Low Back Injuries in Golf

Low Back Pain

Whether you play at 13th Beach Golf Course, The Sands Torquay Golf Course or any of the other great courses on the Bellarine Peninsula, chances are that you or someone you have played a round with has complained of low back pain. The biomechanics of a golf swing can put major stress on the lower back, especially if a golfer isn’t using their body efficiently.

Low back pain is a very broad term referring to different types of injuries. The most common injuries we see at 13th Beach Health Services are muscle strain, lumbar facet sprain, disc pathology, spinal stenosis (canal narrowing) and arthritic change. These can all be caused/exacerbated by the movements (or lack of) created in the golf swing. Too often I talk to golfers who have stopped or limited playing golf because of their back pain. In many cases, if managed correctly with treatment, rehabilitation and coaching these players can get back on the course. At 13th Beach Health Services, we want to keep you on the course and doing what you love!

It is important to understand the movements that may be causing or exacerbating a golfer’s low back pain. There are common swing characteristics that are present in golfers with low back pain. If you suffer from low back pain, look over these and see if they apply to you.

Reverse spine angle: Occurs when there is excessive extension and left lateral flexion in the backswing. This results in stress being put on the low back in the downswing due to the rapid flexion, lateral flexion and rotation occurring to get back to impact.

reverse spine angle

S Posture: Refers to posture set up to the ball. This is characterized by over-extension of the low back and subsequent over-flexion in the thoracic spine. Can result in the deactivation of the core muscles and overactivation of the lumbar erector spinae making it very difficult to keep the correct posture during the swing.

s curve posture

Excessive Spinal Rotation/Sidebending: This can occur in golfers that are hypermobile. Whilst trying to improve torque through the swing they may over rotate or side bend causing injury.

Early Extension: This occurs when the hips move closer to the ball during the swing. If this occurs in an extended position it may result in facet joint irritation and in a flexed position it may cause disc irritation. Both resulting in back pain.

Hanging Back: Occurs when the golfer does not shift their weight correctly to the front side during downswing. This creates deceleration of torque in the low back and can cause irritation.

hanging back

Our goal at 13th Beach Health Services is to diagnose, treat and manage your low back pain with the aim of keeping you playing golf to the best of your abilities. This works especially well when complemented with coaching from a golf professional.

If you require a Golf Swing Biomechanical Assessment or are looking to improve your game, book an appointment online or give us a call at 5254 2668.