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How Golfers Can Reduce Their Risk of Back Pain (INFOGRAPHIC)

Author: Rosemary Buckle, M.D.

The weather’s about to warm up, and so will Houston’s golf scene. This season, make the most of your golf game and protect your back! Back pain is one of the most common reasons why golfers have to put away the clubs too early. An infographic from Mayo Clinic shares a few pointers on how golfers can improve their game this year. We’ve reposted the full infographic below on the Houston Institute for Sports Medicine & Orthopedics blog.

Did You Know…

Approximately one in three golfers has a history of lower back pain. Oftentimes, lower back pain is caused by poor swing mechanics. Poor swing mechanics may lead to pain, causing the golfer to adjust their swing to compensate for the pain. The adjusted swing may then cause further back pain and damage.

Instead of getting injured and then developing a new swing to compensate for the injury, learn the mechanics of a proper swing first!

How to Improve Your Golf Swing

Golf is a rotational sport. It’s essential that the spine and hips are able to rotate properly in order to avoid injury. This is done by keeping a neutral posture in the spine. A neutral posture should be maintained as much as possible to maximize performance and decrease risk of injury.

Many golfers are susceptible to an S-posture, which relocates tension from the abs (where it should be) to the lower back. This is the primary cause of lower back pain in golf. Other golfers sink into a C-posture; this position, characterized by a hunchback appearance, occurs when a golfer has limited hip movement and tight chest muscles.

Common Physical Limitations That Impair Your Golf Swing

There are several common physical limitations that can lead to poor swing mechanics. These include:

  • Limited shoulder flexibility… reduces power and consistency
  • Insufficient hip range of motion… leads to lower back pain
  • Poor balance on lead leg… triples likelihood of forward hip motion
  • Inability to perform a deep squat… can limit back and pelvis rotation

If you have any of these physical limitations, see your Houston sports medicine physician for an evaluation. Your doctor may be able to provide recommendations and therapies to get you back on top of your game.

Schedule With a Houston Sports Medicine Doctor

For more information about treating golf injuries with a Houston sports medicine physician, please call Houston Institute for Sports Medicine & Orthopedics at (713) 756-5546. Appointments can also be scheduled online.

Please consult with your physician before undertaking any form of medical treatment or adopting any exercise program or dietary guidelines.