As we enjoy the beautiful spring-like weather, many of my patients’ thoughts turn to — golf! If you’re a golfer, chances are you’ve experienced muscle soreness or even back and neck pain. Good news: Chiropractic care can help.
Many professional golfers — from American Tiger Woods to Irishman Padraig Harrington — receive ongoing chiropractic treatment to help them feel better and move better — both on and off the course.
The most common golf-related injuries are strains and sprains in the lower back and neck, and tendonitis affecting the wrists and forearms due to the repetitive action and overuse syndromes. Chiropractic care can help golfers prevent these maladies, and — according to recent research — may even improve your golf swing.
The December 2009 issue of the Journal of Chiropractic Medicine included a study that focused on golfers at two different clubs in São Paulo, Brazil. A group of 43 golfers were divided into two random groups: One group received only a stretch program while the second group received the same stretch program in addition to chiropractic care.
All study participants were initially asked to perform three full swing maneuvers, and measurements were made of the average distance they were able to hit the ball for the three swings. Then, depending on which test group they were part of, the golfers went through just the stretching program, or the stretching plus chiropractic.
After participating in just the stretching or chiropractic plus stretching, the participants were asked to repeat the same three swing maneuvers and measurements were taken. This entire process was repeated for a period of four weeks over the course of the study. To maintain consistency, the study noted that the average age, handicap, and initial swing were comparable among all 43 golfers in the study.
The results were clear: After four weeks, there was no improvement in the “full swing performance” (defined in the study as the average distance the golfers were able to hit the ball), among those in the group that only did the stretching program prior to hitting the golf balls. But among those who received four sessions of stretching and chiropractic care, golfers showed a statistically significant improvement in their “full swing performance,” meaning that they hit the ball farther than the stretching-only group.
If you are a golfer and are experiencing aches and pains after a day on the course, call our office at 425-778-9600 for an appointment.
— Dr. Waldron