How pain from a herniated disc can affect your golf swing

Chronic pain from a herniated disc can force you to change your lifestyle and can make you hesitate to perform even the simplest tasks. Even a routine activity like bending down to tie your shoes can become a challenge. For some patients, the pain of a herniated disc can impact the pastimes they once enjoyed. A complicated physical act like swinging a golf club, which requires smooth, repeated integration of body movement from head to toe, can be almost impossible when you are debilitated by the pain of a herniated disc.

Understanding how a herniated disc may affect your golf swing can help you and your physician find an effective method of treatment so you can get back to the game you enjoy.

How does a herniated disc affect your golf swing?

If you have a herniated disc in the lumbar (lower) spine, you may be experiencing the following symptoms:

  • Tingling or numbness through the buttocks and legs
  • Pain
  • Muscle weakness
  • Delayed reflexes

These symptoms can prevent you from using your lower body to establish a base for proper balance during your golf swing. In the cervical (upper) region of the spine, a herniated disc can cause these symptoms to appear in the arms and upper body, limiting the shoulder turn necessary to produce a fluid, powerful swing.

If you are a golfer and suspect you have a herniated disc, understand that you aren’t alone: 40 percent of amateur and professional golfers experience back pain. Talk to your doctor about ways you can treat your condition so you can get back out on the green.

Preventing and treating disc pain

Here are a few steps you can take to limit the potential for a golf-related back problem:

  • Enlist the aid of a fitness professional to develop a golf-specific workout program geared toward your body type and physical capabilities.
  • Take lessons from a golf pro to make sure you use proper swing mechanics.
  • Repetition will improve your swing and help your muscles become accustomed to the required movement.
  • Make sure you use clubs that are the right length and shafts that have the right flexibility for your type of game.
  • Always perform a golf-specific warm-up routine before hitting balls on the range or playing a round.

If pain from a herniated disc won’t allow you to enjoy a day on the golf course and you’ve exhausted conservative treatments, contact Laser Spine Institute to learn how our minimally invasive spine surgery may help you find relief from neck or back pain — and get you back on the links.

To date, our minimally invasive decompression and stabilization procedures have helped more than 75,000 patients find relief from chronic neck and back pain so they can return to their active lifestyles. One of these patients is Natalie Gulbis, professional golfer in the LPGA Tour. After minimally invasive spine surgery at Laser Spine Institute, Natalie was able to return to the tour without being hindered by back pain.

If you’re suffering from chronic neck or back pain, contact Laser Spine Institute today. We can review your MRI report or CT scan at no cost* to determine if you may be a candidate for one of our minimally invasive procedures.