. The most recent injury to his back required season-ending surgery.
If you’ve ever seen Tiger Woods, you know that the man is not a physical slouch. In fact, he is probably the most physically-gifted golfer on the planet – muscular and well-toned.
But it isn’t about physical capabilities; it’s about the strain that constant swinging does to your body…every golfer’s body.
Here are some practical, helpful tips to reduce your chance of injury on the course while also helping to improve your swing. These helpful tips will reduce wear and tear on your body, allowing you to enjoy the great game for many years to come.
1. Take a few golf lessons
Having a professional instructor can give you some tremendous advantages on the golf course. These golf instructors are academic in their approach; meticulously drilling down the fundamentals. Most of us out there could benefit from professional lessons, especially those relatively new to the sport.
2. Take the time to stretch.
While most golfers will stretch before teeing off, many of them do not stretch during play. Some quick neck, back and leg stretches keep the blood flowing and the muscles loose – allowing the golfer to release the tension built up in the body from repetitive motions.
3. Have a proper base
Having a solid foundation and core is instrumental to preventing injury and improving your game. The mechanics of a golf swing involve the movement of many different muscles. A solid base helps make this movement more fluid. Some trainers at your local gym may be knowledgeable about sports-specific exercise. Seek them out and ask for some advice on what muscles to train and how to train them.
4. Maintain a nutritious diet
As mentioned, golf is not as physically intense as some sports, but it is still important to maintain proper nutrition. Having a good diet allows your body to repair the small tears and other damage that occurs. Further, a diet rich in nutrients reduces inflammation to your joints and other tissues.
5. Check your biomechanics
Visiting a chiropractor for a quick checkup is a smart preventative measure that is useful in avoiding injury. During this checkup, the chiropractor may perform a few adjustments. Using your car as an analogy, prevention is always the best solution. It’s best to have any potential problems taken care of early before they become painstaking.
So there you have it! A few solid tips to help keep you injury free, recover faster and also improve your game on the course. Good luck on the links!