Five Swing Faults that may be a factor in back pain:
Many experts would say that the golf swing is the pinnacle of human movement. It is one of the few sports that can incorporate almost every joint and muscle in the body within seconds. The quickness of the golf swing requires the body to balance movement into a well–coordinated sequence, not only to hit the ball, as intended, but also protect the body from harm. However, as we all know, not everyone has that perfect swing, most of us even consider the golf swing as a hacking motion, and it’s these very swing faults that create significant damage to the joints andmuscles of the body. Below,I review five of the ten swing faults that contribute to lower back pain, and the physical limitations and problems those swing faults create. Lets face it, over 25 million people enjoy golf, and unfortunately only a handfulof these people can wear the pro–tag. So, how can the amateur golfer protect themself from injury while recognizing that a poor golf game may have more to do with limitation of fundamental movements than solely swing coordination or athleticism.
The first swing fault is the S–posture:
It’s common practice to instruct a golfer to stick out their butt to improve posture. But, often times the golfer goes into excessive hyperlordosis (arching of the lower back). This is called the “S–posture” and it creates a lower cross syndrome. Lower cross syndrome is the weakening of a group of muscles combined with a tightening of the opposite musculature. It instantly stops the abs and gluts from activating and severely changes the angle of the hips and lower spine joints leading to degenerative changes and reflex delays.
The second swing fault is the Reverse Spine Angle:
This is the number one swing fault that can cause severe damage to the spine. A reverse spine angle occurs when there is excessive upper body backward bend or left leaning during the backswing. This may be due to a lack of sequencing of the lower body guiding the down swing because the upper body is over extending. This aberrant motion creates torsional and shearing stresses of the low back. These are the same stresses that cause bulging discs and arthritic changes. Imagine giving your body the opportunity to become seriously injured 30–50 times a round!
The third swing fault is Early Extension:
This fault occurs when the golfer doesn’t fully rotate through the impact and pushes the hips forward toward the golfball instead of the target. As the hips inappropriately push forward the spine and joints of the hips are placed in extension creating an inhibition of the abs needed to stabilize the body through the contracting phase of impact. Research has shown that limitations in the deep squat, toe touch, and internal hip rotation can lead to early extension creating alterations in spinal posture. Alterations in spinal posture = risk for serious injury, repetitive micro trauma to the hips and back and weakening of key muscle groups!
The fourth swing fault is Poor Right Leg Follow–Through:
The golfer fails to follow through with their swing after impact. Failing to do so creates excessive torque in the low back by not allowing the hips to follow through. The body is designed to be a symmetrical pulley system, which requires a coordination of movements. This means that if one joint is moving another joint must be stabilizing. Too often the management of movement is compromised leading to poor ball striking, but more importantly–injury risk.
The fifth swing fault is the Reverse “C” Finish:
I refer to this swing fault as the “posers finish” or the “Babe Ruth Stumble”. It is the end of swing pose where the golf club is resting on the shoulder and the body is leaning back as if you were to start the limbo. This may not be a terrible one–time occurrence but after a round of golf and dozens of golf swings the joints and discs of the spine get repeatedly compressed.
With proper awareness of your golf swing mechanics, a willingness to screen movement deficiencies that may be altering your swing and damaging your body, then taking a little initiative to make changes to these faults not only will a better golf swing be in your future, but a safer and healthier outlook for your body. So team up with your golf pro AND movement specialist to help you feel younger and perform better.Source: Titleist Performance Institute “..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 ~ 14 time PGA Championship Golfer.
How can chiropractic increase my performance?
In a study testing athletic abilities such as power, reaction time, agility and balance athletes that didn’t receive chiropractic care only had a 1% increase in performance. Athletes that did receive chiropractic care showed an increase in performance of 18% in 6 weeks and 30% in 12 weeks...Danielle Hoeffner DC, FMS Certified
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