Are stiff necks, back pain and hip pain interfering with your golf swing?

Over the Thanksgiving holiday, I went to visit my family and enjoy the warm weather in Florida. Part of the time I stayed at my parent’s house, which backs up onto a golf course. Sitting in the back yard I was often so close to the golfers it felt like I was part of their foursomes.

It was interesting watching so many different players and hearing their comments following the shot. A good golf swing depends on all of the parts of your body working together. It seemed that at least half the time, the players had some type of pain causing a “hitch” in their swing and affecting the shot.

Lower back pain and hip pain are common complaints and most golfers know it can ruin their game. It is why so many golfers come to me with pain from sprains, strains or even herniated discs. Using a combination of treatments including chiropractic adjustments, cold laser therapy, spinal decompression, massage and core exercises we get them back to their game.

Some of the golfers also seemed surprised how much swinging the club hurt their neck. After the shot I noticed many of them rubbing their neck or shoulders in obvious discomfort with a look of frustration over the difficulty they were having in hitting the ball solidly.

Limited motion, stiffness or pain in your neck prevents you from holding your head down and still while swinging. Some typical compensations include picking your head up, sliding backward, swaying forward or bending your elbows. There are various reasons for loss of motion in the neck, but with some proper golf fitness exercises and chiropractic care, we have helped many of our golfers get back to hitting the ball straighter and further, without all the pain.

If you would like us to help you get your golf game where it should be, give us a call at the Back Care Center of Dumont, NJ to set up an appointment.

The Back Care Center is located in Dumont, NJ and we see patients from our surrounding towns including Bergenfield, Bogota, Closter, Cresskill, Englewood, Harrington Park, New Milford, Ridgefield Park, Teaneck and Tenafly. Call us at 201-387-7463 to schedule an appointment today.

Golfers: Do you “get around?”

Have you ever wondered why sometimes you just can’t “get around” on your golf swing? It may start as a small problem but after hours on the driving range you’re still not seeing any difference. If anything, it seems that the harder you work, the worse the problem gets.

A proper golf swing requires coordinated motion of your body and that means all the individual parts have to work well independently as well as together. Maybe the problem isn’t in your swing as much as it is a limitation in your body?

If you have a stiff neck, your mobility is limited and keeping your head steady and your eyes on the ball during a golf swing is almost impossible. Likewise, if your back is tight, taking a full swing through the ball just can’t be done. You may find yourself topping the ball, slicing it or missing it all together.

Of course, since you can’t see yourself, you can’t analyze what’s keeping you from getting around. (And in all likelihood, the advice from your golf buddies is worth every penny you pay for it!)

All is not lost, however. As a Titleist Certified Golf Fitness Professional, I’m trained to evaluate how you move and how it relates to your swing. Together, we can work to fix any physical problems interfering with your swing. And once we’ve got your body supporting your game, we can turn you over to The Back Care Center’s PGA Pro, Jon Manus, to help retrain your golf swing.

If you’re ready to get around, we’re ready to help. Give us a call and make an appointment today.

Have a great and healthy day… out on the links.
Dr. David Schwartz
The Back Care Center of Dumont, NJ

The Back Care Center is located in Dumont, NJ and we see patients from our surrounding towns including Bergenfield, Bogota, Closter, Cresskill, Englewood, Harrington Park, New Milford, Ridgefield Park, Teaneck and Tenafly. Call us at 201-387-7463 to schedule an appointment today.

The area of your back pain or neck pain isn’t always the area of your problem

It doesn’t always make sense to my patients, but the area of their back pain or neck pain is not always the area of their problem. Just recently, a patient came into my office complaining of lower back and hip pain. I had treated him for a herniated disc in his neck. After some adjustments and time on the spinal decompression therapy table, he made a complete recovery and was able to back to his favorite pastime, playing golf.

This was a new issue. The pain had started recently and didn’t seem to be related to his previous neck injury. After talking about when the pain began and examining not just his lower back but his entire spine, we discovered that he had lost almost all of the rotation in his mid-back, making it almost impossible to swing the golf club properly. As a result, every time he tried to swing normally, he caused a severe rotational force to be focused in his lower back. Thanks to my Titleist Certified Golf Fitness training, I knew that this was actually a situation that can occur frequently.

We began working on restoring motion in his ribs and thoracic spine as well as normal diaphragmatic breathing and core stability. Combined with chiropractic adjustments and some work with our massage therapist, I expect him to do very well and be back to playing golf within a few weeks.

A little trick for avoiding some golf-related injuries

As a Titleist Certified Golf Fitness Professional, some of the most common injuries I see in my practice are to a golfer’s lower back, shoulder and arms. They are usually sprains or strains, but they can also include tears to muscles, ligaments or cartilage. There can even be serious injuries with long-term consequences such as arthritis and herniated spinal discs.

These injuries happen mainly for reasons like poor body mechanics, bad swing mechanics or poorly fitted equipment, but there’s also a cause that most people would never consider dangerous: excessive practicing.

Amateur golfers practice by going to the hitting range. At the range, a golfer must decide which size bucket of golf balls to choose: small, medium, large or in some cases even JUMBO.

After a typically cursory warm up of bending over two or three times and then swinging the club a couple of times, the amateur golfer will start hitting balls. That is a total of between 60 to 160 balls. If you count the practice swings between balls, it’s like playing three rounds of golf in under an hour!

Unless your body is properly conditioned for that type of workout, injuries are very likely to happen.

Here’s a little trick that can help minimize golf-related injuries: buy a small bucket even if the jumbo one looks like a better deal. Balance this restraint with a sufficient warm up with gentle swings of your shorter irons before going for distance with the driver. And perhaps most importantly, work on your body when you are not working on your game.

Most golf injuries happen because the player’s body simply can’t do what is necessary to swing the club properly. Spend some time in the gym doing the golf related exercises your body needs to get into proper shape to avoid injuries.

And if you don’t know what to do, call us. With PGA Golf Pro Jon Manos and two on-staff Titleist Performance Institute Certified Golf Fitness Instructors, Nick Manoy and Dr. David Schwartz, The Back Care Center of Dumont, NJ can help you with a physical screening, golf swing biomechanics and video golf swing analysis, plus drills and exercises to improve your body and your game.

The Back Care Center is located in Dumont, NJ and we see patients from our surrounding towns including Bergenfield, Bogota, Closter, Cresskill, Englewood, Harrington Park, New Milford, Ridgefield Park, Teaneck and Tenafly. Call us at 201-387-7463 to schedule an appointment today.

Power back on… normal office hours resume

Take that, Irene! Our power is back on, and we’ll be seeing patients during our normal Tuesday office hours of 4-7.

So give us a call and make an appointment at the Back Care Center of Dumont, NJ for chiropractic adjustments, spinal decompression therapy, massage therapy, Titleist certified golf fitness instruction and more.

Golf, Exercise and Conditioning: A Cautionary Tale

I have a patient who came to me for help with his golf swing. We did a full functional analysis and then video taped his swing. All told, we spent about an hour evaluating him and then I spent another half hour going over his results.

When he came back, we talked about what was going on with his body and why he was having certain difficulties with his game. We spoke about balance and exercises. I told him about the program I had planned for him and how it would help to fix him physically so he could play better on the course.

He was more interested in the videos we shot and his swing evaluation. He went right out and started working on fixing his swing and the next time I saw him, he happily informed me that he had shaved more than 5 strokes off his last 3 rounds. We spoke a little more about the golf fitness exercises and conditioning program, but he was happy with his improvement and didn’t see the need to start putting in more time.

The next time I saw him was about a week later. He had called the office because he had hurt his upper back and shoulder in the middle of a round of golf. It turned out that he had a moderate tear in one of the muscles in his rotator cuff and injured the joint where one of his ribs met his spine.

It took us about three months to get him out of pain and back to playing. In my opinion, backed up by my Titleist Certified Golf Fitness Training, this was all avoidable if he had only followed through with my initial recommendations. The moral of the story is to make sure the golfer is in good shape before trying to fix his game.

 

The Back Care Center is located in Dumont, NJ and we see patients from our surrounding towns including Bergenfield, Bogota, Closter, Cresskill, Englewood, Harrington Park, New Milford, Ridgefield Park, Teaneck and Tenafly. Call us at 201-387-7463 to schedule an appointment today.

Fix the golfer first, then work on their game

Golf is a funny game: for many players, the harder they try, the poorer the results. A major reason is that amateur golfers are usually weekend warriors. They put little or no work into conditioning, and then they power swing every time they tee up the ball. Aches, pains and even serious injuries can be expected…and predicted.

Most amateur golfers hurt themselves not because they have a poor swing but because they have poor body mechanics. In other words, they simply can’t move their bodies into the positions required by the sport. Instead, they will seek out the help of a golf pro, taking countless lessons hoping to stop slicing into the woods or hooking into the water. Sometimes they’ll get better, but the majority of recreational players fail to take the basic steps necessary to really improve their game.

“Fix the player first, then work on their game.” All of my education and all of my Titleist Certified Golf Fitness training tells me this is the only way to make a good golfer out of an average weekend player. More importantly, we can help them to avoid hurting their back or shoulder or knee or wrist at the same time.

In my office, we run golfers through an exhaustive functional screening. We look at how they move and focus on the exact areas of their bodies that are causing issues. It can be a joint problem, a soft tissue injury or simply a coordination issue. Most of the time, the problems we find are not causing the golfer any pain but are significantly changing the way they swing the club.

By discovering where the problem is, we can help with appropriate therapies, stretching, massage therapy and golf exercises. Only then do we look at your golf swing, evaluate it and turn you over to Jon Manos, our PGA golf pro to help you correct the problems you might still have in your swing.

If you really want to fix your golf swing and you don’t want to sacrifice your health to the game, talk to The Back Care Center. First, we’ll fix you. Then we’ll take a swing at your swing.

Meet The Back Care Center’s New PGA Golf Pro

We’re really happy at how our Golf Fitness program is shaping up at The Back Care Center of Dumont, NJ. We recently added Nick Manoy, our second Titleist Certified Golf Fitness Instructor. (Dr. David Schwartz was our first, of course!)

Jon Manos, the Golf Pro at The Back Care Center in Dumont NJAnd now, say hello to Jon Manos, our PGA Golf Pro and the back nine in our Golf Fitness program. After Dr. Dave and Nick get your body into shape for the greens, it’s Jon’s job to get your game into top form. He customizes his lessons according to your experience level, with special attention paid to muscle memory and correct body positioning.

Jon’s been a PGA teaching professional for 3 decades now, logging over 38,000 hours of instructional time at schools, universities and country clubs in the United States and in England. He’s been head golf instructor at Holy Angels Academy, and assistant coach at Columbia University, Fairleigh Dickinson University and Bergen Catholic High School.

In addition to being our house golf pro, Jon also runs the Jon Manos Golf Academy at the Closter Golf Center in Closter, NJ.

Call the office to get an initial Golf Fitness Assessment, or to make an appointment with Jon. You can also email us at golf@thebackcarecenter.com.

And please be sure to check out our latest golf fitness exercises and golf drill videos.