Benefits of Sports Acupuncture for Golfers
According to research, the majority of injuries involving golfers are related to poor swing mechanics along with the repetitive nature of the game. (3) A majority of these injuries originate in the low back. Improper muscle balance and the resulting joint dysfunction create either too little or too much curve in the cervical and particular low back and results in excess torsion and compressive loads in the low back. This combination leads to an array of musculoskeletal problems.
Recent stats show:
- 53% of male and 45% of female golfers suffer low back pain.
- As many as 30% of professional golfers are playing injured.
- 33% of golfers are over the age of 50.
- Playing golf and another sport increases chance of injury by 40 percent. (1)
In order to establish proper muscle balance for correct swing, proper hip function is essential. As well as for injury prevention and optimal performance. A focus on strengthening the hips is important so the low back muscles do not have to take the brunt of the torque when swinging. Rotational force placed on the back during swing is equal to more than eight times ones normal body weight! (2) Even if pain is in the neck, rotator cuff, or low back, the hip and hip joint mechanics must be addressed.
Sports acupuncture addresses these issues by correcting these imbalances in order to perfect the path for energy to travel through the body to the ball. Where we want it most!
By combining the 3000 year old art of acupuncture as well as western medicine sports medicine techniques of postural assessment, myo-skeletal alignment, massage therapy, and certain stretching exercises, plus some home exercises, not only can healing time to injury be quickened, but further injury can be prevented, and ultimate performance enhanced.
Acupuncture involves the insertion of tiny hair thin needles in strategic locations along certain pathways of the body that painlessly allows the body to relax, restore proper function and balance itself without invasive, costly or dangerous procedures. When combined with massage therapy, corrective posture analysis, and other therapeutic techniques, a superior result can be achieved than could be by applying any of these therapies separately.
A variety of common golf conditions can be treated besides low back pain, such as golfers elbow, rotator cuff injuries, hip pain, golfers elbow, neck and upper back pain, knee pain, and more.
Addressing these issues and restoring proper body mechanics will help additionally to increase hip turn in order to decrease the amount of shoulder turn, and thereby reduce the amount of trunk flexion and side bending during downswing for instance. The body will have the ability to rotate properly and maintain a wide arc throughout the swing and give the player the ability to hit with a much greater distance. As for putting, well that’s a different story!
Holly Green LAc, Certified Sports Medicine Acupuncturist
1. Gluck, G.S., Bendo, J.A., & Spivak, J.M. (2008). The lumbar spine and low back pain in golf: a literature review of swing biomechanics and injury prevention. Spine J, 8(5), 778-788.
2. Fradkin, A., Cameron, P., & Gabbe, B. (2006). Effects of warming-up on injury prevention: a systematic review. J Sci Med Sport, 9(3), 214-220.
3. Dalton, E. (2012). May the course be with you. Dynamic Body,13.