Golf is an excellent form of low impact aerobic exercise, especially if you walk the course as opposed to using a golf cart. But did you know that golf and lower back pain have an undeniable link?
Lower back pain is by far the most common ailment of golfers, regardless of their age. In fact, 28% of golfers deal with lower back pain on a regular basis. Even 23% of professional golfers report playing with lower back pain.
So what about golf causes so many avid players pain? The main culprit is the golf swing. From the backswing to the follow-through, your spine rotates with a great deal of force and not very much control. What’s more is that forceful golf swing often strains your spinal muscles, specifically in the lumbar region.
Even the act of bending to pick up your golf bag, club, or ball can strain your back. So, how can you reap the aerobic benefits and ensure a pain-free golf season? Keep reading to learn more.
Tips to Enjoy a Pain-Free Golf Season
Warm Up and Stretch
For starters, you can begin every game with a proper warmup and stretching session. Practicing smooth, easy swings is a great warmup. After that, make sure to stretch your shoulders, torso, hips, and even your hamstrings.
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Learn Proper Form and Posture
Another great way to prevent injury is to learn proper form and posture. Not only will doing so help prevent injury, but it may even improve your game! You want to focus on a smooth, rhythmic golf swing with good balance, making sure to maintain the same spine angle throughout the entire swing.
Update Your Equipment
Updating your golfing equipment might also help save your lower back. Choose a golf bag with a built-in stand to avoid having to lift it off the ground and dual-straps to carry the weight evenly across your back. You can even rent or purchase a push cart, allowing you to walk the course without having to carry your clubs.
When you do have to pick up a piece of equipment – yes, even the golf ball – make sure to use the proper lifting techniques below:
- Always face the direction you are lifting.
- Bend at your hips and lift with your legs, not your back.
- Avoid twisting your back. Instead, pivot your entire body.
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Next time you hit the course, make sure to implement the tips above for a pain-free golf game. For more helpful information on keeping your spine happy and healthy, subscribe to our monthly Healthy Back Newsletter below.