How to avoid low back injuries when golfing.

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The golf swing places a large amount of stress on the low-back, and over time the lower back becomes fatigued. This will results in a decrease in performance and possible injury.

So how do you prevent such an injury from occurring? Golfers can takes steps to prevent low back injuries. One of these steps is the implementation of a fitness program targeted at improving your golf game. Included in this routine will be exercises targeted at improving lower back flexibility such as the one above and strengthening the lower back to avoid injury and pain. This part of the program contains a series of golf-specific flexibility exercises geared to maintaining the range of motion within the lower back. One exercise to increase flexibility in the lower back is descried here. It is a simple exercise for the low back to improve flexibility and rotation during the back-swing, and it also helps keep the musculature of the lower back flexible.

Here’s how to perform the exercise. First begin the exercise by lying on your side with the left hip in contact with the floor, then bend both knees approximately 90 degrees, resting the right knee on top of the left. The second step is to extend both arms straight out from the shoulders, resting the left arm on the floor, and hands clasped together and slowly raising your right arm off the left. Finlay continue to raise and rotate the right arm until it is resting on the floor opposite your left arm and hold this position for 20-30 seconds, and repeat the exercise sequence by switching sides. This should be performed 2-4 times on each side. Remember, to go slow with a new exercise and, check with your physician before starting any new physical training program.

Keep in mind not all lower back injuries can be prevented, but with the implementation of a lower back flexibility and strengthening program, the possibility of one occurring to you can be greatly reduced.

Most acute low back injuries that occur during a game of golf will get better over a couple of days. The most common injuries from golf include, muscle strains which typically occurs with rough or forceful golf swings or a sudden shift during the downswing, muscle and tendon sprains which generally occurs due to excessive use, accidents or swing abnormalities while playing golf, and disc injuries which can occur from swinging abnormalities. It is important to not that disc injuries may be present but symptoms may not occur without the incorrect golf swing (see preventing golf injuries).

For relief of the miner low back pain and to promote healing from golf-related injuries and low back pain, it is generally advisable to rest for a day or two, and apply ice. It is advisable not to further stress inflamed muscles by continuing to play golf through an episode of low back pain. If you take time off the injury will often heal quicker allowing you to get back to golf sooner. It is important to continuing stretching and exercise programs between golf sessions. A low-impact aerobic exercise program, such as walking for 30 to 40 minutes every other day can be helpful and after the low back pain has stopped, slowly return to playing golf and apply the prevention tips to help avoid injuries.

It is well known one of the most common injuries in golf is the lower back. Research indicates more than half of all golfers will incur a lower back injury at some time during their playing careers. Professional golfers spend great deal of time and energy preventing low back injuries. So prevention in this case is the best medicine. If you do injure your low back and the pain continues for more than a few day to a week, a specific problem may be the cause of the back pain and a chiropractic professional should be consulted. Chiropractic are uniquely train in neuromuscular injuries and can often help get you back on the links sooner, you might even shave a stroke or two off your game.

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By: Paul R. Mahler DC
mahler-chiropractic.com
may be reproduced in whole only

Understanding Golf Injuries and How to Prevent Them

Golf is a sport that is prone to injury. No mater how long you have been involved in the sport the more likely it is that you will injure yourself. It is most likely reason for injuring your self  is inappropriately swing the golf club. Professional golfers commonly injure the wrist, followed by the back, hand, shoulder, and knee. Amateur golfers most commonly injuries the lower back, followed by the elbow, wrist, shoulder, and knee. It is obvious that you can be injured even in non-contact sports such as golf, swimming, and track. If you under stand the golf swing you can avoid or correct these injuries but if they are persistent some sort of physical medicine may help.

Let’s analyze the golf swing. There are three phases to the golf swing, and each can cause injury if executed incorrectly. There are also specific exercises you can perform to help reduce your risk of hurting yourself during that particular swing phase.

Phase 1: Take-Away. The take-away consists of the back swing. Thumb and wrist injuries are most common during this phase particularly on the lead hand. Here is an effective workout for the muscles of the wrist, hand and forearm. To begin, stand with your feet shoulder-width apart holding a 5-pound dumbbell in your right hand. Keeping your arm to your side and using only your wrist, raise the dumbbell as high as you can and lower it as far as you can. Do two sets of 25 reps. Next, do another two sets of 25 reps, but while moving your wrist from side to side as far as you can. Repeat this entire workout with the dumbbell in your left hand. An advanced workout for your wrists would be to take a barbell/dumbbells with a weight you can handle, anywhere from 10-45 pounds, and do three exercises (known as a “tri-set”) back to back to back without rest. Start with your feet shoulder width apart and grab the weight with your hands facing down, shoulder-width apart, held which each thumb. Reverse curl the weight up toward your body, flexing the forearm as you finish the movement at the top. Do 10 reps. Next, hold the weight behind you, palms facing up and even with your gluteus maximus (your buttocks). The back of your hand should be touching the top of your buttocks. Raise the weight as high as you can without moving your arms; use your wrist only for 10 reps. Finally, sit down on the bench and rest your forearms on your thighs. Do not allow your wrists to rest on your knees. Hold the weight with your palms up and move only your wrist vertically for 10 reps. Do not rest and perform another tri-set, but this time do 12 reps, and then finish the last set with 15 reps. Another option is to pyramid: increase the amount of weight while decreasing the number of repetitions. For example: 10 pounds for 15 reps, 12 pounds for 12 reps, and 15 pounds for 10 reps. There is an inverse relationship at play here: As you add more weight, you do less reps.

Phase 2: Impact. The next phase of the swing consists of the downswing and impact with the ball. The most common injuries during this phase knee particularly the back of the knee and compression forces acting on both wrists. Also, the lead elbow and hand/wrist are often hurt during impact. In terms of exercises that can help prevent these injuries, leg extensions/leg curls and abduction/adduction exercises. Many fitness clubs have equipment for these types of exercises. These exercises along with regular stretching and massage, are extremely effective for the legs. Triceps push-downs using a reverse grip with the hands up is an excellent exercise for the triceps and will help to prevent injury to the elbows. High-intensity training (one set to muscle exhaustion for each exercise, using slow, deliberate movements) works well and is a safe method of training for all the exercises above. For the legs, do 15-20 reps; for the triceps/elbows, do 8-12 reps.

Phase 3: Follow-Through. This is the phase after impact where the golfer finishes his swing. From a chiropractic stand point this can be the most damaging phase for your spine because it involves abnormal torque on the low back. This phase requires training the oblique muscles. Using a trunk rotation machine, at your local gym, twist slowly in a circular fashion for 20-25 reps, and also use lower back extension machine for 15-20 reps. Keep the weight light and the reps high for this exercises and make sure to do them slowly and eliminate momentum. Strengthen the core muscles with these exercises will help prevent back injuries. This means that a routine of exercises for the back will help your game and while you are at it don’t forget back stretching as well.

Stretching and massage can also help prevent injury but always warm up before stretching to bring blood area. You should warm up before a round of golf, take a brisk walk or get a quick massage that includes techniques and stretches to increase range of motion. The right way to stretch is important. Begin with three sets of 10-15 deep knee bends and then walk a quarter of a mile. Next, perform a series of stretches. Reciprocal inhibition stretches, performed by stretching to a level at which your body innately says stop, is effective for increasing range of motion without over-stretching and injuring yourself. When you reach the point at which your body says stop, contract the opposite muscle and hold the contraction for several seconds; then release. There should be an increase in of range of motion Now hold the new position for at least 30 seconds, then move on to your next stretch.

Some good stretches are toe-touch stretches and side stretches. When doing the toe-touch stretch, you must keep a flat back. Do not round your back. When you drop down into the stretch, contract your gluteus maximus and hold the contraction for 6-7 seconds, then breathe and release and you will find yourself falling deeper into the stretch. You must remember not to hold your breath even during an Isometric contraction and always feel your breath releasing in and out of your nose. You should also breathe deeply through your diaphragm. The toe-touch stretch will increase flexibility in the hamstrings. Place one arm over you head and bend to the side to do the side stretch. Do this stretch in increments as follows. Go as far as possible without pulling the muscle, then contract the gluteus maximus muscle for several seconds; then release and drop into the stretch, holding for 30 seconds. Repeat 2-3 times on each side.

Cooling down after playing is imperative to do some simple breathing and stretching exercises after golfing. Lie flat on your back and tuck your knees to your chest and breathe; hold for 30 seconds. Extend your arm in the supine position [palm up], grab your finger tips and pull your hand down; again, hold for 30 seconds. Next, extend your arm in the prone position (palm down) and grab your fingertips and pull toward you from the bottom position. Hold for 30 seconds. These simple exercises are essential to injury prevention following each round of golf, practice session, etc.

Injuries can happen at any time in any sport, but following these suggestions can certainly help you avoid severe and permanent injuries whenever you’re golfing.

Why are so many golfers are injured every year? 27 million injuries annually, according to some estimates. The average golfer has no warm-up or stretching protocols for golf then they are swinging the club with violent, intermittent effort. This is a recipe for injury and in addition the average golfer uses the “grip it and rip it” golf swings. On top of this many golfers have varied amounts of pre-existing postural dysfunction and poor flexibility. When you add it all up, this is a recipe for injury. Many of these golfers are suffering from repetitive strain injuries due to lack of flexibility, postural instability and poor swing mechanics.

Isn’t it time to repair your golf swing. Contact Mahler family Chiropractic Center and we will help get your golf game back into the swing of things.

By: Paul R. Mahler Jr. DC
Mahler Family Chiropractic Center
1144 wyoming Ave.
Kingston, PA. 18704
http://mahler-chiropractic.com
May be reproduced in whole only.
We can treat golf injuries and pain  including neck pain, back pain, rotator cuff, foot pain, carpal tunnel, and much more.

Injuries and Sports

Other Posts: Golf; Shoulder Streching; Swimming; Exercises

What to do when you have a sports injuryChiropractic plays a larger role in the health and performance of many athletes. Today, coaches and colleges as well as a number of Olympians include chiropractic care as part of their training regiment. Chiropractors are considered part of the team. Chiropractic care is over 100 years and plays an important part in swimming and other sports.

All athletes, at one point or another, have suffered some kind of an injury, ranging from  a muscle pull, a sprain/strain injury, a repetitive stress injury or a major trauma. Sports and injury go hand in hand! So what can be done to treat sports injuries and what is the most appropriate type of care for treating these types of injuries? Most people who suffer sports related injuries try an over the counter medication (such as Tylenol, Motrin or Aleve). when that doesn’t work then they’ll go to their family doctor for something stronger. Unfortunately drugs only temporarily mask the symptoms, they do not cure sports related injuries. Instead consider a physical medicine approach, such as chiropractic care, to treating sports injuries. Physical medicine includes chiropractic adjustments coupled with a rehabilitation program (physical therapy) which is designed to improve functional range of motion, stabilize and strengthen the supportive soft tissues, foster balance and coordination and of course to get you out of pain as quickly as possible. Many professional athletes and 85% of all Olympic athletes rely on chiropractic care to enhance performance and to help them heal from injuries. The world’s best athletes, such as Tiger Woods, Emmitt Smith, Joe Montana, (decathlon gold medal winner) Dan O’Brien, Evander Holyfield, Lance Armstrong, etc.., have all used chiropractic care and it works for them.

A chiropractor can treat knee injuries, pack, injuries, rotator cuff injury, ankle injuries, and much more. Isn’t it time you consider chiropractic care, it will work for you too!

By: Paul R. Mahler Jr. DC
Mahler Family Chiropractic Center
1144 wyoming Ave.
Kingston, PA. 18704
http://mahler-chiropractic.com
May be reproduced in whole only.
We can treat sports injuries and pain  including neck pain, back pain, rotator cuff, foot pain, carpal tunnel, and much more.

Shoulder Stretching Routine

Avoiding a rotator cuff injury

Front of the Shoulder Stretch: Pector Elongator

Shoulder stretching

Shoulder stretching

Maintaining open, fluid movement in the front of the shoulder during swimming will decrease compression in the joint. With biking and running, the shoulder tends to rotate inward and lift up toward the ear.

This same movement in swimming will add to tension and compression in the neck and shoulder. The pector elongator is a great stretch to use before or after a workout.

  1. Stand with your right hip about two or three feet away from a wall.
  2. Place your right hand on the wall at shoulder level, behind the torso. Keep your elbow loosely bent.
  3. Now rotate your elbow forward and maintain this forward rotation throughout the stretch.
  4. Twist your upper torso to the left, while retaining elbow rotation, to create a stretch in the front of the right shoulder.
  5. Hold the stretch for five to 12 breaths.
  6. Switch arms and repeat.

Variations can be created by moving your hand up and down the wall or by stepping farther away from the wall. Pector elongator is intense, so go easy. When you start to feel the stretch, stop and inhale deeply into the area being stretched.

Also, using a doorway will give you a perfect stretch at home or at the office. The hard part of this stretch is continuing to maintain a forward rotation of the elbow.

Deltoid/Rotator Cuff Stretch

Every shoulder problem seems to have rotator cuff involvement. These muscles are unique because they function as a ligament at the joint, and a muscle in locomotion. Located above the rotators are the deltoids, which can be stretched along with the rotators.

When an athlete has any type of shoulder problem, this is the first stretch I introduce. It’s ideal because it takes care of the muscle, the joint capsule and the range of motion.

  1. Stand facing the wall, approximately a foot away.
  2. Draw your right arm across your body.
  3. Place the back of your right hand on the wall at shoulder level.
  4. Move your left shoulder toward your right hand as far as you can, then lean the right shoulder toward the wall.
  5. To create a slightly different stretch, place the front of your hand on the wall.
  6. Hold the stretch for five to 12 breaths.
  7. Switch arms and repeat.

There’s room to be creative with this stretch. You can walk the hips away from the wall or experiment with your hand in different locations. To intensify the stretch, use the floor instead of the wall. The key is to move the shoulder that’s not being stretched down, and slowly lean the involved shoulder into the wall, floor or couch. (see step 4).

Side of the Torso Stretch: Lateral Bend

The side (lateral) muscles of the torso have a great deal of strength, power, endurance and elasticity. This natural elasticity adds power without increased mass. This stretch will allow you to be more effective in the reaching part of your swim stroke and have more power on the recovery part.

  1. Stand with your feet hip-distance apart, knees slightly bent.
  2. Expand your chest, lift your ribs and raise both hands over your head.
  3. On exhale, pull your abdomen back and lean to the right.
  4. Hold this position and inhale into the ribs.
  5. As you exhale, pull abdomen back and lean to the left, hold, inhale into the ribs.
  6. Repeat this side-to-side motion to the right and left four to six times.

Move from one side to the other on an exhale, allowing for a deep inhale into the ribs. This will increase both extension and strength. Keep the chest slightly in front of the hips and rotate the top of the pelvic girdle back—this will elongate the lower-back muscles and stretch the lats.

Lateral bend is a great stretch to use after a hard workout because of its effect on the lower back.

To concentrate the effects of flexibility training, your breath should be long and smooth, and your mind should be focused on the area you want to effect. Easy, extended breathing like this will improve both performance and recovery. Race and train forever.

A proper stretching routine will help avoid pain in the shoulder and rotator cuff injuries.

By: Paul R. Mahler Jr. DC
Mahler Family Chiropractic Center
1144 wyoming Ave.
Kingston, PA. 18704
http://mahler-chiropractic.com
May be reproduced in whole only.
We can treat rotator cuff injuries and pain.