How Osteopathy can help your Golf
How an osteopath will work with you
An osteopath’s overarching goal will be to help you improve your overall strength, conditioning, flexibility and fitness. An initial examination will take into account a golfer’s stance, grip and swing with the overall intention of assessing movement patterns; this initial examination will be crucial to identifying how osteopathy can help you to improve your overall game-playing posture.
How will an osteopath advise you?
The initial part of your osteopath appointment will give you the chance to talk through your injuries and the goals you wish to achieve. Your treatment plan will be tailored to you, and your specific needs. As well as direct, hands on treatment, your appointment will include some educational resources to help you understand your injuries and take preventative measures to ensure they don’t return. And, of course, your appointment will include hands on treatment.
Which parts of the body will an osteopath focus on?
As you will see from our graphic above, playing golf places stresses on all the three major areas of the spine. However golf can also put stresses upon peripheral joints as well.
The neck/cervical spine: Eye contact on the golf ball means that a stable mechanical movement of the neck is fundamental to both your technique and physique.
Thoracic spine: an osteopath will ensure that this area of your spine is as flexible as possible, thus improving both your golf swing and overall posture.
Lumbar spine: your osteopath will look at your swing technique, specifically your speed and swing, as this is probably the most significant factor affecting the ligaments, tendons and muscles of your lower back.
Knee: the knee will be forced to absorb a large amount of torque and compression when you are swinging a golf club. This can sometimes lead to injuries such as tears to the cartilage or an aggravation of an already degenerative injury in the knee joint.
Shoulder: the shoulder can be placed at risk in several areas, including the rotator cuff. The shoulder is also at risk from labral tears (torn cartilage). Problems with the shoulder can usually be traced to the back swing.
Wrist: injuries occur as a result of the force transfer when the club first hits the golf ball. In older players, this can aggravate existing conditions such as arthritis or tendonitis.
Elbow: lateral epicondylitis is also known as “golfer’s elbow” and is a common upper extremity picked up by golfers. Repeated bending or straightening of the elbow can cause damage. Once again, older golf players can find themselves more at risk from this. As well as initial treatment, an osteopath can also work with you on ensuring the injury does not return in the future.