If they weren’t a necessary component of a popular sport, the movements involved with a golf swing would be banned by most chiropractors. The repetitive, one‑sided nature of the golf swing makes it a common cause for back injuries. They’re several reasons why the golf swing is so problematic for the body. First, it requires great flexibility, which most people lack. Second, it requires good posture, which is also uncommon. Third, the power move in golf is always one‑sided, leading to muscle and joint imbalances.
Flexibility for Power
According to Butch Harmon, one of the foremost authorities on the golf swing, in order for golfers to generate more power and more distance, they are coached to “feel their arms staying in front of the body as they turn back.” Todd Anderson, a Golf Digest teaching professional, goes into more detail by suggesting that a proper backswing should see “the shoulders starting parallel to the target line and turning 90 degrees, the hips turning to 45 degrees, and the knees turning to 22 degrees.” This means the backswing will generate a lot of spinal twist and loading.
Compounding this amount of torque with near‑maximum acceleration in the downswing is a recipe for disaster. Repeating this move 50‑70 times per round makes it difficult to stay injury free over the course of your golfing life.
This kind of movement requires flexibility not only in the spine, but also in the shoulders and hips. To ensure that you have the kind of flexibility that allows you to take a proper golf swing, have your chiropractor check the range of motion of these joints. If you have any tightness in these areas, your chiropractor can perform specific adjustments to help these joints move better and may suggest stretches to help keep them moving properly.