Updated: Jun 25, 2020
Is Back Pain Limiting Your Golf Game?
Here is a story about a client of mine who was able to go from not being able to handle doing simple everyday household tasks to getting back out on the golf course and making through his first pain-free round of golf.
This gentleman is a 68-year-old retired firefighter and is someone who kept active. However, before coming to see me he was extremely limited as to what he could do without back pain.
He shared with me last season he was only able to play a few holes of golf, had great discomfort after working in the yard, and was unable to sit for a period of time hindering him from performing his passion for photography.
His low back pain along with some lingering hip pain was slowly taking away his ability to do what he loved in life.
So, I tailored a specific program that was focused on three key areas which needless to say, was able to get him back to golfing 18 holes without his body feeling like he played 52 holes! He was able to get back to doing his household tasks as well as returned to his passion for photography in his free time.
Here are the 3 top areas that I focused on when developing his customized 'Return to Pain-Free Golf' program:
1) Improve upper back motion
In order to achieve a full golf swing, you need proper upper back extension and rotation. Due to years of postural habits people maintain, most people do not have the necessary upper back motion for safe, pain-free movement. When the upper back motion is not optimal, the low back rotates more than it should, resulting in low back pain eventually.
2) Improve shoulder motion
Along with the good upper back motion, your body also requires good shoulder motion for a full golf swing. If the shoulders are tight and stiff, the muscles surrounding the shoulders need to work harder to get your arms through your full motion. This increased activity of the shoulder muscles can eventually cause shoulder pain and eventually progress to impingement or rotator cuff tears.
3) Improve hip motion
In order to achieve proper pelvic rotation through your swing, you also require good hip motion. Sitting positions and just not challenging the hips to move through full ranges often causes the hips to be very stiff and tight. Like the shoulders, when the hips don’t have proper motion, the muscles surrounding the hips have to work harder to get the necessary motion. Also, like the upper back, if the motion doesn’t come from the hips, the low back will rotate more to get the necessary motion for your swing, once again resulting in low back pain.
Bonus: Activate the proper muscles before your round of golf
Get the muscles of your shoulders, torso, and hips moving prior to starting your round of golf. This movement can be done by incorporating dynamic stretching into your pre-round routine. Here is a video I created detailing the top 5 warm-up dynamic stretches that might be beneficial to add to your golf routine:
Physical therapy is an effective alternative in addressing back issues and addressing areas that may be contributing to the problem as it relates to limiting your daily activities. If you or your loved one is suffering from back pain it is highly recommended to consult a medical professional to discuss the problem. Having a better understanding of what positions to avoid and having a better understanding of what works best for you and your condition is highly important.
If you live in the Greater Milwaukee area and would like to learn more about how physical therapy or a trained physical therapist can help you please reach out to us CLICK HERE.
Talk more soon!!
P.S. If you’re experiencing stiffness in your back which restricts your ability to move without pain or limiting your golf game, click here to download my free back pain tips guide which includes actionable tips I give to my patients at Prestige Therapy and Wellness, LLC. Click here to get your free copy: https://prestigetherapywellness.lpages.co/back-pain-freebie/