Golf, a sport celebrated for its leisurely pace, strategic play, and social aspects, is much more demanding on the body than one may initially suspect, and I don’t mean on the liver. From professional golfers to weekend enthusiasts, the physical toll of the golf swing can lead to injuries and impact performance. In this blog, we’ll delve into the prevalence of golf-related injuries, distinguishing between professionals and amateurs, and explore the pivotal role that physiotherapy and chiropractic care play in not only treating these injuries but also potentially optimising overall golf performance and swing. The life long quest of any golfer.
The Landscape of Golf Injuries:
Golf, though considered a low-impact sport, isn’t without injury risk. According to studies, professional golfers tend to experience a higher prevalence of wrist, elbow, and shoulder injuries due to the repetitive stress associated with the swing. In contrast, amateurs, particularly those at lower skill levels, are more prone to back pain, emphasising the importance of understanding the distinct injury patterns between the two groups.
The main difference when they looked into it, is the fact that professional golf players tend to have more rotation in the areas where it counts; hips, thoracic spine and ankles. As a result of this, if you are new to golf, you may find some thoracic mobility exercises as prescribed by a Physiotherapist may help or better again, Chiropractors are well versed in manual therapy techniques to gain access to more rotation through adjustments, manipulation and hands on techniques.
This comes with a caveat; the interplay between stability and mobility. Certain individuals may benefit from stability programmes which involve more core strengthening exercises, isometric holds and progressive resistance exercises.
Statistics on Golf Injuries:
Recent statistics reveal that approximately 80% of golfers, from professional to amateur, experience some form of injury. Among professional golfers, wrist injuries account for around 24%, followed by elbow and shoulder injuries at 18% and 15%, respectively. For amateur golfers, back pain takes the lead, affecting nearly 35% of players, while wrist and shoulder injuries are less prevalent. Of those back pain related injuries, lower back pain is by far the most common. Arguably the ideal client for any chiropractor.
Physiotherapy and Chiropractic Intervention:
Physiotherapy and chiropractic care emerge as game-changers in the realm of golf injuries and performance enhancement. For professionals dealing with wrist, elbow, and shoulder issues, physiotherapists and chiropractors alike often employ targeted exercises to improve strength, flexibility, and joint stability. Chiropractors, on the other hand, may focus on spinal mobility, strength and joint mobility to address pain and optimise movement.
For amateurs grappling with back pain, exercise therapy becomes a crucial ally. Our physios and chiropractors work to alleviate muscular imbalances, enhance core strength, improve mechanics, and improve postural awareness to reduce the strain on the lower back during the swing. Chiropractors may employ spinal adjustments to ensure proper use of the core up and down the chain, as well as assist regaining lost spinal mobility, to mitigate the risk of chronic back issues.
Performance Enhancement through Health Optimisation:
Beyond injury management, physiotherapy and chiropractic care contribute significantly to enhancing golf performance. By addressing physical limitations and imbalances, these interventions improve overall health and functionality. Increased flexibility, core strength, and joint mobility not only prevent injuries but also unlock the full potential of a golfer’s swing. One also can’t overlook the education they can provide surrounding proper warming up, and priming of movements needed in golf that may just help you lower that handicap.
In the world of golf, the synergy between the sport and physiotherapy/chiropractic care is undeniable. Whether you’re a seasoned professional or a weekend golfer, investing in your body’s well-being can make a profound difference in both injury prevention and performance enhancement on the greens. Helping you stay healthy and enjoy the game for many more years to come!
Golf is a great sport as we know for getting outdoors, socialising with friends, and getting your steps in; keeping this in mind, it also involves high velocity movements, which require stability, strength, and flexibility. These are all things which can deteriorate as we get older through the graceful process of aging. Don’t know where to start……..
Book in to see one of our team at Pro Health Physio: with access to physio, chiropractors, massage and advanced level strength and conditioning specialists, performance specific physio….We can provide a certain way to improve your handicap, to make them golf trips away even more enjoyable. To find out our availability please visit: https://prohealthphysione.com/
Did you enjoy this blog post by Dr. Ron Pierce? Please share it with a golf buddy who is always complaining of pain, niggles or the fact his/her ‘game is affected by X’. Wishing you all the best on the golf course!