Playing Golf is an enjoyable sport and activity for many people. You’re probably a golf fanatic yourself- that might be why you’re here.
On the down side, the twisting and turning involved in this sport could put your back at risk. Don’t worry, this guide has been compiled to give you a few tips to get you back in the swing.
Practice a Few Swings
To get you started in helping your golf game if you suffer from a bad back, we would suggest a few practice swings. Start by taking out the putter you think you will use the most in your rounds.
Exercise a couple of steady and simple swings with the putter up until you feel flexible.
After a few practice putts, you can mix it up a little by adding chips, pitches, and flops toto end your warm up swing.
Doing this will help your body to gradually recuperate allowing you to get the needed body motions to play.
Remember to hold the rhythm of your swing steady and gentle for at least the first 15 swings of each set. Slowly increase your tempo swings as you reach the end of each set.
Keep your Playing Surface Level
Look out for playing areas that are flat for every hole and when you swing. Playing on an even surface ensures that you have enough hip rotation. It can also help improve your ability to move and even out your spine.
Using Good Form During Your Golf Swing
Using good form is important to your golf sawing in any situation. Let’s go into a few pointers you can use to add a decent swing, while not hurting your back in the process.
Reduce your Swing Length
You can avoid injuring your back by means of using the right body placement in the backswing, downswing, impact, and finish.
Making smaller swings can help you keep your balance, improve your flexibility slowly and without harm. This will also lessen strain on your back.
Bend your right knee and left shoulder down for your backswing.
As you are about to go into your backswing, make sure that you keep your right knee bent as you turn your left shoulder downward. Doing just that will let you go into a downswing in a suitable position which can take away uneasiness and stop injury or extra agony.
Squat in The Downswing
Moving from the backswing towards your downswing, lock into your thigh and butt muscles as you slowly squat down. This gentle squat motion helps with moving sideways which decreases how much you rotate your back and hips. Doing this will lessen pain in your back while stopping more pressure or injury.
Keep Your Body Weight Over Your Left Leg at Impact.
Doublecheck and ensure that most of your body weight is over your left leg while moving from your downswing to impact. Important to note to keep you head still.
See if your shoulders and hips are even and opening as you move.
Make changes to your back- and downswings in case your body weight is over the right leg. This means you have used your spine to rotate in the direction of your target. This ensures that you don’t put too much tension on your back or cause additional pain.
Push Your Pelvis Toward the Target to Finish
Drive forward with your hips in the direction of your target hole. Stand upright as the ball moves towards the target. This can take away stress on your back and ensure that each swing becomes more comfortable.
Symptoms of Golf-Related Low Back Pain
There are a few warning signs you have to look out for if you have sustained a lower back injury because of your golfing activities. They include:
Backache on one side of the lower back
Golf related lower back pain can typically be felt on your dominant side. In other words, a right handed player can experience pain on their right side while a left handed golfer will experience pain on the left.
The side which is usually farthest away from the target normally experiences the most force throughout the swing.
Soreness that ranges toward the hip or thigh.
Spinal disorders, such as a herniated cervical disc or spondylosis, can get worse by golfing and can also add extra pain in areas underneath your lower back.
Lower back pain
The biggest problem with lower back pain is that it restricts flexibility in both the lower back and hips. Not giving attention to this can add to other problems such as bending or walking on inclines.
Golfing After an Operation On the Spine
If you are going for a back or spine operation or you might have been through one recently, the good news is that you will be able to step on the green again after some recovery time. Even though you will be able to play golf again, this is mostly reliant on the time you take and ultimately need to recover.
Other factors that determine when you will be able to play again include
- The nature of your injury and your current general health
- The surgical technique that has been used
- The outcome of the surgery
Prevention is Better Than Cure
Obviously accidents can happen. However, there are quite a few things you can do to improve your health and avoid injuring your back on the course.
Warming Up Before Stepping Up
It might happen that you are running late for your round. You run off, eager to get to the course and tee off. Excited to play a few rounds, you forget to do a few warm ups. This is a big no-no and you could end up paying the price later on. Taking proper care of your back, and body in general, is worth a lot more than enjoying the game as a whole.
Warming up merely takes a few minutes before you tee off.
In all cases it would be best to get to the course as early as you can. Before playing you should do a few stretches before warming up and playing. Doing this will allow you to perform better and sidestep a few injuries. We will discuss a few practical ways to warm on a little later.
Change the Way You Swing
As we get older our body changes in many ways and we will have to adapt to this. With each season you could find it a bit challenging to swing.
Relax and take it easy, you are here to enjoy the game as best as you can. Golf is all about playing the game and relishing in the community and exercise that comes with it.
You can also consider changing equipment that would be better for your game. Consider replacing those old clubs that you bought years ago when your swinging speed was quicker. You should probably consider upgrading as using old clubs and swinging harder can do more harm to your back than good.
Stay Fit Off the Course
Taking care of your core is a must for your back. The muscles around your stomach and back are fundamental to assisting your spine. Building up your core diminishes the threat of getting injured as you swing and bend.
Taking part in activities such as yoga can be beneficial for strengthening your core. Think about doing other activities that will help avoid repetitive motion injuries. You will find massive benefits in exercises such as aerobic workouts, walking, running, and swimming.
Go to The Doctor
Many golfers fail to consult with a medical physician when experiencing back pain. They dread the day that the men in white would utter the words “No more golf for you.”
Obviously they are just looking out for your good health and getting to the cause of the problem can help you manage back pain better. The sooner this is looked into, the better your chances are at getting back in the game.
Did you know that many golf-related back injuries can be managed with medication and physical therapy? But greater back injuries could leave you needing surgery. At the first sign of noticing some back injury or discomfort after your golf game, it would be best to see a medical professional before the situation gets worse
Practical Ways to Warm Up
Earlier we touched on the importance of warming up This is as important as keeping decent posture, and generally listening to your body. We have lined up two practical things you can do to warm up before you play.
Speak to a doctor about stretches that can lighten the pain in your back. You should do these stretches before and after every round.
Here are a few stretches you can do to loosen your back muscles.
- Hold a golf club behind your neck and shoulders. Grip both ends of the club with your hands while moving your chest gently from side to side from your hips. This will help loosen your shoulders
- You can stretch your hips by laying on the floor and pulling one knee to your chest. Move your leg back to the floor and do this again with your other knee.
- Bending over and touching your toes can help stretch your hamstrings. If you are having trouble touching the floor, just let your body hang over your legs about 30 seconds.
Warm Up by Cooling Down
You can use anything cold like an ice pack on your back for 30-60 minutes before playing. Hold it on your back for about 20 minutes and then remove it.
Effectively cooling your back before a round of golf can decrease inflammation and redness that can cause pain.
Doing this will let you enjoy your game with not as much pain or even none at all.
Just remember to use a towel or cloth between the ice pack to avoid frostbite.
Get Good Shoes
Your feet are the anchor of your golf game and can have a significant effect on your back. Bad shoes may be the cause or even add to your back pain.
Having shoes that are of good quality for golf will nurture your spinal placement and standing posture. They will also let you be more comfortable during the course of your rounds. Also, you might end up enjoying the long walks on the course.
Attributes of good golfing shoes include:
- The ability to engage the impact from the forces produced by your swing
- Being able to soothe your feet with a cozy fit
- Even weight distribution around the sole
- Keep a good grip
- Have a helpful and tough raised arch
- Are fitted with personalized shoe inserts
Pay attention to your back and body. Don’t push yourself too hard throughout your golf game. Enjoy as many holes as you are physically capable of doing and take frequent breaks. Take note of signs of pain and end your game to avoid added uneasiness or physical harm.