The cervical spine is made up of the first seven vertebrae in the spine. It starts just below the skull and ends just above the thoracic spine. The cervical spine can be very flexible, but it is also at risk for injury from strong, sudden movements, such as whiplash-type injuries. There is also limited muscle support in the cervical area. Being stiff or haven’t limited range of motion in this area could be affecting your swing.
In golf your neck or cervical spine does play a significant role in helping to maintain head alignment and posture while your shoulders and trunk rotate during your backswing. Players ideally should have well over 70 degrees of rotation both in the backswing and downswing. In addition, limited range of motion in your cervical spine can make it difficult to maintain your posture on the down swing and limit the ability to fully rotate your shoulders through impact which may lead to power loss.
Cervical spine rotation test
Stand tall make sure your mouth stays closed, turn your head slowly to the right and then try to touch your chin down to your collar bone. Do this both sides
Don’t open your mouth or raise your shoulder up to your chin
If you experience pain while performing any of these exercises, do not continue exercising. Contact a doctor or a physical therapist for further testing and recommendations.
Appointments with Paul for golf lessons in Wicklow can be booked via Powerscourt Golf Club Reception: Tel (01) 204 6033 or the Golf Shop Tel (01) 204 6031. Read more about lessons from Paul Thompson by visiting the Powerscourt Golf Club Website.