There’s one inarguable necessary aspect of the golf swing: To do it halfway well, you’ve got to put your back into it.
Most modern instructors would, in fact, argue that point, instead dubbing the “core” the golf swing’s true engine.
OK, fine. So let’s instead think of the spine as the swing’s “transmission” — from Park (address) to Reverse (the backswing), to an oh-so-brief respite at Neutral (the transition), and finally to Drive, with its inherent forward acceleration, if only for a split second.
All those gears must work in sync, and in the proper order, for a golfer to send the ball on its journey with any efficacy at all.
Just as in a car, the transmission works hard.
What’s an engine without it? Not a CAR engine, that’s for sure.
But transmissions wear out eventually, and so do golfers’ spines. Thousands of swings take their toll no matter how efficient or balanced, and for the vast majority of golfers who fall, uh, somewhere short of the professional level, that toll can come on more quickly and acutely, especially in the lumbar, or lower back.
I’m one of those golfers. I’ve battled lower back pain since I took up the game as a young teen; I’ve taken breaks and done my share of time on the chiropractor’s table. So if there’s a new way to get my “transmission” in shape for another round or a hundred rounds, I’m listening.
“I used to golf quite avidly, so I’m well acquainted with back problems that are generated and precipitated by golfing,” says Dr. Ed Barry, a longtime board-certified chiropractic orthopedist who centered his practice on treating those pesky, temperamental discs in the lower spine. “Lower back problems, given the motion of the swing, especially in golfers who don’t play regularly and don’t stretch — and their swings aren’t balance — causes some issues. Compensations can cause more pain.”
Barry now focuses his expertise and passion for healing to develop The Lift, a low-impact exercise/stretching device that promises — with just 15 minutes of use per day — to be a great go-to for anyone battling back problems who’s tired of popping pills and dreads going under the knife.
Compact, light and portable but packing a reverse-engineered punch by engaging one’s own body weight to use “traction” and “flexion” to increase blood flow to the tissues within each disc, The Lift will be sold direct to consumers beginning this winter, just in time to help get golfers pain-free and fired up for golf season 2020.
I recently spoke with Dr. Barry to talk about The Lift and its potential.