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Golf Anyone!

Golf and Low Back Pain

Warmer weather = an increase in outdoor and recreational activities.

One of the most revered of all is golf. There are over 26 million amateur golfers in the United States.  Unfortunately, many golfers endure countless injuries as a result of the game. The most common being low back pain.

Golf is a very physically demanding sport

Golf is often thought of as an easy and low intensity sport but in fact it’s quite the opposite. Studies show that when amateur golfers are driving a golf ball off the tee they achieve approximately 90% of their peak muscle activity! This is equivalent to lifting a weight that can only be lifted 4 times before total fatigue! This occurs hole after hole and if the player is not in the best physical shape injuries will occur. Many who play golf are considered the “weekend warrior” types. These are individuals who spend most of the week behind a desk and then when the weekend comes they do anything they can to get in as many rounds of golf as possible. However, they aren’t in the proper physical shape to keep up with this high intensity sport.

Another major problem with the golf swing is that it is a unilateral sport – the body is only moving in one direction. As you do this you are repeatedly contracting a certain set of muscles and stretching the opposite ones. This creates a problem with the average golfer who is swinging their club well over 100 times each round! By performing this unilateral motion so many times they are setting up muscle imbalances, which over time will lead to injury.

Warmup Tip

One simple tip to avoid this, is to take light practice swings in the opposite direction before each hole. So for a right handed golfer they would take 5 practice swings gently left handed. It will feel awkward but by doing so they will be helping to even-out this muscle imbalance

With the constant twisting motion associated with golf it is vital that golfers have enough range of motion in their spines to perform the task at hand. If they don’t, they will try and make up for this lack of motion by excessively moving other parts of their bodies – resulting in injury. Improving spinal rotation can be done through stretching, special rotational exercises, and chiropractic adjustments. Chiropractic treatment is excellent at restoring/maintaining spinal mobility. A chiropractor who deals with sports injuries and/or correcting movement dysfunction is recommended.

If golfers can increase their spinal range of motion they are better able to tolerate the repeated swings. They are also able to produce more fluid swings with better power, in turn improving their driving distance and accuracy overall. What golfer wouldn’t want that?

Your in Health,

Dr David Oliver, DC, SFMA

Move Well Chiropractic



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