Golfing...Protecting your back

As America's love affair with the game continues to grow, the American Chiropractic Association (ACA) has advice on how to take a proactive approach that will prepare your body for many years of pain-free play.

Tiger Woods came on the Golf scene over twenty years and introduced a new approach of playing the game. Along with his free swinging style that would yield 300 plus yard drives he also was a true athlete who trained as such. The everyday player who did not train like Woods would try to emulate his swing and type of game. As a result they fell victim to a multiple of injuries.

These simple measures will help you avoid back pain or injury and improve your game:

Take lessons! Talk to a teaching pro and have them evaluate your swing. Correct posture and swing technique are essential to stay injury free. At the end of the swing, you want to be standing up straight; the back should not be twisted. Not only will you protect yourself form injury but your game will improve.

Use equipment that fits you. If you use clubs which are too short, back trouble is sure to follow and vice versa. Many women use their husband's clubs, which are usually too long for them, and not flexible enough to accommodate the woman's normally lighter grip. Most sporting goods stores and golf pro shops have the technology to measure and fit you accurately.

As in all exercises, it is very important to engage in stretching, warm-up exercises before and after your game or practice session. It is also recommended to use an ice pack on any area that in exhibiting pain for therapy and even prevention of inflammation. If you have arthritis in your hand, use clubs with specialized grips to prevent injury, and improve your game. Wear orthotic shoes, which support the arch and absorb shock. The average golf outing lasts three to five hours and you are in the shoes and on your feet for extended periods of time. The orthotics will also help with your balance which will improve your game. It also will also increase the coordination between the swing and your legs. Use soft spikes for greater motion and comfort.

Hydration is also essential to insure a healthy and safe golf outing. Drinking water throughout the round or practice is recommended to keep the body working at it peek potential.

Have Fun and Be Healthy!!

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