Hit Longer and Straighter: How Chiropractics Can Improve Your Golf Game

Does your back feel stiff after a round of golf or a day at the driving range? Or worse yet, do you take aspirin before you play around in anticipation of the pain you know is coming?
If so, you are on your way to hanging up your clubs someday, which will come sooner, rather than later. Did you know that the number one disability that forces players to retire from the pro tour is low back pain? Consider this quote from PGA tour pro, Casey Paulson, “The guys out here do the things they need to do to keep their back from being an issue. They take care of their bodies. You can’t play this game very well if you are hurting.”
We certainly are able to twist our shoulders without our hips, however, this repeated motion eventually takes its toll on our intervertebral spinal discs, causing inflammation in the short term and full degeneration over time.
If the problem is treated early in the minor inflammation stage, you can expect a full and speedy recovery. However, if it’s not, you can expect increasingly serious consequences as time goes on and irritation persists.
Your body is smart enough to try to compensate for this tender area. You may find that you lean slightly to one side or that you don’t quite stand up straight. You may drop one shoulder slightly or stand with uneven hips. How your body responds really depends on where your pain is and any other problems you may have that are already being compensated for.
As time goes on and if the irritation persists (like you’re going to stop playing golf), the muscles and ligaments in our back begin to “accept” this new compensated posture as normal. They constrict and stretch to their new relaxed positions, and this becomes your new natural posture.
You can see how this becomes a snowball effect. The irritation and inflammation continue; the body continues to make more drastic compensations, and the posture that your body accepts as “normal” continues to become more and more disfigured.
All the while, of course, your golf game continues to suffer. Maybe you don’t go downhill right away, but it begins with a serious performance plateau. How can this body continue to produce an improving game? The body’s “range of motion” and “balance” are seriously hampered. The smooth, fluid motions that are required for a good golf swing are interrupted by “kinks” in the system.
All of these problems don’t even factor in the requirement for power in the swing. When you apply a thrusting power into this flawed system, the power won’t flow along the ideal path. Are you transferring power from one muscle to the next at the proper timing? There are so many subtleties that can affect a golf swing.
Now factor in the most obvious and destructive component of your swing – PAIN. Nothing diverts your concentration like the anticipation and sensation of pain. Do you stop short on your backswing or your follow-through? Do you tighten up just as your club strikes the ball? People respond to it differently. But one thing is for sure; it will mess you up!
It’s not uncommon at this point for players to literally give up the game for a whole season or even longer, while they wait for their backs to heal. By stopping the irritation, the inflammation will eventually subside. The pain will lessen or possibly go away altogether. But one thing that won’t change on its own is the body’s new “normal” posture. The compensations that the back made to deal with the pain are now held in place by the muscles and ligaments. It’s the new you, ready to take up with new problems when you head back out to the golf course.
To finish our worse case timeline, the die-hard, play-through-the-pain golfer will continue to aggravate that problem disc until it literally disintegrates. At this point, the pain is chronic and almost unbearable. He will most likely have to endure back surgery to fuse the vertebral bones. Talk about a range of motion problems then! It’s best to avoid this phase.
What can you do about it, you ask? Consider this quote from Rocco Mediate, “Without Chiropractic, I’d be a mess. I don’t know how I’d survive without them. The swing is a very unnatural motion – one that repetition hurts a lot more than it helps.”
Chiropractic can treat your pain and correct your posture effectively. I would argue that “enabling” your body is far more important to your golf performance than any new piece of equipment you could buy.

Why Car Accident Victims Should Seek Chiropractic Care

Being involved in a car accident can be one of the most traumatizing events in a person’s life, both physically and emotionally. While no one ever wants to be in an automobile accident, it is important to know how to proceed with treating your injuries should you ever be involved in one. Visiting a chiropractor for evaluation and care is always one of the first things you should do, as these healthcare professionals specialize in treating many of the most common automobile accident-related injuries there are.

In most non-emergency car accident situations, symptoms may not appear until days after the collision, and some injuries don’t present themselves until months prior! Whiplash, in particular, tends to take weeks to present symptoms, and this is one of the most common injuries caused by auto accidents. Some severe cases of whiplash can manifest for up to two years following an auto accident, which is why it is important to always visit a chiropractor for an evaluation, even if you think there may not be a serious injury present. When you treat an injury like this right away, you are putting the body in the best possible position to heal and recover quickly, and most importantly, reduce the risk of causing permanent damage to your back.

The most common symptoms following an auto accident are neck pain, headaches, upper back and shoulder pain, lower back pain, stiff and sore muscles, and even chronic fatigue and mood changes. Whiplash can also result in lower back injuries, muscle injuries, ligament problems, and disc damage. A study done by the University of Bristol concluded that 93% of patients with a whiplash diagnosis responded favorably to chiropractic treatment. Gulf Coast Sport and Spine specializes in soft-tissue injuries that are the result of motor vehicle accidents; a soft-tissue injury can be permanent. Scar tissue can form in your muscles leaving them less flexible and prone to re-injury in the future without treatment. High-speed collisions are not the only ones that can cause damage; many injuries from car accidents occur at speeds less than 20 MPH. In fact, the Journal of Brain Injury published a study that concluded the following: “The amount of damage to the automobile bears little relation to the force applied to the cervical spine (neck) of the occupants.”  In other words, even “minor” accidents are enough to cause significant injury to the spines of accident victims. Moreover, being in a minor accident often increases the chance of victims ignoring their injuries until they get worse.

The best advice I can give anyone who is involved in a car crash is to seek chiropractic care immediately, whether you are experiencing pain or not! Most medical professionals agree that the first 72 hours after an accident are critical, and that is the time treatment can be most effective. The treatment plan for PREVENTING pain is a much quicker and enjoyable process for the patient, as opposed to the treatment plan for RESOLVING pain which can be a much longer time-frame and is more rigorous on the patient. Statistics show the longer you wait for treatment after you are injured, the longer it takes to heal and more treatments are required. Many injuries will not heal on their own. Prompt functional treatment can restore normal function and prevent complications in the future.

Another reason to seek treatment in a prompt manner is to preserve your legal rights and supports any claims you might make regarding accident injuries that involve insurance companies and legal counsel. Many insurance companies set a time limit on claiming injuries related to car accidents. If you wait too long to see a chiropractor and end up with an injury outside of the designated time period, you could lose valuable coverage for treating the injury. The doctors at Gulf Coast Sport and Spine work with various personal injury lawyers in the area, and can give our patients recommendations if they feel the need for legal representation. Insurance companies have lawyers to protect them…shouldn’t you?