Golf and Back Pain by Thumper

by Admin on January 13, 2010

Reducing their score is not the only worry on golfer’s minds these days. PGA players and amateur golfers suffer from back problems that don’t just hurt their backs but their scores as well. Reducing back problems may be the most important concern for golfers looking for long term enjoyment from the game.


A typical response to experiencing back pain is to “take it easy”—either staying in bed or at least stopping any activity that is at all strenuous. While this approach is understandable and may even be recommended in the short term, when done for more than a day or two it can actually undermine healing. Instead, active forms of back exercises are almost always necessary to rehabilitate the spine and help alleviate back pain.


When done in a controlled, gradual, and progressive manner, active back exercises distribute nutrients into the disc space and soft tissues in the back to keep the discs, muscles, ligaments and joints healthy. Consequently, a regular routine of lower back exercises and stretches help golfers avoid stiffness and weakness, minimize recurrences of lower back pain, and reduce the severity and duration of possible future episodes of low back pain.


The most important muscles to target during stretching exercises:

·        Hamstrings in the back of the leg to aid correct posture while sitting and   standing, support the gluteus muscles in the buttocks and minimize stress on the low back.

·        Piriformis, which run from the back of the femur (thigh bone) to the sacrum (base of the spine).

·        Psoas major, which is attached to the front portion of the lower spine.

·        Gluteus muscles, which support hip flexibility as well as the pelvis.


Keep the following in mind when starting a stretching routine

·        Stretching should be pain free; do not force the body into difficult positions.

·        Move into the stretch slowly and avoid bouncing, which may actually tear muscles.

·        Hold stretches long enough (20-30 seconds) to allow muscles and joints to become loose.

·        Repeat the stretch, generally 4-5 times.


Tight back muscles are the leading cause of golf related back problems. Twisting and turning action that is required to play golf takes its toll on the spine and back muscles. Injuries are far more likely when muscles are cold, so measures should be taken to warm the back up before, during and after golf. Golfers should warm up slowly and stretch with caution.


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