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GOLF AND LOW BACK PAIN

by Ronald Lev, Physical Therapist

So many golfers are experiencing pain associated with golf; low backs, necks and shoulders being the most common areas of complaint. The distressing thing is that in the absence of major injury or disease, so many of these pains respond well to some simple solutions.

As a rule, if you have low back pain when you golf, you likely have poor spine angles at address and during the swing, so consider a lesson or 2 with a knowledgeable pro with this in mind.

Also, you probably have poor trunk and hip strength, and tight low back and hip muscles. These traits often will not allow you to reach or maintain the proper spine angles discussed above.

Here are some things you can do: (please check with a physician if you have a history of severe back pain, or if you have pain or numbness radiating into your hips or legs)

-WARM UP before playing. Try some gentle knee bends; half to 3/4 trunk rotations; stretch your back by bending forward slowly at the waist with you knees bent, no bouncing, hold at least 10 seconds, more if you can. (You can try this during your round, or stretch by sitting, and bending forward, in your cart or on a bench). Start your warm up swings slowly, half swings first and working up to full swings.

EXERCISES:

  1. Abdominals - Lie on your back, knees bent, feet flat on floor. Clasp the back of your head in your hands, raise your SHOULDER BLADES off the floor, (aim you nose for the ceiling, not your knees). Work up to 50 - 100 daily. Do these first.
  2. Low back stretch - Lie on back, bring your knees to your chest, gently pull your knees further until you feel a slight pulling in your low back. You should feel a stretch, but not pain. Stretch for 2-3 minutes, you can rest every 30 seconds or so if you desire.
  3. Hip stretch - Lie on back, grasp 1 knee and pull it toward the OPPOSITE shoulder. Hold 1 minute per leg. You should feel this on the back/outside of the hip.

Try these, and you should be feeling better within a week or 2. If pain is worse, stop the exercises. If you need more help, please contact your health care professional.

Ronald Lev
Physical Therapist
Ron is the owner of Golfers Bodyworks, a facility dedicated to helping golfers play better and hurt less, through individually customized golf fitness and rehabilitation programs.
www.GolfersBodyworks.com
770-242-0052. Call with any questions or for a free consultation.

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