For any golfer, taking their game to the next level takes time, patience and, of course, practice. But those who really excel will tell you that what they do behind the scenes is even more important than what happens on the links.
That’s why so many golfers – professionals and amateurs – end up at the Carlyle Wellness on St. Simons Island.
There, Phillip Carlyle, DC, CCWP and BCIM, and Daktota Gette, DC, and their staff have the skills to help patients improve their game or even get them back on the green.
“When you look at golf and start doing research, golfers like Tiger Woods have been seeing chiropractors for years. Tiger said it had been as important to his game as practicing his swing,” reads a quote from Dr. Carlyle in his office on St. Simons Island.
“In fact, 72% of professional golfers use chiropractic care as part of their standard on-tour care.”
Numerous international studies have consistently highlighted the benefits of chiropractic care for golfers. A Brazilian research program followed two groups to find out how this treatment can benefit gamers. One group of golfers stretched and received chiropractic adjustments before playing, while another only stretched before hitting the green.
The results were quite remarkable.
“The group that adjusted forward hit the ball eight yards or 8.75 yards further than the other. The other group that just stretched only saw an improvement of about half a yard,” Carlyle said. “So if you’re that golfer looking to pick up that extra 10 yards, the easiest way to do that is with chiropractic.”
This secret is certainly revealed in the Golden Isles. Carlyle and Gette start getting phone calls for dates ahead of many local club tournaments in the area.
“I always know when a club is having their member-member or guest-member tournament because golfers come in to get their adjustments. They realize that if they want to perform at their best, they have to get those adjustments,” he said.
“There are a number of golfers who are competing in these local tournaments and will be putting their adjustments in place two or three times this week. Some will even come on Friday evening to make sure they are good for Saturday-Sunday. It’s amazing how many times it’s people who win or rank.
The reason chiropractic care works so well is that it targets the central nervous system to help players fire on all cylinders. Ensuring golfers’ bodies are centered and aligned allows the brain to properly send signals to the muscles without any impediments.
“Your brain communicates through the spine with every cell, tissue and organ in the body. So what a chiropractor treats is nerve pressure. You may call it “pinched nerve”, “stifled nerve”… medically it is called “neuropathy” or “neuritis”. If you know the name of the nerve, it might be called ‘sciatica,’ for example,” he said.
Chiropractors refer to nerve pressure as subluxation. It is when a part of the body is out of place, causing an impact on a nerve and a decrease in communication/function in a particular area.
Carlyle notes that a problem with one part of the body — often the lower back for golfers — can impact the entire system.
“If you have a short in the electrical system in one room, it will affect the whole house,” he said.
“It will always have an impact on something else. We specialize in neurology examination. We do a neurological exam to see where the nerve pressure is…then we can look at an x-ray to figure out how to relieve that nerve pressure.
The repeated body torque seen in golf swings can often lead to these conditions. For amateurs in particular, an out of sync swing can lead to a whole host of problems.
“There’s a condition called ‘golfer’s pelvis,’ where their right hip is in front of their left because they keep pulling through that hip and squeezing their body. So really, it’s a repetitive traumatic injury,” did he declare.
This issue can cause a number of issues, both on and off the course.
“Spinning by itself isn’t bad, but when you combine it with another movement, like leaning forward, you can really hurt yourself. When you do that with one foot on the ledge of a bunker, it can be where you create serious problems. Most golfers don’t hurt themselves on flat ground at the start,” he said.
Regular adjustments can help ensure the body is primed and ready to go before every ride. This, along with proper stretching and warming up, can help prevent injury and improve your game.
“I mean really, just look at what the pros do,” Carlyle said with a smile.