Golf is a healthy activity for most people and it provides a great opportunity for cardiovascular exercise. Many golfers, especially older individuals, experience lower lumbar discomfort after playing. To help reduce the chance of straining the lower back, The Spine Institute, a trusted Beverly Hill spine surgery center, offers the following guidelines for older golfers.
Before engaging in a game of golf, it is important to warm up the body to get it ready for exercise. Working the muscles without properly preparing them can quickly lead to back injuries such as strains and sprains. Before playing, individuals should engage in light, cardiovascular exercise for a few minutes and perform gentle stretches in order to keep the muscles supple:
- Stretching the hips can be done by using the hands to pull the knees up toward the chest
- The shoulders and torso can be conditioned by holding the ends of a club behind the neck and slowly twisting
- Gradually bending over and reaching for the toes until resistance is met is a good way to loosen the hamstrings
The first step in ensuring that proper technique is being performed is to consult with a credentialed golf coach or with the resident golf pro at a club. A golf professional can assess the player’s swing and offer advice on how to correct errors that may be causing back pain.
Swinging the club should be done with a smooth motion that reduces impact on the muscles and vertebrae of the lower spine. The shoulders and hips must also rotate during the swing so that they are sharing the load and all of the pressure is not placed on the lumbar region. Finally, good balance can be achieved by slightly bending the knees and keeping the feet separated directly under the shoulders.
If you believe your back pain is caused by your golf game or if you feel your back pain is preventing you from playing golf, reach out to The Spine Institute Center for Spinal Restoration. Along with non-surgical treatment options, we offer minimally invasive surgery in Beverly Hills so that active adults can return to their active lifestyles with less pain and discomfort. Call us at (310) 828-7757 and schedule your in-person consultation today.