The effect of osteopathic intervention and corrective exercise on golf performance : a prospective case series

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Miles, Joshua Ian William
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Master of Osteopathy
Unitec Institute of Technology
Moran, Robert
McEwen, Megan
Masters Dissertation
Ngā Upoko Tukutuku (Māori subject headings)
performance therapy
sports performance
osteopathy and sports
osteopathic medicine
Miles, J. I. W. (2016).The effect of osteopathic intervention and corrective exercise on golf performance : a prospective case series. An unpublished thesis submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Osteopathy, Unitec Institute of Technology, New Zealand.
BACKGROUND: The clinical approach used in the following case series is a newly emergent treatment concept (Performance Therapy) in manual therapy that combines active exercise with passive manual therapy in sporting participants. Performance therapy fits into the coach, athlete and practitioner triad whereby the practitioner attempts to address dysfunctional movements in an attempt to improve athletic performance and prevent injury. Golfers may receive benefit in this new clinical approach by being guided through tailored intervention programs that are targeting dysfunctional movements affecting golf specific physiological characteristics. AIM: To demonstrate the use of combining active therapy (corrective exercise) with passive therapy approaches (osteopathic manual therapy/management) for the purpose of improving golfing performance (club head speed and Driving distance (DD)) over an 8-week period. METHODS: Five prospective case studies were undertaken. Each participant underwent a needs assessment in order to develop a tailored intervention program combining corrective exercise and osteopathic manual therapy for the purpose of improving club head speed and DD. A Selective Functional Movement Assessment was measured every week. FlightScope® analysis of golfing performance was assessed for both 5- iron and driver pre and post-intervention (club head speed, ball speed, carry distance, total distance, launch angle, flight time and SMASH factor). RESULTS: One participant withdrew from the study. Two participants showed improvement for club head speed for 5-iron (Cohen’s d= 3.52, d= 1.43). One participant showed significant improvements in total DD for 5-iron (d = 1.2) and Driver (d = 2.1), while one showed improvements in carry distance for driver only (d = 1.09) and one showed improvements in total DD (d = 0.52). One participant showed no changes in DD for the 5-iron (d = -0.43) and driver (d = 0.11). No golf related injuries occurred during the course of the study. CONCLUSION: The clinical approach demonstrated in this study (combined osteopathic manual therapy and corrective exercise) has shown potential for improving golfing performance. Golfers who are searching for improvements in golfing performance should assess their balance abilities and squat biomechanics. Golfers can receive benefits from receiving tailored management programs from a manual therapist in order to improve dysfunctional movements that may be restricting their golf swing. Further clinical and research development of the Performance Therapy concept in golf is necessary.
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