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Golf is one of those sports that if you don’t execute movement in the right way, you could find yourself seriously injured. One of the most common golf injuries occurs in our backs, the lower part specifically.
Why does golfing cause back injuries?
Because golf requires you to generate significant power to accurately propel the ball you will need to rotate in the backswing at 85 degrees per second, followed by the downswing at 200 degrees per second. This action causes the lumbar discs in your back to endure forces that are equal to eight times your own body weight. The lumbar spine’s biometrics are not made to deal with such a force because it can only rotate at 2-3 degrees at each level. This doesn’t mean that you should give up golfing for fear of injury, but it does mean you should take preventative measures.
How do I prevent back pain while golfing?
- Work your core and balance: Before, during and after golf season you should be doing core and balance exercises. These will help prepare your back for golf and prevent injuries in the off-season.
Stretch before you play: Many people rush to the green, pull out their driver and start hitting. Instead, take a moment to warm up. To avoid back injuries, stretch your shoulders, torso, hips and hamstrings.
- Shoulders and torso: Hold your club behind your neck and shoulders and proceed to rotate your torso.
- Hips: Pull your knee to your chest and repeat.
- Hamstrings: Bend over and touch your toes (or get as close to your toes as you can).
- Practice your swing: After you’ve stretched, practice your swing a few times to get your back ready.
- Carry your bag properly: Bending over repeatedly to retrieve items from your golf bag doesn’t do your back any favours. Instead, invest in a bag that comes with a built-in stand so that it opens when the bag is set on the ground. Also, ensure that your bag has two straps. This will allow the weight to be evenly distributed when you carry it on your back.
- Ditch the cart: Walking helps with endurance and keeps your lumbar discs from experiencing extra pressure from sitting. You don’t have to forgo the cart entirely, but try to walk as much as possible when golfing.
- Take a lesson: While you may have been playing golf for years and understand the intricacies of the game, a lesson can work wonders for your back. Schedule one session with a pro to ensure that you are holding the club properly and that your swing isn’t messing up your back. A proper golf swing allows your body to share the load instead of your back bearing the brunt of it.
If you find yourself struggling with back pain, contact us. We can help get your back ready for the golf season.