Have you been eager to get back to golf as society re-opens? At ChiroCareLA.com in Glendale, we’re certainly glad to see our patients exercising and getting bone-strengthening Vitamin D from sunlight while maintaining a safe physical distance. But we also advise everyone to increase their activity at a slow, steady pace. Golf is a sport that takes a heavier toll on the lower back than most, so we wanted to say a bit about the risks and how we can treat overuse injuries.
A golf swing forces the spine to rotate quickly at a tilted angle, which puts it under a great deal of strain. The vertebrae of the lumbar region don’t have as much anchoring as other parts of the spine to prevent rotation, so the connective tissues they do have are more vulnerable. Besides being at risk for pulling a muscle, older athletes may have dehydrated spinal discs, which could become herniated if subjected to enough force. Younger golfers are at greater risk for spondylolisthesis, in which a vertebra slides forward over another.
Golfers probably already know the importance of developing a smooth swing, but we want to reiterate that it’s important to bend slightly at the knees, and to lower oneself forward by bending at the hips, not the lower back. Athletes should always do warm-ups prior to games or practice, and that includes warming up the hips and shoulders. Core strengthening exercises will also help to shield and support the lower back. If you’re already injured, we can assist by performing chiropractic adjustments, and can help reduce pain in soft tissues through electric muscle stimulation and low level laser therapy.
Dr. Jack Alajajian and his staff operate ChiroCareLA.com at 815 E Colorado Suite 250, Glendale CA, 91205. Call 818-246-3600.