Irvine Spine and Sport
1110 Roosevelt, Suite 130, Irvine, CA 92620
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(949) 857 9218
Golf Injuries

According to Jeffry H. Blanchard, golf professional and author of “The Geometry of Golf”:

“The chiropractor is the perfect choice to evaluate, educate, treat, condition and train those who choose to play golf.”

Common Golf Misconceptions


Golf is a game of technical skill rather than an athletic event.


Amateur golfers achieve approximately 90% of their peak muscular activity when driving a golf ball. This is the same intensity as picking up a weight that can only be lifted 4 times before total fatigue. Imagine repeating this 40-50 times per round with comparable intensity.


Pain related to golfing is due solely to a poor swing.

Research studies in sports medicine cite that approximately 30% of touring professionals are playing injured each week. Try telling a pro that he needs to work on his swing!


A conditioning regime that focuses on strength will improve driving distance.

Flexibility is vastly more important to the long game than strength. Distance is determined primarily by club-head speed. The larger the arc that the club-head travels through (i.e., a flexible backswing), the greater the club-head speed on contact with the ball. To hit longer and more powerful golf shots you must be willing to improve your posture and flexibility – the domain of Chiropractic care for over 100 years.

Flexibility is the Key

Relationship Between Flexibility and Club Head Speed

  Spinal/Pelvic Rotational Flexibility Club Head Speed
Average Amateur 160 degrees 90 mph
Average Professional Golfer 180 degrees 115 mph
Top 1/2% of Professionals 200 degrees 125 mph
Tiger Woods 215 degrees (“Golf” Magazine) 135 mpg (“Golf” magazine)

Shoulder Flexibility vs. Club Head Speed vs Driving Distance (right-handed golfer)

Swing Arc Club Head Speed Yards of Carry
Left Arm to 9 O’clock Position 85 mph 200 yards
Left Arm to 10 O’clock Position 110 mph 225 yards
Left Arm to 11 O’clock Position 115 mph 240 yards
Left Arm to 12 O’clock Position 125 mph 270 yards

The Problem

The average golfer tends to take up golf at an age when he or she is no longer participating in energetic, competitive and physically demanding sports. Unfortunately, this decreased involvement in competitive play contributes to an overall decrease in flexibility – especially of the spine, shoulders, hips and pelvis (key components of a good golf swing). Common everyday activities like working on computers or commuting long distances tend to contribute even more to this lack of flexibility. This is important to note because flexibility is the key to improving your game and reducing your pain.

Flexibility plays a greater role in golf than just an improved long game – it also decreases the likelihood of experiencing injury while practicing or playing. In fact, the root cause of golf injuries is a lack of golf-specific flexibility. This flexibility comes in two different varieties – joint mobility and muscle pliability.

The golf swing depends on nearly every joint between the tips of the toes and the ends of the fingers. All these joints taken together create an unbroken chain. Any limitation in motion of any of these joints will shift the work burden to other “healthier” joints causing unnecessary strain and contributing to increased muscular fatigue (Does your swing improve or degrade as you near the 18th hole?). This can cause serious repetitive motion injury to both the dysfunctional joints and the over-burdened (but otherwise healthy) joints, as well.

The Solution

This joint chain is worthless without muscles to both support and move the bones of the skeleton. Golf involves many of these muscles and places significant strain on several. In fact, fourteen (14) of these muscles have been shown to be of great importance to a proper golf swing. All of these muscles working in concert transform a chain of bones and joints into one giant spring. The purpose of the spring is to “coil” to store up potential energy. That energy is converted into action (kinetic energy) when the spring tension is released and the club is allowed to swing around the body at high speed.

Therefore, any effort to treat golf-related injury or improve the golf swing requires a combined approach that addresses both the joint mechanics AND muscle flexibility. Joint mechanics are best addressed with corrective chiropractic adjustments to the affected joints. Active Release muscle therapy is effective at restoring flexibility to tight damaged muscles.

Dr. Ken Erickson can identify the proper areas involved and provide the necessary treatment based on your specific needs.

“Chiropractic adjustment” describes hundreds of ways of using carefully directed and controlled pressure to restore joints to normal motion and position. It also alleviates strain on surrounding muscles that are overworked in their efforts to compensate for joint dysfunction.

Active Release is a patented, state-of-the-art soft tissue (muscles, ligaments, fascia and nerves) treatment system that was designed specifically to restore balance to dysfunctional muscles. The Active Release doctor uses precisely applied tension in combination with specific patient movements. Patients often notice improvement in their levels of pain, flexibility and strength within seconds following the treatment.

Contact Dr. Erickson at (949) 857-1888 to arrange a free consultation on the phone or in person.

More specific information can be found about the following golf-related injuries using the following links: