Help for Golfers to Stay Match Fit; Rachael Tinniswood Finds out How to Stay in the Swing of Things

Article excerpt

Byline: Rachael Tinniswood

AS Europe's finest golfers celebrate winning the Ryder Cup this weekend, an influx of amateurs is also taking to the greens.

It's a busy time for golfers. But it is also the busiest time of the year for chiropractors - whose skills are called upon to help golfers whose swing can cause injuries.

High-profile professional golfers suffer from injury but the amateur player may be more at risk than Tiger Woods or Colin Montgomerie, with poor technique, inadequate stretching pre and post-match and incorrectly carrying heavy golf bags being the main cause of the problems.

It is not surprising then that the British Chiropractic Association (BCA) is encouraging amateur golfers to check their swing to avoid unnecessary injury.

``Having just one joint or muscle out of line can make 18 holes seem like 108,'' says Dr Antoni Jakubowski, chiropractor to the European PGA Tour and specifically to Retief Goosen, Nick Faldo and Justin Rose.

``And it's no wonder if you're having to swing your club 70-100 times with an injured back or wrist.

``By simply aligning the body perfectly everyone can play golf better, with less effort, and have more fun at the same time.''

Birkdale Sports chiropractor Scott Fullwood agrees. Based near the Royal Birkdale golf course, he regular sees golfers who have injured themselves through their sport. ``Most of the professional golfers who come to the Open have their own physios and chiropractors that treat any injuries,'' he says.

``I tend to see a lot of amateurs who come in for treatment - especially Australians or Americans who come for a round of golf at the famous Birkdale course and get a bit over enthusiastic and injure themselves.

According to Scott, there are four main areas of the body which are often injured through playing golf.

Golfers Elbow: ``This is most commonly caused when golfers take too much of the grass off the turf when they are swinging, placing too much pressure on the elbow,'' Scott explains.

``This is down to technique and if your technique is right you will never suffer from it. …