Ask any golfer what is the most important aspect of their golf game and almost all of them will say their swing. You spend countless hours trying to perfect your swing and just when you're at the top of your game you suffer an injury. So now what do you do? Well I have the solution for you. It is a proven treatment that is used regularly by pro golfers on the PGA Tour and it is called the Graston Technique.
So what is the Graston Techique? The Graston Technique is an instrument assisted soft tissue release technique. It consist of 6 specific stainless steel instruments that are used to glide over the skin / muscle.
The tools are able to detect and break down scar tissue, muscle adhesions, and painful tight muscles related to chronic or acute injuries. It is proven to be effective with common golf injuries such as low back pain, elbow pain / Golfer's elbow, shoulder pain, and knee pain.
I stick by Graston because I've seen the results first hand. I was introduced to Graston long before I became a Chiropractor. I suffered a torn ACL, MCL, and Meniscus playing football. Following the surgery, I was in physical therapy and was not getting the exact results I desired. I wanted to be back to being active with no limits. I was then introduced to the Graston technique, which was the catalyst to my speedy recovery. I was able to increase my range of motion drastically and was jogging and running steps after a month. This is why I am so confident in incorporating Graston along with Chiropractic care in my practice.
So you're probably wondering how these instruments help relieve pain and muscle stiffness? When we run the instruments back and forth over the problem area, we are inducing micro trauma to that region. Micro trauma is accompanied by a temporary inflammatory response and subsequent increase in blood flow to that region. Most times when you hear the words trauma or inflammation we consider it a negative. However, this is the key idea behind the Graston Technique. When microtrauma is induced, there is an increase in inflammation and blood circulation to that area which activates the body's natural healing response.
Golf is obviously not a contact sport but involves a lot of wear and tear especially on your joints. The combination of Graston Technique along with Chiropractic adjustments has proved to be extremely effective for golf related injuries. Let's first look at the biomechanics behind a swing and how we go about correcting it.
Most golfers do not realize how complex a golf swing really is. There are approximately 23 ranges of motion in the body that are essential for an efficient golf swing. Look at it like a chain reaction. With so many moving parts it only takes one injury to throw off the entire swing.
When we look at common golf related injuries, we focus primarily on low back pain, knee pain, hip pain, shoulder pain, and elbow / forearm pain. Low back pain is the most common injury. A recent study of PGA golfers showed that 33% complained of low back problems that lasted greater than two weeks.
During your swing, your low back is susceptible to a massive amount of torque and pressure because why low back is so prevalent in golfers. If you're a right-handed golfer, all of your weight is removed on your left front leg at impact. Any injury to that left front leg will distort your swing and you will begin to favor this leg. In this instance, your right leg and in particular the joints (knee / ankle / hip) of your right leg become vulnerable to overuse injuries. The same scenario is true for left handed golfers just the total opposite. A study performed on the biomechanics of a golf swing showed that by increasing the range of motion of the lumbar spine and the lead hip (left hip in right-handed golfers-right hip in left handed golfers) may decrease the likelihood of low back pain . Our treatment is built around this idea of increasing range of motion.
Another common golf related injury is medial epicondylitis or a more fitting name, Golfer's elbow. Golfer's elbow is an overuse injury that causes irritation of the tendons on the inside of the elbow. So what can happen when your elbow is in pain in the middle of your round? As mentioned already, your body will compensate for this pain and another joint will be affected. With elbow pain it is most likely you shoulder, wrist, or forearm that will bear the burden. Overuse of any these joints can lead to more serious conditions such as tendonitis or arthritis. We treat golfers elbow slightly different than low back pain but with the same idea in mind. We use Graston Technique to the elbow and forearm and follow it up passive modalities such as electric muscle stimulation, ultrasound, and cold laser therapy. Range of motion exercises will then be performed and sent home with you as well.
We have had great results treating the common golf injuries but realize each patient responds differently to treatment. We strive to make each patient their own unique treatment plan that best suits their needs. With each patient, we follow a basic guideline to help achieve optimum wellness. We begin care by treating the muscle pain / stiffness along with joint dysfunction. Once we get you out of the acute phase (pain / inflammation), we focus on a range of motion as well as continuing to work on muscle stiffness. This phase will consist of Graston and Chiropractic Adjustments. Each treatment will help increase range of motion. Finally, we focus on stabilizing the region. We do in office strengthening exercises as well send you home with a group of exercises to do on your own time. We tailor these strengthening exercises around the motors that go into an average golf swing.