These days, children are getting involved in competitive sports sooner than ever. While being part of a team and playing competitively at a young age has many benefits, there is one major downside and that is the risk of overuse. Many young golfers, especially those who lack correct technique, suffer from acute or overuse injuries.
Golfers are constantly demanding more from their bodies and they often put pressure on very specific parts of their bodies, without giving the body it’s required rest. This will often only present itself as a mild soreness or discomfort, but this can easily turn into a more serious injury, which may turn competitive play into a bad experience very quickly.
Junior golf has undergone a massive transformation and outlook over the past several years. There has been a surge in the amount of research and studies concentrated on this age group into Long Term Athletic Development (LTAD)
This radical transformation into the development skills of these potential future professionals is a much bigger picture than the Golf Injury Clinic can advise on alone, but instead advises and works with many junior coaches.
The LTAD approach focuses on children performing age-appropriate skill training to maximise their athletic potential. It progressively increases its complexity and focuses on more specific training as the golfer develops and reaches the next level of development. (LTAD was first coined by Istvan Balyi).
Part of this training is a fundamental cyclone that has to be considered, which is radically different from programmes that focus solely on golf-specific skills
Many parents get caught up in the training and practice of the game and overlook the importance of body-conditioning needed for good posture, necessary to lower the risk of injury on and off the course.
There are structural and physical developmental issues that need to be taken into consideration while children undertake sports, especially in a competitive environment where a lot of training is required. The best advice for parents who have young athletes in the family is to help them prepare their bodies and to learn to prevent sports related injuries, rather than deal with the situation once injury has developed.
Young golfers are exposed to injuries along with adults, but we often assume they are all right because children can recover faster than adults from injuries. Remember your young golfer is NOT a mini adult golfer. Girls grow until around age 18 and boys grow until around age 21. This means they still have a lot of cartilage and growth plates in their bones and not all their bones are fused together. While the body is growing there are a lot of extra stresses which can be placed on the body. Depending on age, there are growth plates which have not yet fused, are prone to trauma from overuse and therefore subsequent injury.
The benefits of seeing a golf specific Chiropractor
Look at the cyclone cycle above. Every single stage of the cycle requires the body to be in its best neuromuscular position.
Just like adults, a child needs a functioning spine. How many bumps, knocks and falls has your child had over the years. Learning to walk, climb, riding a bike can take its toll on those little bodies. You do not need to have had a serious injury to have neuromuscular dysfunction. All these little bumps can have an effect on the body. Pain is often the last symptom to show and the first thing to go away. This often means that there may be a dysfunction regardless of pain being present.
Take hand-eye coordination, balance and stability as an example of the pretty essential skills needed for a good game of golf. Now break these down and realise that in order to have these functioning to their full potential, they are dependent on nerve messages flowing freely throughout the body. Our brain and spinal cord which co-ordinates these messages are protected by our skull and 24 movable bones in our spine.
These nerve messages can be interrupted or affected if any of these 24 bones are restricted or misaligned. The results being, altered spinal motion and an impaired nerve function which can have an effect on co-ordination, balance and stability and therefore a dysfunctional movement pattern.
Chiropractic care can help resolve these restrictions and therefore help in improving co-ordination, balance and stability along with many other health benefits helping to restore the movement patterns of the body.
Chiropractic care can help maintain optimum performance. If you have an irregular movement pattern, you will never, no matter how many lessons and practice you have, be able to play at your ultimate performance.
It is always important to remember that not all children will complain if in pain. A child/adolescent may think it is more important to play than to take time out from activity.
If You Would Like Your Child Booked In For A Golf Specific Screening Then Call Golf Injury Clinic Today On 07469 205041