Recent stats: 53 percent of male and 45 percent of female golfers suffer low back pain; 30 percent of professional golfers play injured; 33 percent of golfers are over the age of 50; and playing golf and another sport increases chance of injury by 40 percent.1
To hit the ball a great distance, the body must have the ability to rotate into and maintain a wide arc throughout the swing.
Reported in the Journal of Science & Medicine in Sport (2008), University of South Australia researchers learned that golfers with LBP were overly dependent on erector spinae muscles for spinal stabilization rather than allowing load transfer to be distributed among more efficient lumbopelvic stabilizers such as quadratus lumborum, transverse abdominus, multifidus, hip extensors, and thoracolumbar fascia.4
Reconnecting the Disconnect
The body’s myofascial system is built from a continuous arrangement of tissues designed to function in organized patterns, not as isolated muscle groups. When operating properly, energy is competently transmitted via force-coupling through a reaction chain rooted in the ground. Motor unit recruitment only becomes isolated to a precise muscle group when the brain senses a system disconnect and calls in “the subs.” For example, during a golf swing, if a fibrosed hip capsule were blocking energy transfer up the kinetic chain, normal force-coupling would suffer due to lack of mobility of the femoral head in the acetabulum.
Successful treatment of golf-related injuries not only necessitates golf swing modifications and functional rehab, but, in most cases, restoration of proper lumbar lordosis. Too much or too little curve results in unwarranted torsional and compressive loads through the thoracolumbar and lumbosacral junctions. The myoskeletal approach starts by correcting lower crossed muscle imbalance patterns followed by restoration of “joint-play” to fixated low back, sacroiliac and thoracic articulations.
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