As any golfer will tell you, having a sore back can have a real impact on your golf game – never mind your daily life. A good golf swing is contingent on proper rotation of the spine and the ability to smoothly transfer weight, which can be greatly inhibited if you’re suffering from soreness in your neck or lower back. And one of the leading causes of this pain, particularly in the aging population, is a condition known as spinal stenosis, or simply, back stenosis.
In order to swing a golf club, a lot of working parts in the spinal column need to function correctly. Facet joints interlock and stabilize the vertebrae; intervertebral discs are located in between the vertebrae and cushion the spine; nerve roots travel through vertebral canals – known as foramina – before exiting into the body. Yet, if any of these features are interfered with, painful back problems can follow. Back stenosis, for example, refers to the narrowing of the foramina (spaces) created by the vertebrae. This can take two forms:
- Spinal stenosis – the narrowing of the spinal canal where the spinal cord is located, eventually leading to nerve compression and, most commonly, chronic local pain at the site of compression.
- Vertebral stenosis – the narrowing of the canals in between the vertebrae where the nerve roots enter and exit the spinal cord. Nerve compression can lead to neural interference and pain transference along the nerve.
The Wear and Tear of a Good Golf Game
It’s no great secret that playing golf puts strain on the back and neck. Over time, as a result of this wear and tear (and other factors), the spinal anatomy may begin to deteriorate. Vertebral joints become stricken with arthritis, intervertebral discs become thinned or herniated, bone spurs develop, and soft tissue inflames. Back stenosis occurs when dislodged or overgrown tissue clogs the foramen and pinches the nerves.
Treatment from Laser Spine Institute (LSI)
At Laser Spine Institute (LSI), we understand the impact back stenosis can have on a golf game and we are proud to offer minimally invasive, outpatient procedures to get our patients hitting the fairway, comfortably, once again. To learn more about back stenosis and to request a free review of your MRI or CT scan, contact us today.