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Research and Survey Results Prove Foot Levelers’ Spinal Pelvic Stabilizers Help Golfers

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Inside Spinal Pelvic Stabilizer Research
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Research and Survey Results Prove Foot Levelers’ Spinal Pelvic Stabilizers Help Golfers 


In a 2001 study of experienced golfers that was published in the peer-reviewed Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics (JMPT), Foot Levelers’ Spinal Pelvic Stabilizers were proven to have a positive influence on stride length, pelvic rotation, components of gait, and symmetry of gait movements. They were also proven to reduce the effects of fatigue.1
This investigation evaluated the effects of orthotic intervention on gait patterns and fatigue associated with nine holes of simulated golf. Gait was assessed before and after play, utilizing video freeze-frame analysis. Subjects wore Foot Levelers’ custom-made, flexible Stabilizers daily for six weeks and then gait was reassessed. Fatigue was introduced by having participants complete a nine-hole round of golf, before and after wearing Foot Levelers Stabilizers.

Research Results
After wearing the Stabilizers for the six-week period, test subjects demonstrated a 29-36% average increase in pelvic rotation, with similar changes in stride length. The Stabilizers also reduced the effects of fatigue. In a 2000 Stude-Gullickson JMPT study, Foot Levelers’ custom-made, flexible Spinal Pelvic Stabilizers were proven to increase club head speed (which equates
to increased ball flight distance) and reduce the influence of fatigue in experienced golfers.2

This study demonstrated that the improved structural pedal balance created by Foot Levelers’ Stabilizers increased the club head speed by 3-5 mph (9-15 yards of increased distance). Stude and Brink had previously demonstrated with peer-review research that balance and proprioceptive balance improved with the use of Foot Levelers’ Stabilizers.3

The lower extremities and spine represent a closed kinetic biomechanical chain in the upright posture. The scientific literature supports the notion that the function of one region of this kinetic chain influences the other regions.4-6

Williams and Cavanaugh speculated that a stable base of support will help golfers generate more acceleration in the downswing, thus increasing club head speed and greater ball flight.7 However, they also noted that most players have poor balance and consequently less consistency in contacting the ball.

One premise in the 2000 Stude-Gullickson study was that a pedal position which had been improved with the use of custom-made orthotics would have a positive influence on the entire kinetic chain. Such an influence would subsequently improve club head velocity – thus, more distance of ball flight. The premise proved correct.2

Foot Levelers’ custom-made Spinal Pelvic Stabilizers – referred to as orthotics and used in this study – had already been proven to stabilize the foot in a better position of biomechanical function based on radiologic evaluation.8 This stabilization has been demonstrated to have a positive effect on the treatment and prevention of lower extremity
conditions.9,10 These Stabilizers have also been shown to improve the balance and proprioceptive balance in the same group of experienced golfers used in the 2000 Stude-Gullickson study.2

It should be noted that the golfers analyzed by Stude and Gullickson:
• Had not used orthotics of any kind within the past two years
•Had not been under allopathic or chiropractic care for the past 6 months
• Had no musculoskeletal complaints

The golfers above were all tested using a Bel-Tronic Swing Mate which offered several options, such as club head speed, average speed for up to ten swings, and extrapolated distance. The average club head speed for these golfers was increased by 3-5 mph, which equates to an average 9-15 yards of increased distance. The Stabilizers worn by these golfers were also significantly influential in reducing the effects of fatigue associated after nine holes of simulated golf. This relationship is very important to competitive golfers, since an increase in distance could mean the difference between winning and losing. These studies all demonstrate – and prove – that Foot Levelers’ custom-made flexible Spinal Pelvic Stabilizers help improve alignment, function, and performance.

Survey Results
In 1998, Foot Levelers introduced ParFlex Plus®, the custom-made Spinal Pelvic Stabilizer designed specifically for golfers. Full-length ParFlex Plus provides flexible support for lateral weight shifts, increased forefoot stability during follow-through, and it also offers magnetic therapy.Prior to its general release, ParFlex Plus Stabilizers were given to a group of professional and recreational golfers. This group was asked to wear them while out golfing. After five weeks, the golfers were asked to complete a questionnaire regarding the comfort level and perceived effectiveness of the ParFlex Plus on their game. Here is what the survey participants concluded:

Comfort. When asked, “How long did it take you to get used to wearing your Stabilizers?” 87% of respondents overall indicated three days or less, and 100% had adjusted to ParFlex Plus by the end of the fifth day. Regarding fatigue, 79% of the wearers stated that their feet felt “less tired” while wearing ParFlex Plus, and a third (33%) reported their feet perspired less with the orthotics in their shoes. And at the end of five weeks, 100% felt they had good support in their shoes, thanks to ParFlex Plus.

Effectiveness. When asked about balance, 71% felt that their balance was improved while wearing ParFlex Plus. Could ParFlex Plus help them hit the golf ball farther? Twenty-nine percent thought they could; and half (50%) felt they were hitting the ball well more consistently. And as to improving their score, 38% overall reported shooting a lower golf score with ParFlex Plus in their shoes.

Finally, after wearing ParFlex Plus for five weeks, the golfers in this survey were asked if they would recommend these Stabilizers to a fellow golfer. The answer was a unanimous “yes” from the professionals, and a 96% positive response overall.

Golfers are always looking for ways to improve their game – whether through better equipment, instructional videotapes, or lessons from pros. Now that you have this research and survey information on improving golfing performance with custom-made Spinal Pelvic Stabilizers, share it with your patients who golf. They will appreciate your efforts to give them a “performance edge” in their game.

1. Stude DE, Gullickson J. The effects of orthotic intervention and nine holes of simulated golf on gait in experienced golfers. J Manip Physiol Ther 2001; 24(4):279-287.
2. Stude DE, Gullickson J. Effects of orthotic intervention and nine holes of simulated golf on club-head velocity in experienced golfers. J Manip Physiol Ther 2000; 23(3):168-174.
3. Stude DE, Brink DK. Effects of nine holes of simulated golf and orthotic intervention on balance and proprioception in experienced golfers. J Manip Physiol Ther 1997; 20(9): 590-601.
4. Angus C. The influence of the lower extremities upon the structural integrity of the body. J Am Osteopath Assoc 1950; 49:553-556.
5. Radin EL, Yang KH, Reigger C, Kish VL, O’Conner JJ. Relationship between lower limb dynamics and knee joint pain. J Orthop Res 1991; 9:398-405.
6. Bailey HW. Theoretical significance of postural imbalance, especially the short leg. J Am Osteopath Assoc 1978; 77:452-455.
7. Williams KR, Cavanagh PR. The mechanics of foot action during the golf swing and implications of shoe design. Med Sci Sports Exerc 1983; 15:247-255.
8. Kuhn DR, Shibley NJ, Austin WM, Yochum TR. Radiographic evaluation of weight-bearing orthotics and their effect on flexible pes planus. J Manip Physiol Ther 1999; 22(4):221-226.
9. Austin WM. Shin splints with underlying posterior tibial tendinitis: a case report. J Sports Chiro Rehab 1996; 10(4):163-168.
10. Kuhn DR, Yochum TR, Cherry AR, Rodgers SS. Immediate changes in the quadriceps femoris angle after insertion of an orthotic device. J Manip
Physiol Ther 2002; 25(7):465-470.



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