Why golfers love chiropractic
A “swing” towards better performance
Golf is often referred to as the “gentleman’s game”; it combines athleticism, precision, and a touch of artistry. From seasoned pros or weekend enthusiasts, one thing is certain: the sport demands a harmonious blend of physical prowess and mental focus. And this is also why golf is such an engaging and addictive sport. While honing your swing technique and practicing your putting skills are essential, there’s another aspect that can significantly impact your performance on the ‘green‘ – chiropractic care.
The perfect swing
Every golfer aspires to that perfect swing – the kind that’s powerful yet controlled and precise, graceful yet forceful. Achieving such a balance requires optimal body alignment and most importantly a clear and clean “connection” between the brain (how you picture the movement you are about to perform) and the body (what actually happens when you hit the ball). And this is where chiropractic care comes into play.
Chiropractic adjustments can change the way your cerebellum functions. The cerebellum is knowns as a “little brain” within the brain. It is located at the back of your head and it is an incredibly important area. It mainly deals with the functions of balance, and it allows us to perform everyday movements – which we often take for granted – and tasks such as walking, reading or writing. The cerebellum does not inititate movement as such (it is the Primary Motor Cortex at the front that does so), but it contributes in large part to precision, coordination, accuracy, timing of movements. It is almost like a processor of information that compares all the inputs from the sensory system and re-elaborate them into an output (the movement).
To perform every movement, we need to know – although “subconsciously” – where we “are” first. As an example, think about the easy movement of grabbing a glass of water from the table. You do not think “my hand is here”, your cerebellum does and it calculates with extreme precision the muscles you need to recruit to perform the movement, etc. The cerebellum is also particularly important when learning a new movement or skill.
Recent research demonstrated that proper movement of the spine is very important for the brain, in particular related to the how your brain knows where your body parts are in space (proprioception). Scientists – and in particular the work of Dr. Heidi Haavik, have tested whether adjusting the spine could affect the way the cerebellum processes information and how it talks to the movement centers in the brain. Through electro-encephalography, they demonstrated that adjustments actually play a role in how the cerebellum works. All these research demonstrated that spinal function is very important when it comes to perform or learn a new movement.
Let’s take a look at which are the main muscles involved while performing this cardinal golf movement:
External abdominal obliques
One of the most important muscles imvolved while performing the swing is the external oblique. It’s function is to rotate the torso, and it works synergistically with some of the back muscles, namely the Latissimus Dorsi, Multifidus and Rotatores.
Glutes (Gluteus maximus and minimus) also known as ‘buttocks’ give individuals the ability to rotate at the thighs. Strong glutes are crucial to provide lower body support and stability, with slightly bent knees during a golf swing. Some teachers suggest to tighten the glutes just before and during the swing, in order to keep the body still.
The pectoralis major, one of the main chest muscles, extends from the sternum to the shoulder. The main function of this muscle is adduction and ‘internal rotation’ of the arm.
Or ‘Lats’. They connect the ribs and the shoulder blade together (ribs on the left with left shoulderblade, same for the right side). This muscles work in synergy with the pectoral muscles, allowing the arms to move toward the body, and to rotate and extend. All muscle movements that are necessary to perform a golf swing.
Forearm muscles are cardinal for a golfer because a correct grip on the club is what creates the right conditions for the swing to go as it should.
The link between spinal health and swing mechanics
Leaving on the side how chiropractic adjustments affect your precision, balance and precision of movement, I would like to focus now on how your spine’s health can significantly influence your swing mechanics. A misaligned spine can lead to restricted mobility, stiffness, lower back pain, affecting your ability to rotate your torso effectively during your swing. This limitation not only hampers your performance but also increases the risk of strains and sprains. At our chiropractic clinic, we specialise in spinal adjustments that will restore your spine’s natural alignment, ensuring optimal movement and flexibility. Proper joint motion is a pre-condition to perform correctly on the golf course.
Drives and alignment: finding your center
When you step onto the tee, a combination of factors determines how far and accurately your drive will go. While factors like club selection and your swing technique matter, your body’s alignment is equally crucial. Our comprehensive chiropractic assessment at Alive Chiropractic takes into account your body’s specific needs. By addressing any misalignments, we aim to help you find your physical center – a key factor in delivering powerful, precise drives.
Golf might not be a high-contact sport, but it’s not without its fair share of risks, especially when it comes to repetitive motion. Swinging a golf club repeatedly, often with force, can strain muscles and joints over time. This is where proactive chiropractic care comes to the rescue. Our team at Alive Chiropractic focuses on preventive measures to keep your body in prime condition. Through a combination of adjustments, exercises, and expert guidance, we help you avoid common golf-related injuries.
“Just like a well-executed shot, a healthy body requires balance and alignment.” – Sean, golfer
Fine-tuning your game
Golf is as much a mental game as it is a physical one. The ability to maintain focus, stay relaxed under pressure, and visualize your shots can make a significant difference in your performance. Chiropractic care promotes not only physical well-being but also mental clarity. When your body is free from discomfort and your nervous system is functioning optimally, you can harness the power of the mind-body connection to fine-tune your game.
Embracing your full potential
As a golfer, you strive to push your limits and achieve new milestones on the course. At Alive Chiropractic, we share your passion for excellence. Our holistic approach to chiropractic care is designed to empower you with the tools you need to embrace your full potential as a golf player. By addressing the physical, mental, and alignment aspects, we help you step up your game and savor the joys of golf to the fullest.
So, whether you’re a casual golfer looking to improve your weekend round or a dedicated player chasing victory, consider the benefits of chiropractic care. Your journey towards a better swing, improved alignment, and enhanced overall performance starts with a visit to Alive Chiropractic.
Swing into action, swing with precision. Swing with Alive Chiropractic!
At Alive Chiropractic, we understand that golf is more than just a game; it’s a way of life. Our treatment plans are tailored to help golf players enhance their performance and prevent injuries.
Contact us at [email protected] to schedule your appointment today.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is for educational purposes only and should not be considered as medical advice. Always consult with a qualified healthcare professional before making any decisions about your health and wellness.
Edoardo Elisei DC
Alive Chiropractic LTD
1C Crown Gate Square