The Westlake Chiropractic Golf Performance Center
Whether you’re a weekend warrior, regular golfer or seasoned pro, improving your golf performance is always the goal. The Westlake Chiropractic Golf Performance Center is dedicated to helping you play your top game pain-free. They say golf is a game of inches, but it takes far less than that for a misalignment of the spine or body to impact your game.
The Origin of the Westlake Chiropractic Golf Performance Center
Dr. Katerina Sheffield is a Doctor of Chiropractic and registered Pharmacist who went to state with her high school golf team for three years in a row.
“I absolutely understand that there’s a vast difference between playing golf as a hobby and playing competitively,” she says. Her personal understanding of the game, along with years of professional chiropractic training, gives Dr. Sheffield a deep understanding of how even small misalignments of the spine can impact a golf player’s swing.
Dr. Sheffield is certified by the Titleist Performance Institute (TPI). TPI is the world's leading educational organization dedicated to the study of how the human body functions in relation to the golf swing.
Over the past eleven years, Dr. Sheffield has helped many pro athletes, amateurs, and junior competitors improve their biomechanics, decrease pain and improve their golf games.
As a golf chiropractor who truly understands the human body, Dr. Sheffield passionately loves helping people play the sport well, and as long as they want. She is uniquely positioned to help both pro and amateur golfers reduce pain, increase mobility and improve their games. She also has an expertise in helping older golfers maintain their fitness to extend their ability to stay on the course for additional years.
How the Golf Performance Center Works
Dr. Sheffield will help you:
- Reduce or eliminate pain, discomfort and feeling ‘stuck’
- Increase your mobility and flexibility
- Increase the speed and power of your golf game
- Decrease your chances of repetitive injury
New clients can choose either Targeted Golf Chiropractic Care or a Comprehensive Golf Fitness Assessment.
If you already know exactly what’s ailing your golf performance, then you may be a candidate for this program.
Through a series of visits, Dr. Sheffield will provide targeted, customized golf chiropractic care.
For example, maybe you experience back pain with your golf swing. You’ve seen other providers who have helped, but the pain keeps returning, or they haven’t really found anything ‘wrong’.
You can bring any imaging you have from prior appointments (e.g. X-rays, MRI ) to Dr. Sheffield and she can provide targeted spinal treatment based on your injuries and any imbalances you have. However, if you haven’t sought help before, Dr. Sheffield is happy to order any imaging you might need.
Or, maybe you are experiencing a lack of balance on the course. You know this is the main issue, as you’ve recently had a case of vertigo. Dr. Sheffield can evaluate if your spine is causing your dizziness and vertigo. If so, she will provide targeted golf chiropractic care to resolve the dizziness and get you back on the course quickly. (However, if Dr. Sheffield feels your dizziness is stemming from another problem, she’ll refer you to an M.D.)
Comprehensive Golf Fitness Assessment
At the Westlake Chiropractic Golf Fitness Center, if you opt for a Comprehensive Golf Fitness Assessment, Dr. Sheffield will start by assessing your spinal mechanics.
Because golf is played with an asymmetrical motion that puts repetitive torque on your body, it’s not uncommon to experience back pain from your golf swing.
Even a small compensation can create errant shots, and put improper strain on areas of the body that are easily injured.
That said, many golfers don’t experience any pain or discomfort. Instead they complain of feeling ‘stuck.’ Their swing isn’t as complete as they’d like, or they don’t have the flexibility to maintain a consistent technique.
But this feeling ‘stuck’ can be a warning sign that your posture and balance are off. Given that, it’s wise to address this feeling with proper assessment and treatment that can head off future discomfort and pain.
What You Can Expect from the Golf Performance Center
With a Comprehensive Golf Fitness Assessment at the Westlake Chiropractic Golf Performance Center, you’ll get all of the following:
- A holistic evaluation of your spinal alignment and mobility
- Swing fault analysis
- Nutritional evaluation
Spinal Assessment: Back Pain from Golf Swing
Do you experience back pain from your golf swing?
Do you have one high shoulder? Were you told you have a ‘short leg’?
Could upper cervical issues be contributing to three putts and lost balls off the tee?
Two common problems that present in our Golf Performance Center and cause these sorts of issues are a misalignment of the atlas bone and global spine imbalances that put pressure on spinal nerves.
The atlas bone is located where the brain stem turns into the spinal column. It is one of the first places Dr. Sheffield looks when treating golfers.
Many golfers come to the Golf Performance Center with complaints that they just can’t keep their swings consistent. On examination, Dr. Sheffield will often find a misaligned atlas bone.
This misalignment causes the golfer to subconsciously tilt their head and eyes in order to level the field of vision level.
But this compensation fails to align the body. With a misaligned atlas, it’s very difficult to line up your putt or drive.
The solution is golf chiropractic treatment to realign the atlas bone. As a result of this personalized and targeted treatment, golfers often dramatically improve performance on the course.
Nerve Pressure on the Spine
Research shows that the weight of a dime on a spinal nerve can reduce the nerve’s ability to transmit critical information throughout the body by up to 60%.
A misalignment coupled with a few hours working on hitting your new 600 dollar driver straight can put pressure on spinal nerves.
Unfortunately, this nerve pressure can constrict the pathways to and from your brain, limiting the way your muscles can react; it can prevent you from swinging the club to the best of your ability.
Is your spine alignment limiting the feedback from your mind to your muscles? If so, Dr. Sheffield will relieve the pressure through precise but full spinal adjustments.
Unlike most other chiropractors, you won't hear any "snap, crackles or pops" with an adjustment from Dr. Sheffield; she will always use the least amount of force to get the job done without rotation.
Swing Fault Analysis
As a TPI certified golf fitness professional and chiropractor, Dr. Sheffield understands how swing faults negatively impact your golf game and your ability to hit the ball well with consistency.
She is particularly concerned with two specific swing faults that directly wear out the bottom two spinal vertebra in the lumbar spine.
These types of swing faults can cause damage to the spine and even can be dangerous for some player; these swing faults not only negatively impact your golf game, but they can cause damage to your lumbar spinal segments, including to discs.
As part of the Comprehensive Golf Fitness Assessment, you’ll submit a video of your swing, which Dr. Sheffield will analyze for these two particular faults. If identified, Dr. Sheffield will refer you to a golf pro to eradicate these faults.
Dr. Sheffield has 10 years experience in clinical nutrition and is a Registered Pharmacist.
As part of the Comprehensive Golf Fitness Assessment, you will complete a 1-week diet diary. Then Dr. Sheffield will analyze your diary and make recommendations. She will help you navigate the plethora of supplements and weed out what is hype and what actually can optimize your golf performance.
Visit Austin’s Premiere Golf Performance Center
When you visit the Westlake Chiropractic Golf Performance Center, you get a comprehensive analysis that you’re unlikely to find anywhere else in Austin and the Central Texas area.
Dr. Sheffield will conduct a targeted analysis of your biomechanics and biochemistry. All of these factors impact you ability to improve your golf performance and play your most consistent game.
Golf chiropractic and comprehensive health programs including upper cervical treatment, full spine adjustment, and nutritional counseling are a few of the ways Dr. Sheffield helps amateurs and pro golfers play well with less pain.
Hello, my name is Jacob Sosa. I'm an 18 year old guy who is very passionate about golf, but over the past couple of months I've had some physical issues that have prevented me from playing the game I know. Starting in March 2021, I began to feel pain in my lower and upper back. I consulted with my mother, a licensed massage therapist, about what our line of action should be to attack this problem. After treatment, the pain somewhat subsided but was still quite prevalent. We both came to the conclusion that it wasn't so much a muscular issue, but a skeletal one.
Both my Mother and Father have seen Dr. Sheffield in the past so they suggested I go in. My first consultation was amazing, Dr. Sheffield was very welcoming and really seemed to sympathize with my situation. She had ordered x-rays, and after looking at them we discovered my Atlas and C1 were out, as well as slight scoliosis and decreased neck curve. I never would have thought that so much would have been wrong with me. The next visit she informed me about my Atlas and how significant that little two ounce bone was, when she adjusted it I immediately felt different. The following morning the upper back pain and muscle spasms were gone! It was a very slight adjustment, however it made such a drastic difference. Over time and consistency all of the pain gradually started to fade. My lower back felt restored, but more than anything, my confidence was restored. I am now able to move throughout my swing pain free, finish a round without fatigue, and play the game I once knew.
I am truly grateful for Dr. Sheffield and how she has impacted my life.
- Jacob Sosa
Jacob is No. 9 in the American Junior Golf Association and No. 19 in the Golfweek/Sagarin Rankings. Some of his recent top 10 finishes include the 2021 Boys Junior PGA Championship (seventh), the 2021 Polo Golf Junior Classic (fifth) and the 2021 Sergio and Angela Garcia Foundation Junior Championship (second). Jacob played 4 years at Westlake High School and will continue his golf career at the University of Texas Austin. In January 2023, he broke the record at the University of Texas with an 11-under-par 61 in the first round of the Southwestern Invitational at North Ranch Country Club.