11 Mar A Swing And A Myth: Why Golfers Need Chiropractic
The majority of golf injuries and ailments are tied to the mechanics of the back and spine, so it’s no surprise that most of the golfers on the PGA Tour get frequent chiropractic care to keep them healthy.
But aside from staying healthy enough to play, you might be surprised to know that many pro golfers credit their chiropractor with improving their golf game- and specifically, their golf swing.
Since the golf swing relies so heavily on the back and spine, chiropractors are a great resource to tap for improved swing mechanics. For instance, one of the most common issues corrected by a chiropractor is the “x-factor” myth purported many golf pros. The myth is that the rotation of the spine plus stable hips during the backswing creates more power. Despite its popularity, the claim is actually unsubstantiated from a medical standpoint. You need not look further than top golf professionals like Tommy Armour III and Tiger Woods or Senior Pro Tour leader Allen Doyle to see the power in a shorter golf swing.
“Being a Chiropractic patient has really helped me immensely…lifting weights and seeing a Chiropractor on a regular basis has made me a better golfer. I’ve been going to Chiropractors for as long as I can remember. It’s as important to my training as practicing my swing.” Tiger Woods
Chiropractors are experts of the musculoskeletal system. We understand how your muscles and your skeletal system work together, and here’s what we know about the golf swing:
1. Spinal Rotation While the myth advises that a big back swing reaching the maximum x-factor will engage the large muscles of the back via the spine, the spinal muscles actually only contribute to about 5% of the torque or power generated in a spinal rotation. The abdominal obliques are doing the rest.
2. The latissimus dorsi (power muscle for golfers), commonly referred to as the “lats,” also have nothing to do with spinal rotation. This also means that spinal rotation plays no role in the latissimus dorsi’s performance.
3. Power movements in all athletic endeavors are created through elastic energy or a short stretch of the muscle. The power muscles utilized in your golf swing are the rotator cuff, latissimus dorsi, pectoralis, arm and forearm muscles, the power potential of which are not tied to the spine or its rotation.
In summary, the athletic movement that provides the power for your golf swing comes from creating a short stretch in those muscles. This short stretch is best achieved by keeping the hips/pelvis and shoulders parallel, allowing for a stable stretch and a controlled swing.
If you’re looking to improve your golf game, follow the lead of professional golfers worldwide and consult a chiropractor. Give Hart Family Chiropractic a call and we will assess your current condition, swing mechanics, and your tendencies towards injury of your musculoskeletal system. A small adjustment to your swing can make a world of difference, both for bodily health and your golf score!