As a chiropractor, I have seen many patients who suffer from low back pain caused by playing golf. Golf is a popular sport requiring a lot of skill, patience, and physical exertion. Unfortunately, golf can also be a source of pain and discomfort for many players, especially in the lower back. In this blog post, we will explore the top reasons for low back pain in golf and provide some tips for preventing and treating this common issue.
Reverse spine angle is the most common reason for low back pain in golf. Reverse spine angle is seen at the top of the backswing and is when the golfer is leaning his upper body toward the golf ball and creates a sort of “kink” in the spine angle. When this happens, the golfer puts an extreme amount of stress into their low back. When they transition into their downswing, the lumbar spine facet joints take a large amount of force and that is when injuries can occur. If you want to make sure you don’t have reverse spine angle, speak with one of our Optimum Wellness chiropractors or your golf professional.
Poor posture is one of the most common reasons for low back pain in golf. There is one commonly seen posture that is known to cause low back pain in golfers; S-posture. If you have this posture at address, your back will look like an S. Meaning there is a large amount of curvature in the lumbar spine. If this happens, you are more likely to experience pain and discomfort in your back. To avoid this, make sure you find a pelvic neutral position while setting up at address. If you need help with how to achieve proper posture, consult with a chiropractor or golf instructor who can provide you with guidance.
This is a golf characteristic that is best described as moving toward the ball during the transition and through the downswing. That forward lunging motion of the hips can cause excessive extension of the low back, which over time can lead to injuries. Not to mention the issues that early extension can cause to your ability to be shooting low scores. Early extension is easily one of the top reasons for low back pain in golf. If you aren’t sure how to avoid early extension, ask one of our Optimum Wellness chiropractors or reach out to your golf professional.
This is best seen when discussing golfers when they try to drive the ball. You often see golfers lean heavily onto their trail leg in address and dip their shoulders down so that they can hit up into the golf ball in order to get a good trajectory of ball flight. When this happens, this can leave your back vulnerable to back injuries becaause of the excessive amount of side bend that is seen in the low back. This can also cause injuries and irritation to the low back. If you are not sure how to avoid this and you recognize that this is something you do in your swing, talk with one of Optimum Wellness’ chiropractors or your golf professional.
Another common cause of low back pain in golf is overuse injuries. Golf requires a lot of repetitive movements, which can put a strain on your back muscles and joints. If you play golf frequently or for long periods of time, you may be at risk of developing an overuse injury. To avoid this, make sure you take breaks between rounds, stretch before and after playing and use proper equipment that fits your body and swing. One of the biggest things that we see in ameteur golfers is hitting far too many golf balls while at the driving range. In order to mimic a round while you are at the range, you only need to hit 30 – 60 full swing shots. Many golfers will go to the driving range, buy 2 buckets of 100 balls and hit them all in 3 hours. That sort of frequency can really add up aand cause back pain.
Muscle imbalances are another common cause of low back pain in golf. If you have weak or tight muscles in your back or hips, you may be putting extra strain on your lower back when you swing. This can lead to pain and discomfort over time. To prevent muscle imbalances, make sure you engage in regular exercise that focuses on your core muscles and glutes. A chiropractor or personal trainer can help you design a customized exercise program targeting your specific needs.
Finally, age and degeneration can also contribute to low back pain in golf. As we get older, our bodies experience wear and tear, which can lead to joint pain and stiffness. In addition, if you have a history of back problems or degenerative disc disease, you may be more susceptible to low back pain when playing golf. To manage these issues, make sure you are getting enough rest, eating a healthy diet, and engaging in regular exercise that promotes flexibility and strength.
In conclusion, low back pain is a common issue among golfers. However, with the right precautions, you can reduce your risk of injury and enjoy playing the game without pain and discomfort. Remember the characteristics we laid out if you aare someone who is experiencing low back paian when golfing: revers spine angle, S-posture, early extension, excessive side bend, overuse injuries, muscle imbalances, and age and degeneration. If you are experiencing low back pain or discomfort, consult with a chiropractor or healthcare provider who understands the game and how the mechanics of the body correlate to the golf swing, get the treatment you need to get yourself back on the course and stay in the game!