We all love playing golf. But how often has the memory of a glorious game been spoilt by the back pain you feel later or when you wake up the next day. Lower back pain is by far the most common ailment suffered by golfers of all ages. One US survey into over 31,000 golfers found 28.1% of all players deal with lower back pain after every round. Lower back pain is also the most common complaint seen amongst professional golfers on all tours (data suggest over 23% play with lower back pain).
What causes lower back pain?
It is almost certainly not the golf clubs. What’s more the lower back is rarely the original cause of the pain! It may be where you feel the pain but more often than not the pain is caused by abnormal forces in other parts of the body. It is due more to the lack of mobility seen in the ankles, hips, thoracic spine and shoulders of many golfers which forces the lower back to carry all of these excessive loads and is the primary cause for most back injuries. The lumbar spine is usually the area that is being unnecessarily overworked to the point of injury. If you play golf with lower back pain your body will compensate affecting your swing probably making the condition worse. But it does not have to be like that.
What can you do?
- Warm up before play. Going directly to the tee, pulling out the driver, and then trying to hit the cover off the ball is probably the surest way to strain muscles and result in low back pain. Always warm-up before starting to golf with simple stretching and easy swings.
- Improve your swing. Unless you are Bubber Watson, for most of us a golf swing is not natural or intuitive. To avoid a low back injury, work with a golf pro when starting to play the game. Most golf pros will analyse the swing using video technology and suggest changes to improve the way you use your body to minimise stress on your back, hips and knees. Golf lessons are also important for senior golfers who have decreased flexibility and strength.
- Recover after play. Six to eight hours of good sleep is the time when the body repairs and rebuilds. Without that necessary sleep, most players will wake up sore. An old, sagging, lumpy mattress will not support your back creating pressure points which impedes blood flow causing pain. A Mouletec Luxury Mattress has been designed by back care practitioners and checked by NHS and specialist sleep departments in UK universities. Its unique pressure relieving structure has been fine tuned to produce deep relaxing sleep while supplying the best bad back support available.
For chronic conditions seek medical advice. For those with a tendency to back pain, you should seek professional advice from a chartered pyshiotherapist