I'm looking for any information you can offer on how to improve my golf swing. I'm starting to have some low back pain and my golfing buddy suggested trying this web site. Evidently, he found some useful tips that helped him last year.
Lumbar (low back) pain is a common symptom in most golfers who stick with the sport over a long period of time. The repetitive motion, rotation, and strain from the golf swing create pressure on the discs of the spine. The increased load and force on the spine are intense enough to damage muscles, joints, discs, and even the ribs. More than one-third (34.5 per cent) of all injuries among golfers results in low back pain.
What can be done to prevent these common low back conditions in golfers? A recent article by physical therapist, Christopher Finn, from the Par4Success Golf Performance Center in Durham (North Carolina) suggests the following:
Golfers with low back pain should be encouraged to seek help early on rather than wait and see if it goes away. Correction of swing faults, muscle imbalances, or other improper golf techniques can aid in prevention of worsening symptoms or repeated injury.
Breath control during swinging or putting is recognized as an important part of injury prevention in this sport.
Proper clubs fit to body specifications is a must for each individual player.
Simple things can make a difference: push the golf cart rather than pulling it, use a golf bag with dual straps rather than a single strap, and maintain proper body weight for size (being overweight is a risk factor for low back injury).
Core stability training is an important part of any exercise program for golfers. Corrections may be made depending on whether you use the classic swing versus the modern swing. The top three swing faults that can lead to low back pain include hips coming forward into the hand space during the swing, use of the wrong back muscles during the golf swing, and an incorrect spine angle during follow-through.
You may benefit from a screening evaluation by a physical therapist. The physical therapist can assess individual golfers for range-of-motion, postural alignment, movement patterns, and golf swing mechanics that need correction. Specific treatment techniques vary depending on the underlying problem (e.g., facet or spinal joint irritation, disc herniation, spondylolysis or stress fracture of the spine).