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Your Back in Golf

by Ramsay McMaster - golfphysio@ozemail.com.au

Most golfers, at some time, will either suffer a back injury or will be restricted in playing golf due to Back or Neck Pain.

Good posture and spinal mobility are essential, not only to improve back swing and follow-through in golf, but will also help prevent spinal and musculo-skeletal injuries.   E.g. Disc lesions, Muscular strain, Joint Stiffness, etc.  Here is a simple self-test to see if your back is at risk when playing golf.  See what you get out of thirteen.

Causes of Back Pain Check List

[] Previous occupational and domestic injuries that are aggravated by golf.  E.g. prolonged sitting in a car or at a desk, poor seating at home, gardening and/or poor lifting technique.
[] Prolonged bending in golf practice.
[] Prolonged practicing.
[] Weak muscle groups related to golf.  E.g. Abdominals, glutei and hamstrings.
[] Predisposing pathology, e.g. arthritis, disc lesions, history of back pain.
[] Excessive forceful movements during "follow-through stage" of the swing.
[] Constant flexing and straightening up after taking your shot.
[] Picking up practice balls without bending your knees.
[] Slow competition, e.g. prolonged standing while waiting for the group who are playing the hole in front.
[] Incorrect lifting, assembling and handling of golf buggy and golf bag.
[] Repeated twisting component involved with "back-swing" and "follow-through".
[] Most importantly, not carrying out preventative stretches prior, during and after playing golf.
[] Have not had a lesson for several months from your Golf Professional. This ensures safe and effective technique.


Wrong bending technique

Good set up

Scoring:
8-13    High risk
4-7      Danger zone
1-3      Be aware

How Many Times are you in a "Stressed" Flexed Position while Golfing?

[] Driving your car to the golf course
[] Assembling your buggy
[] Putting practice
[] Teeing up the ball
[] Checking your ball in "four ball" competition or in the rough
[] Selecting clubs from your golf bag
[] Pushing your buggy (especially uphill)
[] Repairing pitch marks, filling up divots with sand or filling sand bucket at the sand pit.
[] Searching through your golf bag
[] Lifting up practice balls.
[] Getting the ball out of the hole
[] Lifting your clubs and buggy in and out of the car
[] Excessive putting practice without getting up to stretch
[] Bashing buckets of balls with no breaks (results in muscle fatigue and increased risk of injury).

Scoring:
8-13    High risk
4-7      Danger zone
1-3      Be aware


Poor bending technique to retrieve balls whilst practicing putting


Correct picking up technique

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