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Tips to Reduce Golf Related Back Pain

Back pain in golfers is a common problem. Much of it has to do with the mechanics of the golf swing and the forces on the spine. Physician Assistant Cate Pandiscio explains how you can prevent many injuries by following these tips.

  1. Get a proper club fitting. Equipment has changed and so have you. Its important your gear matches your body type, flexibility and goals of the game.
  2. If you walk the course, push a cart instead of pulling. Carrying a golf bag with a single strap may be hazardous to the lower back, hip and shoulder. The dual "backpack strap" distributes the club weight more evenly across both shoulders.
  3. For those who are coming off an injury, start with playing nine holes, or an executive course. Avoid the driving range while you are symptomatic. No time in the game of golf do you stand over a ball and swing with that kind of repetition. Save that work for refining your swing when your back is healthy.
  4. Club UP. If you are working back into your game, consider a ¾ swing and choose an iron for the upcoming shot that is one length longer than the club you'd normally choose for that distance.
  5. Warm up! Stretching exercises for the shoulders, back, hips and legs in addition to modified swings will go a long way in injury prevention.
  6. Prepare for the demands of golf during and in the off season. Maintain good core strength of your abdominals, back extensors and rotator muscles, improve flexibility by doing stretching exercises for your shoulders, back, hips and legs. Physical therapists, chiropractors and personal trainers can make specific recommendations.
  7. Working with a teaching professional on problem areas of your swing will often aide in preventing further injury. ​