Fore! Golfing on a beautiful, sunny Pacific Northwest Day is a great activity to keep a person active and healthy. But have you ever swung your golf club only to get a “kink” in your back? A recent study showed that low back pain is the number one injury sustained by golfers. These symptoms typically develop over time and can be due to faulty mechanics throughout the golf swing. To prevent these symptoms and allow for continued enjoyment of your golf game this summer, try some of these helpful tips.
- Have your clubs fit to your body specifications. Golf clubs that are too big or too small can lead to faulty swing mechanics therefore increasing your risk for injury, or an unsuccessful golf game!
- Play consistently (nothing like having the reasoning of “My physical therapist said I should play more!”)
- Push your cart instead of pulling. Pushing allows you to maintain better alignment of your back and shoulders, therefore reducing risk of injury.
- If not using a cart, use the dual straps on your golf club bag instead of a single strap. The dual straps distribute force more evenly across both shoulders.
- Use a longer putter which may decrease the strain on your low back throughout your golf game.
- Stay active with other forms of exercise, including a strong core exercise routine. The core muscles (consisting of your abdominals, low back, and pelvic floor muscles) are constantly used during the golf swing and if weak and fatigued, compensatory muscles that assist the core muscles are also at a higher risk for fatigue and injury. Excellent core exercises include the plank, side plank, bridges, and bird-dog. Not sure how to do these exercises? Talk to your Physical Therapist for more details.
Following some of these helpful hints will ensure an enjoyable and pain-free summer of golfing. See you on the course!
Brandis Graves, PT