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This month, Tony O'Brien registered osteopath with 10yrs plus experience, talks about how osteopathy can improve your golf.
The trend among golfers who only attend an Osteopath to treat injuries is changing. Golfers are becoming more and more aware of how regular Osteopathic treatment can better prepare them, by improving poor body mechanics which are causative factors in the injuries. Muscles, tendons and ligaments that are in a state of irregular tension are more prone to damage than those that are relaxed and not under constant strain. By addressing these weaknesses Osteopathic treatment helps to reduce the injury potential and increase fitness and strength. Osteopaths are also frequent members of the medical teams on major golf tours.
The golf swing is the most important component of the game and involves rotation through the whole body to generate the energy to strike the ball.
The maximum potential for the swing depends on the bony mechanical structure of the body to be balanced and mobile. Compromised body mechanics reduces the efficiency of the body and so the swing. Poor mechanics also increase the potential for injury.
As the swing begins strain is put on the wrists, to elbows through the shoulders. The whole spine then goes into severe rotation down through the pelvis and hips, through the legs, knees, ankles and the feet.
A strong balanced pelvis and mobile joints are essential to maximise the potential of the golf swing. If they are not, then the muscles, ligaments and tendons take the strain. These soft tissues are not designed to take strain, they are designed for mobility. This is why injuries like golfers elbow, wrist strain and knee injuries are common. Low back and shoulder strain are among the most common of golf related injuries and are by far the most debilitating.
The human body was designed to be balanced and in harmony. Falls, knocks, accidents etc. cause this balance and harmony to be disrupted. Bony components and joints can be damaged which causes the muscles and soft tissues attached to them to become tense and strained. This sets up compensation through the body causing anything from poor posture to chronic mechanical breakdown, depending on the severity of the injuries received.
Any injury sustained from as early as childhood has the potential to remain in the body if left unchecked. Sometimes we don't take minor injuries seriously, but enough minor injuries on top of each other can be problematic. We tend to accept the fact that my low back has always been a bit achey or I have always had a dodgy shoulder. When we are young these remain minor, but as the years creep up on us these little niggles become the big problem.
This need not be.
One of the Osteopathic principles is Structure Governs Function so a body that was designed to be mobile and versatile will be severely hindered by structural restrictions. It is our aim to minimise or correct any of these restrictions allowing the body to return to its natural balance.
Visiting your Osteopath early after an injury can minimize the impact upon the body. Regular visits will greatly reduce the possibility of further injuries.
Even if you have poor posture, imbalanced body mechanics and are carrying injuries for years Osteopathic treatment can help you get the most from your system.
Therefore it is obvious that treatment which addresses the imbalance and immobility in the bony skeletal system is crucial to the long term performance of the golfer, any sportsperson and anybody wanting to get more from their body.
So, regular Osteopathic treatment can, treat acute and chronic injuries, improve the general body mechanics, promote flexibility and strength allowing the maximum potential to be achieved which includes better health. Not to mention better golf!