Golf Tips to Avoid Back Pain

Golfing and back pain can very often be related. Most golfers eventually experience back pain in one form or another, yet many continue to play despite their pain, possibly worsening their conditions.

Few golfers want to lose their favorite pastime to a back injury. However, the pain caused by a strained back muscle or a degenerative spine condition can make playing difficult or even impossible. It is critical to consult with your doctor if you have been diagnosed with a spine condition to make sure you are a physically cleared to play. If so, the following information can help you play this sport as safely as possible and limit the damage it can cause to the spine.

What causes back pain while playing golf?

Swinging a golf club requires a smooth, repetitive motion involving many different muscle groups in your neck, back, arms and legs. The motion must be performed extremely fast in order to be effective. This fast, repetitive motion puts tremendous stress on your upper and lower back muscles in particular, which may not be strong enough to handle the strain put on them.

Like other athletes, golfers tend to be very dedicated to their sport. Excessive playing and improper technique can lead to injuries. Anyone who experiences back pain from any activity should stop and rest immediately because continuing to play in pain can potentially worsen an injury or spine condition.

Tips to avoid golf back pain

  • Start slow. If you are new to golf or haven’t played in a while, don’t overdo it. Start with short practice sessions on the driving range before tackling the whole course.
  • Condition your body. Conditioning exercises that strengthen your core muscles can go a long way toward preventing injuries. Try to focus on exercises that incorporate rotation to prepare your body for the torque experienced while swinging a golf club.
  • Stretch. Golf requires a precise balance of strength and flexibility. Incorporating stretching into your conditioning routine will help your muscles remain supple. Stretching during and after your golf game also can alleviate building muscle tension.
  • Rest. This is an important part of keeping a healthy back. Swinging a golf club is not a movement that is natural to your body. Therefore, if you continue to play day after day, you are forcing your body to endure strain that it wasn’t designed to handle. Give yourself some time to recover between rounds. Most importantly, if you do feel back pain, stop playing until you can talk to your doctor for diagnosis and treatment.

Golfers dealing with spine conditions like a herniated disc or spinal arthritis can very often live a healthy and active lifestyle by following the tips above and working with their doctor to form a conservative treatment plan. Physical therapy, spinal injections, periods of rest, therapeutic massage and medication can be very effective. However, if you have exhausted conservative treatments and chronic back pain is keeping you off the greens, contact Laser Spine Institute. Our minimally invasive outpatient spine surgery has helped thousands of patients find relief since 2005.

We can help you receive a free MRI review* to determine if you are a potential candidate for one of our procedures.