by Keith Bandli, ATC, CSCS, FAFS
Golf and back pain seem to reunite every season, especially if you haven’t had a good pre-season training program. If you live in the Northern part of the U.S., and you’re not part of the flock of snow birds that travels south, your golf games suffers a little. We have such a short season where I am from and we tend to lack consistency in the golf game.
Well, four out of five golfers experience back pain or injury eventually during their golf lifetime. With the number one being lower back pain, followed by elbow, wrist, knee, shoulder and neck. An estimated 70-80 percent of all Americans will experience some form of back pain during their lifetime, and the numbers being higher with golfers. Knowing the fact that golfers spend a considerable amount of time in a bend-over stance, and repeating the same rotational motion hundreds of times.
Not only does golf involve the use of your lower back, which we consider the “cross-road” of the body, but also it involves almost every joint in your body. They are all linked, and together they work in synergy, which is a fancy way of saying “working in one big unit.” Now let’s consider if you have a break down of any of those links, then parts of your body will work extra hard to compensate for that missing link; golfer’s elbow. On a larger scale, let’s now think about how much movement force/power your body produces to hit that little white ball. Any break down in the links must travel through the “Cross-Road.”
The bad news is you know that experiencing an injury or back pain during a round of golf can dramatically affect your score. Even more importantly, prolonged back pain or injury can take the enjoyment out of the game. Neck, Shoulder, elbow, and back pain will interfere with your golf swing and take away your experience.
The good news is that with proper treatment, we can help alleviate golf related back pain as well as prevent future injuries and with an added bonus, improving your golf score, being able to harness more power for distance, and give you that confidence in your game.
Golfers rarely consider the damage that the sport’s power twisting movement can inflict on their spine, hips, and especially the lower back. The two most important fundamentals of the golf swing are mobility and stability, which are crucial for a good golf swing. These two fundamentals can be applied to three main areas on your body; thoracic spine, hip/pelvis, and foot/ankle. We consider these to be the keystones of your body. When your body is unable to load in these areas, you lose power, accuracy, and compensation occurs, which can lead to pain. When your body is fine tuned in these areas, you can harness more power/strength, be more consistent with your swing, and most importantly, enjoying a pain-free and pleasurable game.
If you are interested in more information about lower back pain and golf click the image below for a free e-book called "The Truth About Lower Back Pain- The Hidden Culprits"