How To Prevent Back Pain When Playing Golf
by Gary Watts
Firstly, I do not claim to be a champion golfer! I have played on and off for many years, and nowadays, I play 18 holes of 'Screen Golf' (indoor with a golf simulator. It even has a moving platform to replicate real courses) once a month and try to go to the driving range once a month or so, too.
One thing I do know about is the dreaded stiff back the next day. All that smashing clubs on the floor in frustration takes its toll!
When we think about common golf injuries, the name that usually pops up is Tiger Woods. However, you don't need to be the greatest golfer ever to suffer from serious back injuries if you're not careful.
Since golf is a muscle memory game, the continuous twisting motions can lead to inflammation, injuries in the spine discs, and strains, which can sideline you for quite some time.
What Are The Common Back Injuries Associated With Playing Golf
These are also known as myofascial injuries or tight and injured muscles due to excessive strain while playing golf.
Herniation of Discs
This is caused due to injuries in the spine and the cushion pads displaced between the vertebrae.
Spondylitis is a kind of arthritis that causes inflammation in the joints and ligaments of the spine. It may also affect nearby joints like the knees, ankles, and hips.
So, the next time you decide to hit the 18-hole golf course, consider these few simple steps to avoid getting benched.
Tips and Tricks To Avoid Back Pain While Playing Golf
Practice Proper Form
If you are a recent retiree passionate about playing golf, remember that your mind is prepared, but your body could be more agile. The sudden introduction of a golf swing can cause injury. Make sure you have proper form and posture.
Even if you have youth on your side, the average golfer may swing 100 times in an 18-hole game (only 2% of golfers can do under 80!), so getting your form right is vital.
Stretching is essential in back pain prevention. Take your time to hit the course, even if you are running late. Take ample time to limber up. Stretch your entire back - upper, middle and lower, the neck and the shoulders followed by a few practice swings. As you feel a bit pumped, slowly increase the pace. Here is a great YouTube video for some quick warm-ups before you swing
Limit Putting Excessive Force On Your Lower Back
Younger golfers are more inclined to put maximum power into their swing while playing golf. Slow your swing down, focusing on your form and your back, and your game will thank you.
Carry Your Golf Bag With Care
An average golf bag usually weighs around 25 to 30 pounds. While there are benefits to carrying your own bag, be careful to protect your back. Dual strapped bags can help distribute the weight, and remember to bend with your knees when picking your bag up.
Cool Down After The Round
Golf is a thirsty game, but don't rush into the clubhouse for your post-match pint just yet! Cooling down after any sport is vital, and golf is no different. It relaxes your muscles and brings down your heart rate and blood pressure. Try stretching out at the end of your round for 5 minutes to avoid muscle cramps.
Use The Yoback Before and After Your Round
The Yoback is an excellent tool to help you stretch and cool down after golf. The following exercises will help to reduce muscle soreness before or after a round:
- Stretch out your calves on the single pieces, followed by calf raises.
- Lie down and loosen your lumbar spine.
- Childs pose to open up your chest and shoulders.
- Bodyweight squats to build stronger knees.
- The whole wheel to roll out and decompress your spine
- Reclining pigeon on the single pieces for your hips.