One of the most common physical symptoms during or after a round of golf is low-back pain. There are several strategies you can employ to reduce or prevent that annoying low-back pain so you can get in that extra 9 or 18 this weekend.
1. Reduce your backswing. In the modern golf swing, when we take our backswing, our hips and shoulders rotate away from the target. When our hips naturally stop rotating, our shoulders and trunk rotate even further to coil up the body and get ready to unleash that energy toward the golf ball. This extra trunk rotation can be a vulnerable position for the lumbar spine and often contributes to pain.
2. Walk smart. If you like to walk the course for exercise, that’s great, but don’t do it at the expense of your low back. If you like to carry your clubs, make sure you have a bag with two shoulder straps. If you like to use a cart, make sure you push it in front of you – don’t pull it behind you. This will preserve strength in your core muscles to help last the entire round.
3. Don’t spend a lot of time on the practice green. The typical putting stroke requires you to bend forward a considerable amount. If you are practicing your putting for a long time, you have already begun to fatigue these important muscles that support good spine posture, and they might not be able to do their job during the actual round of golf.
4. Train your body to succeed at golf. While golf isn’t considered an intense activity by a lot of people, you need specific strength and flexibility to reduce the stress on your spine. You also need good muscular endurance to maintain a consistent swing for up to five hours. Seek professional advice and training from a physical therapist who has golf-specific knowledge.