The 4 Movements To Increase Your Driving Distance and
Reduce Your Pain
This past weekend, Motion Palpation Institute hosted a "master's
series" golf seminar on National's campus. I love golf. In fact, my
dream was to play on the PGA tour when I was younger. I've been
wishing MPI put on a golf seminar since my first trimester here
when it was brainstormed. It's safe to say I want to treat golfers
and "Adjusting Tiger Woods" is LITERALLY ON MY BUCKET LIST. I
The seminar was mainly taught by Drs.
Corey Campbell, Brett Winchester, and Todd Neider. Dr. Mark King,
president of Motion Palpation Institute, was also in attendance and
led the adjusting portion of the seminar.
During these master's seminars, they put together a bit more
"lecture" material than the customary "palpate and adjust routine"
of chiropractic seminars. Topics included published research on the
golf swing, muscles and biomechanics involved in the swing, as well
as a functional look at the whole kinematic system during a
In true "modern DC" style, we took a functional approach to
reducing a golfer's pain and injury risk, as well as blended
performance techniques to those that treated a higher level golfer.
For example, most people think of golfers coming in with back pain.
Of course, chiropractors are notoriously known for treating LBP as
our bread and butter. But, why do they have back pain? Why are
their lumbar facets jamming or muscles overfiring causing
nociceptive pain in the lumbar/SI/Sacral area?
The big take-aways from a functional approach to preventing pain
and improving performance in golfers are:
- Check the Foot!
You need Calcaneal EVERSION on the back foot at the top
of the golf backswing. This "screw home mechanism" during the gait
cycle is absolutely essential to helping the glute max and med LOAD
and fire during the swing. Since the glutes are considered the
"cannon" of the golf swing, it's important to get them firing
optimally for distance and consistency.
- Hip Internal Rotation
CHECK IT! If a golfer doesn't have enough hip internal rotation on
either the lead or hind legs, you're going to have a compensation
(usually through the lumbar spine) to get that motion to finish
your swing. Since the facets of the lumbar spine are in the
saggital plane that anatomically prevents more than about 5 degrees
of lumbar rotation, if the hips aren't moving well in the
transverse plane (think rotation), you're going to chew up your
lumbar facets and cause pain.
- Thoracic Rotation
BLAST IT! While the lumbar spine doesn't like to rotate,
the thoracic spine does! Many people don't understand this, but
mobility in the T-spine is essential in relieving the rotational
pressures in the lumbars. This will also help increase speed
through impact and increase distance.
- Scapulothoracic Stability
Got golfer's elbow? Here's some knowledge being dropped
on you. "Central instability leads to peripheral hypertonicity."
What does that mean, you say? If your scapula isn't stable, then
all the distal muscles in an attempt to stabilize central joints
will overwork/overfire and increase risk of injuries like shoulder
impingement, tennis/golf elbows, and even some carpal
That's the 80/20 of the information we learned. If you could
assess, treat and improve the 4 listed movements, I guarantee you
reduce the amount of pain in your golfer patients and improve their
performance (distance, consistency, etc).
Happy Golfing! See you on the range!