When you have spent quite a lot of time taking a break, your body might not act well with the sudden change when you return to golfing. Golfers are troubled mainly by back injuries, especially lower back strains. The shots often require taking such positions that can strain back muscles if the golfer is not careful enough.
So, is golf bad for your back? The answer is yes, it is indeed. You will struggle with low, middle, and upper back pain due to muscle strains if you are not careful. You may also face inflammation and other damage to the muscles and spinal discs.
However, you can prevent the injuries and get to the game once you know the precautions. Let’s go forward and acknowledge everything about it!
As golf requires you to engage your core muscles, especially your lower back, it can be physically demanding. As a result, playing golf after a long time or without taking some measures may affect your muscles. It can put strains on your muscles and joints.
The aftermath comes off worse if you have poor posture. While golfing, you have to move your torso repetitively. It can strain your lower back while leading to further damage.
Golfers often struggle with different injuries, disc herniations, or spinal stenosis. Besides, if anyone has already existing back pain, golfing can worsen it more.
Common Back Injuries Caused By Golfing
Some common injuries caused by golfing include,
- Muscle Strains
- Facet Joint Pain
- Lower Joint Pain
- Herniated Disc
The main culprit behind the golfers’ back pain is the swing. They have to repetitively twist their torso to make every swing. As a result, the asymmetric nature of the positions put stress on the lower body muscles.
Although the main cause is known to be the swings. There are other reasons including poor posture, forgetting to warm up, lack of stretching, awkward positioning, and so on. When the golfer has a poor posture, it becomes difficult to hold the right alignment during swings, which causes muscle strains.
Moreover, like any other sport, golfing requires the player to warm up beforehand. If any player gets straight to the game, that prevents the muscles from being adequately prepared. Thus, jumping straight to the game puts a lot of pressure on the muscles and joints.
When a player is an amateur and doesn’t know how to keep up the right position in the game, it puts him in an awkward position. This too can result in uneven weight distribution, therefore, muscle pain.
Golfing is known as a low-impact game. But it can still cause injuries and muscle strains. However, most of the time the injuries are not that serious. You can prevent the impacts if you maintain proper measures.
However, if you have poor posture, the impact can be worse than usual. In such cases, if you think that the condition is not improving, you should consult a doctor as soon as possible.
If you are experiencing back pain due to golfing, here are a few tips to prevent that:
- Maintain proper posture during the swings: You have to keep an upright position during every swing. Besides, keep the feet in a way so it feels flexible to twist your torso. Don’t rotate your spine only, instead, rotate your whole trunk so you can handle the force and movement during the swings.
- Keep the right alignment: You need to form an ‘I’ shape while performing every shot. This will keep your shoulders relaxed. Also, ensure to keep the proper alignment from the very beginning of the game.
- Stand near the golf ball: If you want to reduce the spine movement, keep your body closer to the golf ball. This will require less rotation while minimizing your back strain. Also, you won’t have to bend your body that much during each shot.
- Open your lower body to have more space: Open your legs to create such a position that allows more space. It makes your movements easier and rotation flexible. Besides, you can successfully decrease the compressive forces through this.
- Use the right club: Don’t use a club that’s too heavy or long. Such a club will require you to put on more energy and force during the shots. Moreover, holding such a club for a long period is also troublesome.
- Spend time in warm-up sessions: Don’t forget to take part in a proper warm-up session before you start the game. You can pick a few exercises to do before you start the game. This will prepare your body for further motions.
- Ensure proper balance: You need to have the proper balance of the body during the game. Make sure that you are distributing your weight evenly throughout the body. Besides, don’t compress your spine while playing.
- Take part in core strengthening exercises: If you plan on golfing regularly, you must include some core strengthening exercises to avoid back pain and injuries. This will lead you to have better flexibility and an upper hand during the game.
- Have enough breaks: If you are not used to it, don’t keep on playing for hours. You need to take enough breaks during the game so you don’t overstress your muscles. Drink more water during the break time so you don’t feel dehydrated.
When you don’t want to go to the doctor immediately after struggling with body pain, you can take some measures at home. Some of the effective measures can be:
- Use an ice bag or hot water bag to use cold press/hot press in the sore area
- Try stretching exercises to promote more blood flow
- Take proper rest for a day or two
- Take moderate painkiller medicines
- Ensure adequate fluid intake
- Do some light exercises targeting the sore areas.
If you want to prevent injuries and back pain after golfing, you can try some exercises. These exercises will improve your flexibility while preparing your body for the swings.
Planks can be super beneficial to engage your muscles and prepare them for the game. It can improve your core muscle activity so you don’t get soreness after the gaming sessions. Here’s how to do it:
- Get in the push-up position
- Now straighten your back and torso while preventing your stomach from touching the ground
- Hold the position for a minimum of 30 seconds and repeat the steps again
This exercise targets your lumbar spine while strengthening your back muscles. You can perform the swings swiftly as it prepares your muscles for the work. Here are the steps:
- Sit in a chair
- Now grab a golf club and place it behind your back
- Now twist your upper body from the center to the left
- Once you come back to the center, twist your body to the right without moving your hips
- Repeat the reps 10 times and 3 sets
Squats help you a lot to have a better performance during the game. As it engages your calves and lower muscles, you can have the benefits during your swings later. Here’s how to perform:
- Stand in the right posture while keeping your feet hip-width apart
- Bend at your knees and form a 90-degree angle using your thighs and calves
- Hold the position for 30-60 seconds
If you notice that the pain is sharp and it troubles your daily activities, you need to seek professional help. The usual back pain due to golfing goes away in a week or two.
But if your pain lasts longer than 2 weeks, you should seek urgent medical help. Sometimes, major cases may also bring fever with the pain.
How Do You Know If Lower Back Pain Is Serious?
When the pain is sharp and constant for more than two weeks, you need to visit a doctor fast. Another warning sign is having a fever with pain. Besides, significant weight changes and weakness throughout the day are also signs to look out for.
Does Golf Swing Affect Lower Back?
Golf swings require lower back engagement. Thus, it can strain the muscles if you are out of the game for quite some time. Moreover, not warming up before the game also impacts the lower back.
Why Does Golf Swing Hurt My Back?
The golf swings require a lot of muscle engagement. As a result, if you don’t get proper warming up, it can put a lot of stress on your muscles. That’s why, you might feel back soreness after golfing.
Should I Play Golf With Lower Back Pain?
If you notice that you have constant back pain, it’s wise to take some rest from the game. Playing with back pain may worsen the situation. Unless you cure the pain, it may increase the muscle strains resulting in more pain.
Now that you know the answer to: is golf bad for your back, it has been easier to decide what to do. If you take precautions and measures before you start the game, you can effectively reduce the soreness.
An expert tip is to engage yourself in core strengthening exercises, and stretching. Moreover, prepare yourself well through a decent warm-up to reduce muscle soreness afterward. If you engage yourself in routine workouts, you will be able to handle the gaming sessions perfectly.