Like most athletes, golfers are constantly searching for that extra edge in their game. The goal being to consistently shoot as low as possible, there are many options on the market to help achieve this. Ball and club technologies, as well as swing analyses and lessons are prevalent in the golfing community to help hit the ball into orbit, but there is a commonly overlooked aspect of the swing equation—the elimination of joint dysfunction.

Joint dysfunction is improper movement—or lack of movement—between two bones of the body. Joint dysfunction can affect the body by decreasing range of motion, creating muscle imbalances, and affecting neurology and the reproduceability of movement patterns. This may exist without any signs or symptoms of pain.

Range of motion is paramount to a successful golf swing. The back-swing and follow-through are what creates distance on your ball. If your movement is limited by fixated or stuck joints in your spine, then you will not be able to create the distance that you would were everything working properly.

Muscle imbalances are created when muscles that are designed to perform a certain job moving bones meet the resistance of a fixated joint. Now they contract and pull, but the resistance causes them to spasm and become painful. To achieve the desired movement, other muscles must join in. Now the body has muscles doing work that they were not designed to do. This creates pain in areas, imbalances, and a lack of normal, smooth movement. Each of these can negatively affect the swing mechanics.

Finally, when a joint does not function properly, and the muscles around the joint are not in their natural, balanced state, then the neurology of that area becomes dysfunctional as well. There are nerve receptors in the joint and in the tissues in/around muscle that detect movement and body position, and if they are compromised, then the messages that they relay to the brain are inaccurate. This leads to the brain having a slightly “off” picture of how the body is truly positioned. Without really knowing where the body is in relation to itself, the club, and the ball, no amount of lessons, and not even a $5000 club will help you get the most out of your swing.

To address this problem, and to get the most out of your body you need to have the joint dysfunction addressed and corrected. The sports chiropractors at Evergreen Spine & Sports Medicine are ideally suited to this task as they not only address the dysfunctional joint, but also the surrounding tissue problems that have arisen as a result of the problematic joint. This will improve the range of motion, the muscular imbalances, the neurological function, and ultimately your swing—and with far less effort on your part than hitting a few buckets at the range!  

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