16 Comments

  1. Mark

    I like the tip about an integrated golf bag stand that opens when the bag is set on the ground so that you don’t have to bend over. You’re right. Bending over to pick up a golf bag can stress the low back and lead to a muscle strain. I can attest to that because it has happened to me. I’ll follow your tip.

    • Hi Mark,

      Another tip that might help you is not to hunch over the ball too much; it may predispose you to neck strain and rotator cuff tendinitis. Yes, I have seen some pros hunch over the ball, but it’s not a good idea. Remember that natural smooth movements are the key to having a healthier back and thus a better game. Good luck.

  2. Fletcher

    Very informative article especially for a weekender golfer like myself. As I understand it, the objective of a golf swing is to develop significant clubhead speed, and to do this a lot of torque (force) and torsion (twisting) is applied to the low back. This is where all the problems with golf related back pain occurs. So it boils down to finding a smoother swing that’s less stressful on the back. I’m convinced after reading your post that I need to ask the advice of a pro, maybe take some lessons, to fix my swing. Thanks for the info.

    • Hi Fletcher,

      You’re right. Golfers should emphasize a smooth, rhythmic swing, as this produces less stress and less low back pain by minimizing the effort that the muscles have to make and by reducing less load on the joints. It’s a great idea to take lessons from a pro to fix your swing. It’s always for someone else to watch how your body moves as you set up your swing. Hey, Fletcher, let me know what happens.

  3. David

    Great topic! Listen, I have a friend who is a doctor and avid golfer. One thing that I always think about after talking to him is the importance of physicians understanding the various stages of the golf swing as well as the movements of the golfer to better diagnose and treat related injuries. The differences in a golfer’s swing could affect their risk of injury. For example I think pro golfers, because they are able to better control torque in their swing, sustain less injuries than amateurs. What do you think?

    • Hi David,

      High-handicap (amateur) golfers generate more power in their swing by using their upper extremity strength. This results in an inconsistent golf swing and makes these golfers more susceptible to back injuries.
      Low-handicap (professional) golfers have greater balance and flexibility, which enables them to use their body rotation to generate club speed, thus allowing the upper body to follow through. This reduces their risk of injury.

  4. Joel

    I have heard that the differences in a golfer’s swing could affect their risk of injury. Meaning that High-handicap (amateur) golfers generate more power in their swing by using their upper extremity strength. This results in an inconsistent golf swing and makes these golfers more susceptible to back injuries. what do you think?

    • Hi Joel,
      That’s correct. Low-handicap (professional) golfers have greater balance and flexibility, which enables them to use their body rotation to generate club speed, thus allowing the upper body to follow through. This reduces their risk of injury.

  5. Jason

    A few days ago I caught an interesting interview on Golf Central. It was Phil “Lefty” Mickelson revealing how Tiger Woods gave him tips on how to use his shoulders and hips in such away as to avoid a lot of strain on his back. At that time Phil was having problems with his back. In any case, after implementing Tiger’s suggestions, Phil swung with less pain and won more matches. It just goes to show you that even great golfers can have a swing that messes that wrecks their back. I enjoyed your post very much, and I wish you luck.

    • Hi Jason,

      Very well said. A bad swing creates a lot of stress on the lumbar spine to potentially injure the intervertebral discs. This means both pros and weekend golfers have to pay close attention to any sign that their swing is causing strain on the back. If they are not sure, they should do what Phil Mickelson did and ask the advice of a Professional golfer. It’a always easier for someone else to see what you’re doing wrong and thus offer constructive suggestions. Thanks for the kind words. It’s people like you that keep me going.

  6. Nicholas

    A very well written and informative post on golf-related pain. I know that wearing a lumbar brace can prevent golf-related back problems. Indeed, wearing an lumber brace significantly increases the side hip rotation angles at both the top and end of a swing, suggesting that wearing a lumber brace results in the greatest restriction of lumbar motion. That said, do you think the bulkiness of most lumber braces discourage golfers from using them inspire of their benefits?

    • Hi Nicholas,

      You are right about the impact that a lumber brace has on a golf swing. Wearing a lumbar brace while swinging a golf club can effectively decrease lumbar extension and rotation angles from impact until the end of the swing. This will decrease the pressure on the spine and greatly lessens the chance of back pain. However, the bulkiness of some lumber braces has indeed discouraged golfers from using them. But the modern golf braces are very light and not at all noticeable when worn underneath clothing. Thanks for checking in. I’m glad you enjoyed the article.

  7. I found the exercises with the tubing to be very interesting. I have had lower back pain ever since an injury 45+ years ago. I am going to have to try them out to see if it helps.

    • Hi Bo,
      I’m finding out that exercises are becoming the preferred method of treating back pain instead of pain pills. As a result pain management professionals are becoming more creative and seeking better ways of understanding exactly what muscles are effected when one experiences back pain. I think the exercises with the tubing reflects this step forward. I hope they help you.

  8. Great post. I am a weekend golfer. I play in a lot of charity tournaments with a scramble format so I don’t swing as often as I would if I were playing with a friend or two. But I’m always conscious of my swing, trying not to swing too hard. Definitely taking the time to stretch always helps!

    • Hi Todd,
      Looks like you’re doing all the right things by conditioning yourself before you take a swing through warm ups and stretching. Also it’s a great idea to avoid the “grip and rip” swing because that kind of hard, violent, swing will put too much strain on the spine and could result in injury. Just keep doing what you’re doing, paying attention to your swing, and you should have no back pain issues with your game. Thanks for checking in.

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