Many of us tend to take up a sport to lose weight or stay fit. Fitness experts point out that it should be the other way round – you must get into shape to play a sport and this includes golf. Most back pain is preventable and often is caused by too little exercise, over exertion, poor form, lack of flexibility, and poor posture. A slight modification in your lifestyle and understanding of the back will help.
Why are golfers vulnerable to back pain?
Back problems can start either before the golfer starts playing golf or it may start shortly after he starts frequenting a golf course. Majority of the golfers suffer from regular back aches which develop during the course of the game. If left unattended, the problem will be greatly aggravated.
1. The young generation which is physically dysfunctional, pick up golf and start playing for long durations, this sudden repetitive motion is likely to injure them.
2. A closer look at the golf player will show clearly that he tilts his body to one side during the swing action which contributes to the back ache.
3. In an ideal golf swing, the spine is the center and core of the swing. When the axis is shifted as a result of a wrong posture, the back starts hurting.
How to overcome back pain?
Back pain can be mitigated by doing specific golf stretching exercises for a long-term.
1. Most often back ache can develop if players do not exercise regularly or condition their bodies’ specific to the game.
2. Golfers should remember to drink lots of water during the course of the play.
3. A poor stance puts tremendous stress and strain on the lower back. The bent over and crouched position puts much stress on the back, therefore bend from the hips.
4. Strengthening the core muscles should be part of your golf fitness program. Strength workouts will also improve metabolism.
5. If you are overweight, you must lose the extra pounds, the additional weight is bound to compress the spine and discs.
6. Mismatched sets of golf equipments can lead to back ache, they should fit the player perfectly.
7. Researchers report that smoking may increase the risk of lower back problems. Scientifically, nicotine decreases the blood supply to the spine.
8. Avoid the golf cart as the sitting position puts 40% more pressure on the discs than standing. Try walking the course with a pull-cart as this will keep you warmed-up throughout.
Golf-specific exercises for a long term pain-free game:
1. A complete exercise program to strengthen your core and back muscles should include aerobics, strength training and stretching.
2. Instead of a steady-paced walk, try fast walk done in short intervals. For instance, take faster strides for a short period then slow down for a couple of minutes, before picking up speed.
3. A proper warm-up for 5-10 minutes resulting in mild sweating prepares the muscles for a game of golf.
4. An exercise resistance band during your work out helps tone upper body.
5. The torso twist and cobra stretches are fantastic golf stretching exercise that will loosen up your back to minimize pain.
Initial treatment for lower back problems is to stop your activity and ice the lower back for 20 minutes. If the pain persists, a golfer should first consult a chiropractor to check out if any other reason is there behind the pain. Chiropractic is a natural health care method that restores proper alignment and function of the spinal joints and recuperates faster.