Golf and back pain (particularly low back pain) go hand in hand, right? As golfers, we get told this ALL the time. Anyone who loves playing golf knows that golf injuries are a part of the game, especially low back pain.
The question then becomes how to alleviate back pain effortlessly because I assume that if you love this sport of golf as much as we do, then stopping play is not really a choice. If you have been a long term sufferer or have had ongoing back pain for years, you’ve probably spent thousands of dollars on braces, pain meds, and probably nothing has worked.
You’ve probably been told to strengthen your core, stretch hip flexors, and other like heat patches, but this only offers some temporary relief.
Well, why not find a permanent solution? I mean, why settle for temporary relief when there are more permanent options for a . You should try the services of the top physiotherapists in Singapore.
To do this without altering any swing or cutting down on playing time, then keep on reading, become the exception and defy the ‘golf is terrible for the back’ myth and keep enjoying playing golf.
The modern golf swing emphasizes the coiling of the upper body against a stable lower on the backswing, followed by rapid uncoiling during the swing and follow-through. This action places the many body parts, especially the back, hip, Backs, wrists, and the leading elbow at risk for injury.
Unlike professionals, amateur golfers are not as conditioned to make these motions. Although one would assume that professionals are at higher risk, both amateur and professional golfers commonly injure their backs, hips, elbows, shoulders, and wrists. And the injury rate is the same for amateurs as professionals — medical research states that 50% of ALL who play golf become injured. The most common cause of some of these injuries is overuse or poor mechanics – physical mechanics, swing mechanics, or both.
Moreover, Injury incidents increase with age, which is why research has shown that more than 50% of golfers will develop chronic problems as they grow older.
These are the 6 Most Common Mechanisms of Injury
- Poor body mechanics
- Poor swing biomechanics
- Excessive practice (Overuse)
- No regular, customized golf-specific exercise program
- Poor nutrition
- Improper club fitting
Let’s see some of the most common conditions and best techniques for treating low back pain from golf.
Although not the most common injury in golf, the back can still often be a problem. Golf-induced injury to the back accounts for less than 10 percent of all orthopedic golf injuries. However, recent surgeries to Tiger Wood’s back illustrate how the stress that golf puts on the back can affect a golfer’s performance.
Numerous underlying issues can cause back pain in golfers; among them is Facet Joint Syndrome, Herniated Discs, or Sacroiliac Joint Dysfunction. Most back injuries are due to rotational trauma on the spine. Moreover, in some cases (such as Tiger Wood’s case), the damage is chronic, resulting from excessive repeated spinal cord twisting and the loss of cartilage between the joints.
Ligament injuries to the back are common in golf, as the sport requires rotating the torso around fixed planted feet. These forces on the back can result in inflamed or even torn ligaments.
Facet Joint Syndrome
The facet joints between the vertebrae, for example, are the most often injured in golf. Similarly, this is known as the Facet joint syndrome, a common Back condition in golf. This condition is caused by an inflammation, softening, and deterioration of the cartilage surrounding the facet joints. Under normal conditions, the cartilage allows the joints to slide smoothly and allows the vertebrae to bend and twist with ease if you have the need; however, you will experience mild to severe back pain.
In younger individuals, this is typically caused by trauma, overuse, poor alignment of the Facet joint, or muscle imbalance as they grow. This leads to friction and grinding under the joints and results in damage to the surface of the cartilage.
A simple treatment for the inflammation, which is the common denominator of all joint injuries, a non-prescription, and non-steroidal, non-NSAID anti-inflammatory such as CM8 is a wise choice. A chiropractor would also be beneficial to relieve pain using soft tissue massages and customized physical therapy programs.
Besides, your back is easily susceptible to golf injuries simply because it is so active throughout the entire game, from walking to beginning your pre-shot routine, swinging the club, and stabilizing and supporting your body in the follow-through.
Shooting the ball from the hip is an issue that will affect your back because it is an unnatural motion requiring a flexible hip, without which problems are sure to ensue. Issues at the hips and Backs seem to intensify as you age as your body begins to lose its flexibility. Find leading physiotherapists in Singapore to help you with proven and most effective methods of restoring flexibility.
Studies of the professional golfers have shown that the herniated disc and especially the Lumbar Spine Herniated Disc and the Cervical Spine Herniated Disc are the most affected and are a significant cause of back pain.
The repeated stress to a degenerated disc may lead to tearing of the annulus, which is the tough exterior layer that protects the soft jelly-like nucleus. When this happens, the nucleus protrudes or bulges out the disc out of place.
Moreover, a herniated disc is quite painful and will limit the movement of the golfer around the course.
The treatment for this condition included spinal realignment and decompression therapy sessions. This is usually done by gently stretching the spine to create a vacuum effect between the affected patient’s vertebrae. This vacuum will pull the bulging discs back into place.
Sacroiliac Joint Dysfunction
The joint connects the spine and the hip, and this condition is caused when the two bones that connect it, which are the ilium and the sacrum, become misaligned.
The Sacroiliac joint requires a lot of stability to transfer the force of a downswing from the core and trunk to the legs. The repetitive motion from golf may, over time, chip away at the very stability of the joint, causing its weakness and subsequent pain.
Physical therapy, soft tissue massages, and spine realignment therapy are the most effective solutions for treating low back pain from golf.