Collapsed Disc | Golf

Collapsed Disc Golf

Golf is an extremely popular sport that is played worldwide by people of all ages. It’s great exercise, a social event and can have a number of long-term health benefits. The lone detriment to playing golf regularly is the potential for back pain and its contribution to the onset of a collapsed disc or other degenerative spine condition. However, there are a number of steps that the savvy golfer can take to limit the wear and tear this sport causes on the spine.

The golf swing

As any golfer understands, the proper golf swing requires significant pivot around the lumbar spine in the lower back, along with a significant transfer of weight. Over the course of 18 holes of golf, the average golfer can end up taking several hundred swings when you factor in practice swings of the golf club before addressing the ball. The problem with this repetitive activity is that it puts additional strain on the spine, particularly in the lower back. A collapsed disc can occur as a result of frequent golfing when the tough outer walls of an intervertebral disc become worn to the point that the gel-like inner disc material seeps into the spinal canal and compresses a spinal nerve. This can cause significant back pain, sciatic pain and other symptoms that require treatment to alleviate.

Helpful tips

In order to limit the chance of developing a collapsed disc as a result of your time on the golf course, there are a number of steps you can take:

  • Hire a personal trainer to help you strengthen your neck and back muscles.
  • Thoroughly stretch out your back muscles prior to beginning a round of golf.
  • Take time at the practice range to slowly warm up; begin with short swings of the wedge and gradually build toward full swings with a wood.
  • Take a break for lunch at the turn.
  • Don’t overdo it. Golf is about rhythm and timing, and swinging too hard is a good way to damage your spinal anatomy.
  • Complete cool down exercises after the round to keep limber and loose.

There is a lot of fun to be had on the golf course, and with the proper approach you can greatly limit the chances of developing a collapsed disc or other degenerative disc problem. If you already experience chronic pain due to a collapsed disc and are considering surgical treatment, contact Laser Spine Institute to learn how one of our minimally invasive, outpatient procedures can help you find relief from neck or back pain.