The spring season is the perfect time to enjoy the beautiful weather and work on improving your golf game! However, it is surprisingly easy to injure your lower back as a result of not spending enough time warming up or using improper form. Check out this article that is full of tips and tricks to help you stay pain-free while enjoying your round of golf!
As with so many health conditions, a little effort to prevent back injury and low back pain goes a long way. Four key areas of prevention for the sport of golf include: warm-up, swing, bio-mechanics, and carrying the golf bag.
1. Warm-up before playing golf to prevent low back pain
First, start with stretching before beginning to play golf. Stretching should emphasize the shoulder, torso, and hip regions as well as the hamstring muscles. Next, gently swinging a golf club helps warm up the necessary muscle groups and prepares them for the torque (force) and torsion (twisting) that a golf swing produces. Overall, muscles that have been stretched and gradually loaded are much less prone to being injured while playing golf and can take more stress before either being strained or sprained.
2. Practice swinging before playing golf to prevent low back pain
The objective of a golf swing is to develop significant clubhead speed, and to do this a lot of torque (force) and torsion (twisting) is applied to the low back. Golfers should emphasize a smooth, rhythmic swing, as this produces less stress and less low back pain (such as minimizing muscular effort and disc and facet joint loading).
3. Bio-mechanics of golf and the low back
The force generated by a golf swing largely stresses the L5-S1 disc space because the joints at this segment allow considerable rotation. The other joints in the low back allow more flexion/extension and not as much rotation and are relatively protected. The young golfers also need to really concentrate on flexibility in the hamstrings, since this will allow more motion in the pelvis and help reduce stress to the L5-S1 disc space.
4. Carrying the golf bag safely to prevent low back pain
Repeated bending over to pick up a golf bag can stress the low back and lead to a muscle strain. It is advisable to use dual straps on the golf bag to evenly divide the weight across the back and reduce the chances of developing low back pain from an uneven load.