Lower back pain is a common golf injury. It’s also a cause of great frustration for any chronic back pain sufferers as it may prevent them from playing the game they love.
If you’re dealing with back pain after golfing try to determine if it’s something sharp and specific (an indication of a severe injury), a chronic, nagging pain, or simply pain from either a lack of conditioning or a lack of golf. If you only play golf once a month there’s a good chance you’ll be sore for the next few days or even the entire next week. If this is the case, proper conditioning for playing golf is the best thing one can do.
Focus on three things to help prevent lower back pain while golfing: mobility, stability, and strength. Below are some tips on how to get back into the swing of things
Stretch and warm up: Going straight from the clubhouse to the tee box without properly stretching or warming up is not a good idea. A lot of people may like to just ‘grip it and rip it’ but if you’ve hurt your back in the past or are dealing with some lower back pain this is not advised.
Condition your body. Body conditioning will strengthen your core, back, arms, and legs. Strength training and/or yoga will increase your body control and help cut down on the amount of violence in your golf swing – a leading cause of back pain in golfers.
Ease back into golfing and don’t push yourself. If you’ve been off the golf course due to back pain (and not just an errant tee shot), start out on the driving range. It’s important to understand you might lose some distance on your swing. Additionally, if you can only play a few holes when getting back out there, so be it.
Smartly carry your golf bag. It’s not just your swing that could cause pain. Consider using a rolling cart bag or forego walking the course and start using a golf cart to get around.
Stand closer. Standing a few inches closer to the ball improves your center of gravity and will help keep your back aligned throughout your swing.
It’s possible to play golf pain-free. This article from Golf Digest (http://www.golfdigest.com/golf-instruction/2010-03/save-your-back-foley
) does a great job of showing you how to properly swing your club to reduce pain and stress on your back.