If you’re an athlete, you already know how important it is to keep your body in optimal shape. That is why we go to such great lengths to bring our patients only the best sports treatment available. From golf to football and everything in between, you can be absolutely sure that Doc Rob has got your back!

In fact, you tennis players and golfers can start educating yourselves now. Below, we’ve included some helpful tips that will hopefully improve your game, or at least help prevent future injuries.


1. A short swing with less spinal rotation gives a golfer more control of the golf club and club head throughout the swing, which translates into better control of the golf ball.

2. Research has demonstrated that short backswings achieved the same clubhead speed at ball impact as long back swings.

3. A short backswing will help to minimize the torsional stress in the lumbar spine.

Source: Seaman DS. Back pain in golfers: etiology and prevention. J Sports Chiro Rehab 1998; 12(2):45-54.

Golfer’s / Tennis Elbow
Golfer’s elbow and tennis elbow are similar conditions that fall under the category of Cumulative Trauma Disorders. Both conditions usually involve pain and tenderness around the elbow that tends to be increased with movement and decreased with immobilization.

Although the pain associated with these conditions stems from inflammation, the source of the inflammation must be addressed in order to achieve complete recovery and long-lasting benefit. The most common culprit is chronic muscular contraction, which can be brought on by overuse or as a result of a joint dysfunction. This constant “tugging” on the tendons can reduce the already poor circulation to the tendons. The tendons then become inflamed (tendonitis) and, eventually, scar tissue will form further reducing the flexibility and strength of the soft tissues.

Treatment for Golfer’s / Tennis Elbow
The only effective way to recover from a problem related to tendonitis is to address the source of the strain. Chiropractic adjustments are used to correct any mechanical problems that may by associated with the joints of the elbow, wrist or shoulder. Reduction of the chronic muscle tightness and spasm is achieved using a muscle therapy technique known as Active Release, a treatment method that often provides immediate and dramatic results. It is a patented, state-of-the-art soft tissue (muscles, ligaments, fascia and nerves) treatment system that was designed specifically to deal with cumulative trauma disorders like golfer’s and tennis elbow.

The Active Release doctor uses his hands to evaluate the injured tissue. Then, precisely applied tension is combined with specific patient movements. Treatment is an interactive process involving both doctor and patient and every Active Release session is actually a unique combination of examination and treatment. Patients often notice improvement in their levels of pain, flexibility and strength within seconds following the treatment.

For Acute and Chronic Pain
“Patients with chronic low-back pain treated by chiropractors showed greater improvement and satisfaction at one month than patients treated by family physicians. Satisfaction scores were higher for chiropractic patients. A higher proportion of chiropractic patients (56 percent vs. 13 percent) reported that their low-back pain was better or much better, whereas nearly one-third of medical patients reported their low-back pain was worse or much worse.”
– Nyiendo et al (2000), Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics

In a Randomized controlled trial, 183 patients with neck pain were randomly allocated to manual therapy (spinal mobilization), physiotherapy (mainly exercise) or general practitioner care (counseling, education and drugs) in a 52-week study. The clinical outcomes measures showed that manual therapy resulted in faster recovery than physiotherapy and general practitioner care. Moreover, total costs of the manual therapy-treated patients were about one-third of the costs of physiotherapy or general practitioner care.
— Korthals-de Bos et al (2003), British Medical Journal

In those who are training too much, overuse of a particular joint or joints in the body can result in pain and dysfunction. These injuries are called “overuse syndromes.” A common overuse injury is tendinosis, also called tendinitis. In this condition, the tendon becomes inflamed from repetitive use. In the shoulder, the rotator cuff (a complex of muscles that stabilizes and moves the shoulder) becomes inflamed, resulting in rotator cuff tendinitis. Tennis elbow is another form of tendinitis that occurs along the outside of the elbow, most commonly in tennis players. In golfer’s elbow, the tendons on the inside of the elbow are affected.

Stress Fractures
Some athletes may experience a stress fracture, also called a fatigue fracture. This type of fracture occurs when an abnormal amount of stress is placed on a normal bone. This might occur in a runner who rapidly increases the amount of mileage while training for a race. Stress fractures also occur in people who begin running as a form of exercise but overdo it from the start, rather than gradually progress to longer distances.
One final common injury is worth mentioning, and that is shin splints. This overuse injury is caused by microfractures on the front surface of the tibia (shin bone). This is most often seen in runners, although other athletes can also be affected.

A Word about Prevention
In many cases, sports injuries can be prevented. Proper conditioning and warm-up and cool-down procedures, as well as appropriate safety equipment, can substantially reduce injuries. Understanding proper techniques can also go a long way toward preventing injuries.
Sufficient water intake is also an important preventive measure.

Dr. Rob Sanfilippo