Golf is a deceptively challenging sport, not only because of the physical demands and wide range of motion required of the spine, hips, shoulders, and elbows (there’s a reason it’s called “golfer’s elbow”), but also because of the need to maintain a sense of total mind and body calm. When primary structural shift occurs, it alters our normal biomechanics due to the compensations it causes throughout the spine in an attempt to remove pressure at the level of the brainstem. These compensations can lead to decreased range of motion, pain, muscle tension and spasm, and uneven weight bearing on the hips, knees, and ankles. Golf requires the coordinated use of several groups of muscles throughout the body. Attempting to repetitively use these unevenly stressed muscles can lead to injury. Many individuals decide to take up golf without fully realizing the level of physical conditioning required to successfully play a round without hurting themselves.
Now, let’s talk about that moment of silence that seems like it goes on for an eternity as the golf pros prepare for their swing. Unlike many other sports, a high level of calm and focus is required in golf. Specific chiropractic adjustments can help to activate the parasympathetic, or “rest and digest,” nervous system. We live in a world where we are constantly putting our bodies under stress and overworking our sympathetic, or “fight or flight,” nervous systems. By living our lives as if we are constantly running away from a bear or fighting off some sort of life threatening attack, we are overusing this system and making it more and more difficult for our bodies to settle into that rest and digest state at the end of each day, let alone trying to maintain steady hands in preparation for swinging a golf club with the precision of the pros!
For these reasons, whether you are a casual weekend golfer or attempting to go pro, it is very important that you have your spine checked for primary structural shift. Correcting this shift will allow the compensations to recede and help to promote optimal function, increase longevity of your golf career, and who knows, maybe it will even take a few strokes off of your score.