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Why Your Back Hurts After a Round of Golf

Did you know that according to Dr. Greg Rose’s, The Golfer’s Guide to Lower Back Pain – Part 1, lower back pain is the most common ailment suffered by golfers of all ages”? Interestingly enough, your back is typically not the cause of your pain, and there are steps you can take to eliminate that pain.

Dr. Greg Rose explains that “more often than not, abnormal motions or forces coming from adjacent or distant areas of the body force the lower back to do excessive work until it completely breaks down itself. In other words, the lumbar spine is usually the area that is being unnecessarily overworked to the point of injury.”

Common back injuries for golfers include:

  1. Pulled muscles

  2. Bulging or ruptured discs

  3. Degenerative arthritis

  4. Bone fractures

Injury prevention Specialist Dennis Borg elaborated a little more on why golfers get back pain: “The simple answer is compensatory motion for other joints not doing their job. Typically, when a golfer has low back pain, the hips and thoracic spine are to blame. These two areas of the body are meant to have a decent amount of rotational range of motion and should be significant contributors in the rotational movement of the golf swing. When a joint does not provide the body with the range of motion and/or stability they are supposed to, the body will look to another joint to compensate. In this case when the hips and/or thoracic spine aren’t functioning properly, the lower back is asked to pick up the slack, doing more work than it is designed to do. The lumbar spine is not designed to produce large amounts of range of motion like the hips and thoracic spine. Instead, it is supposed to be stable. Putting the mobility requirements on the lumbar spine takes away from its stability function and increases the risk of injury to the area.”

In order to identify where some of these inefficiencies may exist in your swing, and what you can do to eliminate them, The Micheli Center offers a 3D Golf Analysis. Dennis described how this analysis is used to reduce your risk for injury while on the course: “The 3D Golf Analysis consists of a physical assessment as well as an evaluation of the athlete’s swing. I start by assessing the mobility and stability qualities for every golfer starting from basic and working toward the sport specific requirements to find any factors that could hinder their golf swing. Then I assess the golf swing using a 3D motion capture system. This allows me to look at the golfer’s ability to use their physical capabilities during the golf swing. The 3D analysis allows me to measure the ranges of motion in every joint of the body with precision rather than some of the guess work involved in a 2D video analysis. This will help me find the contributing factors to swing flaws, mishits, and risk of injuries. After the assessment is complete, each golfer will come back for an hour long follow-up appointment where I present my findings to them with a game plan to address what was found.”

For more information on golfing injuries, take a look at these articles:

Dr. Greg Rose – The Golfer’s Guide to Lower Back Pain Part 1’s_guide_to_lower_back_pain_part_1

Golf Digest – 4 Steps to Save Your Back

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