Back Pain After Golf
Do you have Back Pain after Golf? Our practice is in Florida. And Florida has a great number of golf courses, and players. On an almost weekly basis, I will see a patient that hurt the back while playing golf. For many players, golf is their only form of exercise. So why do so many players hurt themselves?
The answer lies in the mechanics of the golf swing. It is not an natural activity, and it places tremendous force on your shoulders, back, hips and knees. And, on an average round, you will make that motion at least 200 times ( practice swings, etc).
The human body is made to do repetitive motions. The act of walking is an example of such motions. Also, depending on your trade, you repetitively use your arms and legs in the same motion for a certain duration of each day.
But the golf swing requires a twisting motion foreign to the day to day motions of your body. For this reason, you may be at more risk for injury. Without getting into the hardcore science and biomechanics, the golf swing generates high torque forces on your muscles, ligaments and disks of the spine. These forces can lead to injuries of the associated anatomy.
To minimize the chance of injury, consider these following steps:
1. Warm up and Stretch. The best way is to limber up the muscles with a brisk walk. Then go through a stretching routine that stretches the muscles attached to the neck, shoulders, lower back, hips and knees. Also stretch the heels. All these areas are necessary for a good swing. All these areas can be hurt.
2. Go to the Range. Hit a few short irons before taking out the driver. Do not just “grip it and rip it”.
3. Take golf lessons. We all know that the good players have smooth almost effortless swings. Good swings also give less stress to the body.
4. Play from the appropriate tee box. This advise is hard on the guys. But, if you tee off from the whites, you do not have to try to kill the ball to put it out on the fairway. Smoother swing, less stress on the body, and better score. Let the pro’s play from the back tee. Save your back and play on the tee made for your level of the game.
5. Buy appropriate sized equipment for you. Certain clubs may increase your risk of injury. You do not have to pay a fortune for clubs. There are alot of discount and used golf equipment stores. You need advise on the length, shaft material, club head size, etc. It can make a difference. Go to an informed golf shop for the details.
Even the pro’s commonly have back injuries. If you ever have the opportunity to go to a pro tournament, you will see that there is always a medical tent. Usually, there is a trainer, physical therapist or a chiropractor on site. Back pain known to almost all the pro’s, especially on the senior tour. All of the pro’s do have a pre swing stretching and warm up regimen. For us weekend players, we must do the same.
- Cole MH, Grimshaw PN. The Biomechanics of the Modern Golf Swing: Implications for Lower Back Injuries. Sports Med. 2016 Mar;46(3):339-51. PubMed PMID: 26604102