As summer quickly approaches and the courses start opening up, many golfers are making their way back to the first tee box. Golf is a great way to get outside, enjoy time with friends, and reduce stress, but have you ever thought about the effects it has on your body?
When it’s time to take that first swing, especially if you’ve spent the entire winter away from the green, your body may not be prepared for the movements it’s about to make. Your spine first gets twisted very far in one direction, and then, after a quick pause, twists in the completely opposite direction with much more speed and force. Once you make contact with the ball, eight times your bodyweight is forced through your spine. Now, imagine the condition of your spine after you’ve finished 18 holes.
It’s not uncommon for golfers – no matter the skill level – to complain about back pain, and it’s easy to see why. Golfing uses specific sets of muscles that may not always be used in other sports or everyday activities and puts repeated stress on the spine. If you’re not using correct posture, or have poor body mechanics during your swing, your muscles might not be in the greatest shape by the time the end of the season rolls around.
Here is a nice checklist of things you can do before and during your golf season to help prevent injury:
- Take a golf lesson from a pro – they can help make sure you are moving properly during your swing
- Warm-up gently before a game to make sure your muscles are prepped. It’s a good idea to stretch afterward, too.
- Push – don’t carry – your golf bag. Those clubs are heavy! Don’t add more stress to your back and spine. And if you must carry your clubs, use a double strapped bag to evenly distribute the weight.
- Stay hydrated by drinking a lot of water. While a cold beer is tempting on warm summer days, alcohol will decrease your fluid levels and can lead to sore or stiff muscles.
- Visit your chiropractor to make sure your joints and muscles are in top shape!
If you’re looking to stay on top of your golf game, make sure to call our office to book your chiropractic adjustment. If you’d like to find out more information on how chiropractic can help improve your golf swing, book a free consultation.
Do you have any other tips for preventing aches and pains before or after your game? Let us know.