The Physiotherapy Partners have many years experience in the treatment of of sporting injuries and a have a practise in both Kidderminster and Halesowen with another soon opening in Knowle near Solihull.
Golf is a sport that many people enjoy. On the face of it, it doesn’t appear all that rigorous but yet injuries do happen and in fact affect a large proportion of golfers every year (as much as 20% of players.) Ailments picked up through playing golf can include elbow, shoulder, foot and knee pain but lower back pain is the most commonly experienced injury and accounts for approximately a fifth of all golfing injuries, so if you are experiencing back pain after playing golf, you are certainly not alone!
Many golf injuries are simply due to overuse but as all golfers continually strive to hit the ball further, harder and straighter, traumatic injuries can occur. Recreational players perhaps unsurprisingly sustain more injuries than professional level players and these tend to be due to be poor technique. Professional golfers’ injuries tend to be more down to repeated action and the explosive power invested. Overuse type injuries may happen more with age and it can often be that an injury sustained in the past through some other activity can be exacerbated by golf.
Swing technique is the biggest cause of back pain in recreational golfers. Improving swing technique alongside general physical fitness; flexibility, strength and endurance results in less likelihood of harm as does consciously trying to swing slower. Controlling a swing to be at 85-90% full capacity rather than going all out will help. Some people have a natural swing style that puts pressure on the lower back and seeking coaching can help break bad habits such as this.
Putting technique also causes back pain and it is recommended to take instruction to ensure posture is correct and not resulting in hunching over or bending the upper back. In some cases, a change of clubs could help.
Another often overlooked cause of back pain in golfers is the handling and carrying of the club bag. Carrying any bag over one shoulder increases likelihood of back pain. You are far less likely to suffer if you use a bag on wheels or a caddy but if that isn’t a possibility, try and keep ensure the bag is as light as it can practically be, regularly change which shoulder you carry the bag on and pick it up with care bending and lifting from the knees.
Something that will help in many facets of your golf game is improving core strength. The core muscles are key and keep your body balanced during any activity. Great golfers always maintain a good posture throughout a swing through excellent core strength.
To avoid future back pain from playing golf, it is advisable to first seek the advice of a physiotherapist to get to the root cause of the issue. Don’t continue to play and experience pain. The Physiotherapy Partners offer a range of services which not only can alleviate current symptoms but prevent future recurrence. Manager of the Physiotherapy Partners Kidderminster practise Paul Dando is an avid golfer himself so is best placed to assist those experiencing lower back pain as a result of playing golf.
Photo credit: Chris Kuga