At Mauricio Chiropractic we always believe in promoting a healthy and active lifestyle throughout all stages of life. In our years of practice we treat athletes of all levels. For many patients that partake in high intensity contact sports, regular spinal manipulations and other forms of chiropractic care are essential in order to keep the body’s range of motion at optimum levels. But for sports that can be played well into the elder years, spinal adjustments seem like an afterthought. Golf is an enjoyable (yet simultaneously highly frustrating) game that can be played at all ages. But due to the repetitive nature of golf, the slightest misalignment can leave you vulnerable to severe injury. That is why regular musculoskeletal adjustments can help in keeping you on the course. Here are the 3 most common back injuries suffered by golfers and the corrective treatments a chiropractor can provide to get you back on the course quickly and safely.
Back Pain for Golfers
Due to the repetitive and precise nature of a golfer’s custom swing, having your spine correctly aligned is vital to retaining the accuracy and power in your shot. 90% of injuries sustained by golfers involve the back or neck. As we have explained in previous articles, the spine is the foundational structure that your body’s range of motion is built on. Some common back injuries that golfers experience include the following:
Facet Joint Syndrome
Facet joints, located between two vertebrae, give your spine the ability to bend and twist. Healthy facet joints have cartilage surrounding them, allowing the vertebrae to slide smoothly against each other during these movements. Facet joint syndrome causes pain between the two vertebrae, greatly hindering your golfing abilities.
Causes of Facet Joint Syndrome in Golfers
The main cause of facet joint syndrome in golfers is excessive and repetitive movement in a swing. Often the injury is caused by numerous micro-traumas instead of one single major trauma incident. The smallest misalignment can expose and irritate the joints on either side of the spine, causing pain, swelling, and inflammation. Muscle spasms are also common.
Symptoms of Facet Joint Syndrome
Diagnosing this condition includes confirming the following symptoms:
- Range of motion is greatly restricted
- Muscle pain, numbness, and weakness
You can determine the location of nerve damage if the pain and numbing is experienced in the upper body or the lower body.
- Lumbar Facet Syndrome – Would affect your buttocks, legs, and feet
- Cervical Facet Syndrome – Would affect your neck, shoulders, arms, and hands
How to Cure Facet Joint Syndrome with Chiropractic Care
Eliminating inflammation and irritation to let the injury settle down is a priority. One of our chiropractors will do a full body assessment and locate the source of the issue. Soft tissue massages, stretching routines, and a customized physical therapy program that incorporates strength and conditioning will not only restore your original range of motion but will help prevent future injury. Strengthening your glutes and core will add power and accuracy to your golf game. We not only want to get you back on the course safely, but we want to make sure you don’t relapse. Incorporating these physical therapy exercises into your everyday life along with regular chiropractic care sessions will keep you active and healthy longer. Contact one of our 9 chiropractic clinics located across Orlando, Kissimmee, and Melbourne FL to treat Facet Joint Syndrome.
A herniated disc is one of the common injuries that greatly limits a golfer’s ability to get around a course. This injury can be a serious issue if left untreated. The bones that form the spine (vertebrae) have small flat discs between them that act as shock absorbers. The discs are made up of a tough exterior layer called the annulus that encompasses a soft jelly-like substance called the nucleus. A herniated disc occurs when there is a tear in the annulus that allows the nucleus to protrude or bulge out of place.
Causes of a Herniated Disc
A herniated disc is usually a sign of age as the materials that make up the disc start to degenerate over time. This increased vulnerability coupled with the stress a round of golf can put on a person’s spine make it a common injury for golfers. This can be caused by one major trauma or multiple minor ones. A herniated disc in the lower back (lumbar spine) is more common for golfers due to the transfer of power between the torso to hips needed in a regular golf swing.
Symptoms of a Herniated Disc for Golfers
Herniated disc injury symptoms depend on the proximity of the disc to a nerve. If there is no contact, then the patient can potentially experience minor pain issues. But if it is connected to a nerve this can result in moderate to severe pain, numbness, and weakness that can travel through the limbs.
Lumbar Spine Herniated Disc
If the disc presses on the sciatic nerve (sciatica) the patient can experience pain, numbness, burning sensation, and weakness that can reach down through the legs to the feet.
Cervical Spine Herniated Disc
This will have the same effect as above that can be felt in the neck, shoulder blades, arms, and hands.
Chiropractic Treatment for a Herniated Disc
Every chiropractic treatment plan for a herniated disc will be tailored for each individual case. The majority of herniated disc injuries can be treated through spinal adjustments and spinal decompression therapy sessions. The spinal decompression technique involves a gentle stretching of the spine that will create a vacuum effect between the vertebrae. This vacuum effect will pull the bulging discs back into their original place.
Sacroiliac Joint Dysfunction
The sacroiliac joint is located between the spine and the hip. The name derives from the two bones it connects, the ilium and the sacrum.
Symptoms of Sacroiliac Joint Pain
The symptoms of sacroiliac joint (SI Joint) pain include the following:
- Pain in the lower back
- Pain in the buttocks, hips, groin, and pelvis
- Numbness and weakness in pelvis and legs
- Burning sensation in the pelvis
- Sharp pains radiating down the legs
What Causes SI Joint Pain in Golfers?
The sacroiliac joint requires a tremendous amount of stability in order to transfer the load of a downswing from the trunk to the legs upon impact of the ball. If there is a weakness, then the repetitive motion will chip away at this stability and leave the SI joint vulnerable to injury. Like the facet joint pain, oftentimes the SI joint injury is a result of multiple small incidents as opposed to one major trauma. When the SI joint becomes misaligned, it exposes the cartilage between joints which will result in inflammation. This is called Sacroiliitis.
How to Cure SI Joint Pain with Chiropractic Care
A chiropractor’s first step in tackling sacroiliac joint pain is to realign the spine, which is the source of the problem. Every chiropractic treatment depends on the patient, but regular spinal manipulation sessions coupled with physical therapy will correct the issue and decrease the chances of relapse. Visit one of our nine chiropractic clinics today.
Chiropractic Care for Orlando’s Top Golfers
The three most common back injuries that hinders golfers are facet joint syndrome, herniated discs, and sacroiliac joint dysfunction. If you think you might be suffering from one of these injuries visit one of our nine chiropractic clinics located in Orlando, Kissimmee, and Melbourne. Delaying treatment can result in a prolonged time period away from the golf course. Chiropractic care is a non-invasive corrective treatment technique. All treatments mentioned above might not be suitable to individual cases.