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How to Deal With Back Injuries in Golf

August 25, 2014

Tips for a Golf Related Back Injury

Back related golf injuries seem to be extremely common these days. Almost every time we hear that a major golf athlete is injured it’s back related. Whether it’s a muscle strain or bulging disc, these injuries can be easily prevented.Minnesota PGA Back Injury Tips

Many back injuries from golf are due to muscle strains. Muscle strains most commonly occur during rough or forceful swings and most frequently during a sudden shift in your downswing. Many players also complain of muscle or tendon attachment pain due to simple overuse. Beginner golfers can also suffer from tendon or muscle pain due to abnormalities in their swing and bad technique which can put unusual strain on their back muscles. More seriously, disc injuries which are also due to swing abnormalities, can sideline golfers for more extended periods of time.

Despite being so common back injuries can be easily avoided with a few simple exercises:

Always Warm Up Before Playing Golf

Heading straight for the course without first warming up is one of the worst things you can do as a golfer. Before playing a round of golf it’s important to do some basic stretches. Stretching your torso, shoulders and hips are a great way to prevent injury.

  • First, hold the golf club behind your neck and shoulders and then rotate in order to stretch your torso and loosen up your muscles.
  • In order to stretch your hips try bringing your knee up to your chest. This will help you move easier through your swing without straining your back.
  • Also, it doesn’t hurt to stretch your hamstrings by bending over and touching your toes. Stretching as many parts of your body as you can will allow for greater range of motion for your swing.

Practice Swinging Before You Play

Heading to the range or golf course and hitting the  ball as hard as you can could lead to back injury. Try doing some light swings to warm up your muscles. Allowing your muscles to slowly warm up will help decrease your chance of injury. Doing some simple golf swings that are slower and gentler before going all out will help reduce your chance of injury or strain. By doing some gentle swings you will prepare your body for the torque and torsion that occurs during a golf swing.

Take a Lesson

While every golfer could use a quick technique tune-up, beginner golfers could greatly reduce their risk of back injury by learning proper technique. Having a smooth, rhythmic swing lessens the chance of back injuries as it puts less strain on the body. When players have good technique the shoulders, hips and lower spine all rotate evenly distributing the load which leads to less strain on your back. Taking a lesson with a PGA Professional can help you stay on track and check your technique.

Treating Back Injuries

While preventing injuries is much easier than treating them, sometimes accidents do happen. When treating back injuries do the following:

  • Rest. Taking a day or two to recover will allow your muscles and spine to relax and help them heal. Further stressing your muscles and spine will only increase recovery time.
  • Try using heat and ice to help lessen the pain. Taking some sort of pain reliever may also help.
  • Doing some light stretches and exercise is advisable. Light aerobic exercise such as walking can be beneficial.
  • If serious pain lasts for more than two-six weeks it is best to see a doctor in case of an underlying problem or serious injury.

Back injuries are common, but easily avoidable. By following these warm up tips you can help prevent back injuries and keep yourself out on the course instead of on the couch.

The Minnesota Section PGA consists of PGA Professionals who are experts in the game and business of golf. Our mission is to promote the enjoyment and involvement of the game of golf and to contribute to its growth by providing services to golf professionals, the golf industry, people who play golf or would like to start playing golf. PGA Section Offices oversee the 41 geographic regions throughout the United States and provide the grass-roots network for the nation’s 25 million amateur golfers and with the PGA’s 27,000 members.

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