By: Meghan Diehl, SPT
Low back pain is a very common musculoskeletal problem affecting golfers of all ages and skill levels. In fact, low back conditions account for approximately 25% of all golf injuries.1
WHY? The lumbar spine is exposed to significant compression, shearing, torsion, and lateral bending forces during the golf swing.2
Follow these tips to maintain a healthy back during your golf season!
1) Raise your front heel during the backswing. This allows for increased hip swing and shortening of the backswing, which will decrease the amount of torque on the lumbar spine.2
2) Maintain an upright trunk during the acceleration phase. This will decrease the amount of lateral bending forces on the trailside of your body during the down and forward motion of the golf swing.2
3) Finish with balanced shoulders and an erect “I” position at follow-through. Standing upright at the end of the swing will decrease the compressive forces on the lumbar spine.2
4) Get stronger! Having strong trunk and hip muscles will improve your overall stability and control, which will protect your body from the increased forces imposed during the golf swing. Strengthening exercises to incorporate into your exercise routine include: planks, side planks, clams, and bridges.
5) Choose your equipment wisely! Push the golf cart instead of pulling to maintain an upright posture. Consider using a dual “backpack strap” to distribute the weight of the clubs more evenly across both shoulders.
Best of luck this season!
Lindsay D, Vandervoort A. Golf-related low back pain: a review of causative factors and prevention strategies. Asian J Sports Med. 2014;5(4):e24289. doi: 10.5812/asjsm.24289
Gluck G, Bendo J, Spivak J. The lumbar spine and low back pain in golf: a literature review of swing biomechanics and injury prevention. Spine J. 2008;8(5):778-788. pmid: 20161213