Golf Game Stuck in a Rut? Your Spine May Be The Culprit!
So you’ve been golfing for years, and you’ve taken multiple golf lessons. You’ve hit a million balls at the driving range and your game still isn’t as good as you’d like. Sound like you? Read on!
A golf game is a technical, physical and psychological challenge. Most of these challenges can be addressed thru lessons, practice and experience. However, there are several parts when it comes to the physicality of golf that are not typically addressed and can, not only affect your golf game, but, also prevent any future golf injuries: fitness conditioning and spinal positioning.
Fitness isn’t just about moving and cardiovascular exercise or strength training. It’s about conditioning, and flexibility. Conditioning the body allows the body to withstand greater stressors as we go about our activities. It allows our hearts to pump oxygen and blood efficiently. It allows us to move to our optimal ranges of motion. It’s the reason why pro athletes will always cross-train in addition to training for their chosen sport.
It is very important to achieve balanced, flexible and strong musculature throughout the body to improve performance and prevent injury. The left side and right side of the body should be balanced even though we may be more dominant on one side, and, therefore have bigger, move developed musculature on that side. The front body and the back body should balance each other out so that you don’t slouch and cause issues like neck pain, low back pain, biceps tendonitis, or tight hip flexors which can then lead to issues like sacroiliac pain. This is just a small list of issues that can be caused by poor muscle balance and conditioning. Flexibility in the body can be achieved thru various methods such as stretching, foam rolling or yoga. This balancing act can be achieved by also including a good strength training program, and a cardiovascular program. This is why you hear about pro-golfers, like Tiger Woods, saying in multiple interviews that they cross-train by lifting weights, going for runs and playing basketball.
However, fitness level and muscle conditioning isn’t everything. Spinal conditioning is also very important. In fact, in my humble opinion, spinal health or posture is even more important and is in fact the foundation of good body conditioning. If you’re structure is crooked it is highly unlikely that your muscles can achieve any type of balance. In other words, your posture can affect your game as well as increase or decrease your chances of injury. For example, if you have an unlevel pelvic or pelvis twist, that can have a bearing on how well you’ll be able to move thru golf swing. If your pelvis is already twisted, how will you achieve maximal power behind that swing if you are in essence ‘pre-twisted?’
Imbalanced or crooked posture equals increased gravitational stress on the body. Think of the Leaning Tower of Pisa: it’s in a constant state of fall and would have fallen long ago if engineers didn’t keep on shoring it up. It’s the same thing with a crooked body, which is a biomechanical dysfunction, and everything is working harder to fight against that increased gravitational pull. More work equals more wear and tear over time which leads to inflammation, and pain. This is a spinal structural issue that should be corrected before implementing any muscular and cardiovascular condition program.
Muscular and cardiovascular conditioning can be improved by simply adding different types of activities to your fitness regime as stated above. However, spinal conditioning is addressed by chiropractic doctors. There are multiple methods a chiropractor may use to help you improve your postural health. One way is mobilization of the spine and is considered full spine chiropractic. The second, less common method, is by balancing and stabilizing the spine against gravity. This last form is typically achieved thru upper cervical chiropractic and very different from what most people would conceive of as chiropractic.
If you would like to know if your golf game could benefit from a spinal alignment, please call our office and ask us about our complimentary consultation, or, for more information please visit our website: www.straightspine.ca.