FORE - Golf Seminar

The 4 Movements To Increase Your Driving Distance and Reduce Your Pain

Hey Everyone, 

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 intend to--seriously.

MopalThe 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 swing.

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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 tunnels. 

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!