The excitement surrounding the Zurich Classic and the warmer weather undoubtedly have golfers dusting off their clubs and heading out to the range. To make sure our friends who golf have a great time without tweaking their back, we’ve created a list of back pain prevention tips. Players who follow the tips give themselves an opportunity to focus on playing well without having to worry about golfer’s back pain.
Prevention Tip #1: Don’t Over Do It
Sprains and strains are the most common culprits of acute golfer’s back pain. In golf, the number one cause of strains and sprains happens at the driving range. Pounding buckets of balls can really take a toll on the back. Especially if breaks aren’t taken every couple of swings. Some really great ways players have found they can improve their game while still remaining pain-free include the following:
- Breaking practice up into long game, short game, and putting sessions
- Limiting the amount of time spent on the range to 30-60 minutes
- Practicing posture and swing mechanics in front of a mirror at home
Players who don’t go to the range but are still worried about golfer’s back pain are advised to monitor the amount time they spend on the course. Playing 36 on a consistent basis is never a good idea. Also, when tired, it’s always a good idea to play 9 instead of 18.
Prevention Tip #2: Strengthening Exercises
A strong core enables golfers to execute their swing while maintaining perfect posture. As we discussed in a blog post about runners with lower back pain, athletes without a strong core supporting the spine and spinal muscles are more vulnerable to injury. That’s why it’s important to augment your golfing regimen with strength exercises, particularly those that target the core.
Strengthening exercises that golf players can do at home or the gym include:
Crunches – Partial crunches can help strengthen your core back and stomach muscles.
Bridges – The bridge strengthens your low back and hip muscles, helping stabilize your spine.
Planks – Planking targets not only your core, abs and back muscles, but also your glutes and hamstrings.
Players who aren’t sure how to perform strengthening exercises can seek the advice of a personal trainer or physical therapist.
Prevention Tip #3: See a Golf Pro
A professional swing coach can be a great resource. The best swing coaches are those that teach proper grip and set up before anything else. Believe it or not, executing these two simple fundamentals is often what separates golfers who actually golf from those who spend the entire season with golfer’s back pain.
Also, swing coaches can provide players with at-home drills that improve the swing without hitting balls. Many a professional golfer has provided testimonials that they learned to swing the club performing at-home drills in front of a mirror.
Consult with a Specialist
Don’t let golfer’s back pain or stiffness ruin your Zurich Classic experience. Schedule an appointment for an evaluation with one of our fellowship trained, board certified minimally invasive spine specialists today.
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