How to avoid back pain when golfing: secrets to staying in the game and staying pain free

How to avoid back pain when golfing: secrets to staying in the game and staying pain free


It doesn’t matter whether you’re an amateur or a professional- back pain doesn’t discriminate.  Back pain is currently the number one injury that ails golf players every year.  Luckily, many causes of back pain when golfing have solutions, so you can address the causes and get back to playing pain-free golf!

What is causing my back pain when golfing?

1. Improper Hip Mobility

The hip is designed to be a mobile joint (this means it is meant to move).  If the hips lack rotation and extension, this can cause excess rotation and extension in the low back (the movement has to come from somewhere if the hips aren’t moving!).  The low back isn’t designed to take all of those combined stresses, so this will cause strain and injury in the low back.

2. Improper Spinal Biomechanics

The thoracic spine (middle/upper back) is responsible for rotation, which is critical throughout the entire golf swing.  If there are joint segments in the thoracic spine that aren not rotating properly (due to joint restriction), there is a greater stress placed on the segments that are rotating properly.  In addition, the lumbar spine and shoulders will try to compensate for the lack of rotation in the thoracic spine  (remember, the rotation has to come from somewhere!)  The segments that are forced to move more are predisposed to degeneration and injury, and the lumbar spine and shoulder are at risk for injury too.

3. Weak Core Muscles

The core is responsible for explosive power movements and keeping the lumbar spine (low back) protected (among other things).  Having a weak core means the low back muscles (erectors) have to work harder to keep the trunk upright and stable during the swing.  Overusing these muscles (in place of the core) will cause strain, pain, and a weak swing.

How can I improve my back pain when golfing?

Aside from practicing the proper biomechanics of a golf swing and doing an adequate warm up, here are a few things that could greatly reduce your low back pain when golfing.

1. Hip stretches, hip mobilizations and adjustments

Mobilization and adjustments of the hip joints helps to increase the intra-articular joint space, and helps get the joint fluid moving better, which will help prevent premature degeneration (and will help keep hips that are currently degenerating from getting worse).  Hip adjustments also help increase the movement of the joint, and chiropractors can do this.  Below are a few hip stretches.

hip flexor stretch

spiderman hip stretch mobility

2. Spinal Adjustments and mobilization

Lower back and thoracic spine adjustments will help normalize the motion in the spine and keep the joints moving and mobile.  If there are joint segments in the spine that aren’t moving as well as the other joints, it puts greater stresses on the joints that are moving (the movement has to come from somewhere!)  In other words, the joints that are moving will compensate for the joints that aren’t moving properly, and it can lead to premature degeneration and pain.  Spinal adjustments will also increase your range of motion, which is great for your golf swing!

spinal biomechanics mobility motion for golfer low back pain

3. Core Activation and Strengthening

Proper core activation (of the inner muscles of the back) will help stabilize the lumbar spine, which will help take the stress on the outer muscles of the back.  When the deep inner muscles of the back (an integral part of the core) don’t activate properly, it puts more stress on the outer muscles of the back.  These outer muscles aren’t designed to take on the whole job of the core, so this can make them feel tight and painful.  Below are just a few core exercises.

dead bug core activation to reduce back pain in frederick md

ball core activation to reduce back pain in frederick md 2 (301) 620-1008 If you have any questions as to what other exercises and stretches you can do, or if you have questions about how chiropractic can help your golf game, please contact me!
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