Friday, January 20, 2012

About Sacroliac Joints in Golf Swings

From the ordinary duffer to professionals such as Fred Couples, back pain bedevils those who love to play the game. The golf swing puts tremendous strain on your body, particularly your back. As the LPGA Golf Clinics for Women website explains, your lower body and pelvis move in a piston-like motion and create torque. At the same time, your upper body and shoulder turn in Ferris-wheel fashion and act like a whip. There are many potential sources of back pain, and the sacroiliac joint is a leading candidate. Consult your doctor if pain in the sacroiliac joint or elsewhere after golfing persists or worsens.
Sacroiliac Joint
The sacrum is the large triangular area at the base of your spinal column, above the kidneys and in line with the hips. The sacrum functions as the body's center of balance, the Get Fit for Golf website explains. The sacroiliac, or SI, joint is a strong, weight-bearing joint located on each side of the pelvis at the intersection of the pelvis and the spine.
The Golf Swing
According to chiropractor Cherie Smith and golf teacher and former LPGA player Lori West, roughly 85 percent of people -- and golfers-- have what chiropractors call a subluxation of an SI joint and the pelvis, along with weakness and micro-tears in the ligaments of the pelvis. If you are a golfer with this condition, it is hard to bear weight on the side of the damaged SI joint. Smith and West compare it to having a sprained ankle, but the pain is in the pelvis. And the result is a poor golf swing.
There is "great controversy in the medical community about the biomechanics of these [SI] joints," golf fitness expert David Ostrow writes on the Better Golf With Fitness website. Some doctors believe the joints don't move; other doctors believe they rotate 3 to 4 degrees. Some doctors believe you can sprain your sacroiliac joint; others don't believe the condition exists. Since doctors don't really know as of 2011 how the SI joints work, it is hard to pinpoint whether they are the source of a golfer's back pain. However, it is clear that a golf swing can create major muscle imbalances involving your hip flexors, abdominal muscles, lower back muscles and glutes.
Chiropractors who treat golfers say they can relieve back pain by adjusting and aligning pelvic muscles as well as the lumbar spine. If so, you might be able to swing without pain and with more power. Smith and West recommend chiropractic treatments in conjunction with exercises to strengthen your abs and core. Yoga, Pilates and standard back exercises can strengthen the area around your sacroiliac and might allow you to swing a club pain-free. Consult your doctor to determine an appropriate course of treatment and before trying any home remedies to ease back pain.

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