Golf is a fun and an extremely popular sport, and considered arguably as one of the most difficult sports to excel in. This however only adds to its enchantment and draws millions, quite commonly the rich and famous, to it’s sprawling courses.
Golf is also a physically less demanding sport and is a great form of low impact aerobic activity. This attribute however clouds the fact that your body can take quite a beating while indulging in a round of golf. Indeed, the constant swinging, twisting and exertion of force can place a tremendous stress on your back and leave you prone to injuries and chronic pain.
How can golf cause pain?
• When you swing a golf club to hit the ball, you rotate and twist the spine which opens up the vertebrae to injuries
• Your back muscles, lumbar spine, are actively involved in gathering up the power and force needed to swing a golf club, which can be risky
• The subtle disc and facet joints are also actively called upon to work during a game
• Carrying the golf bag, golf clubs, bending down to pick up the ball are all actions which can put massive strain on your back.
Ways to manage Chronic pain while playing Golf?
Similar to every other health ailment, lifestyle changes and little modifications in your habits can drastically alleviate any pain you’ve been experiencing and prevent injuries from cropping up in the future. The oft recommended advise centers in four pillars of pain management
• Warm up
• Bio mechanics
• Warm Up
Warming up is essential for any activity, and it’s no different for golf. When you wake up in morning, drive to the course and swing the club, cold and dry, you’re sure to end up in the ER.
Stretch your whole body and practice easy swings. Make sure your shoulders, torso and hamstrings feel thoroughly revved up before you start any kind of serious swings.
Practice swings help in preparing the muscles for torque and torsion that is a mainstay of a golf game. This prevents shock from being inflicted on unprepared muscles and nerve fibers which is usually the cause of many injuries.
You can also apply some non-invasive pain relief creams which are renowned to soothe pain and relax the muscles such as the clinically approved RUB ON RELIEF before going to sleep.
Try and hone your swing technique before you get into full fledged games. Golf swings necessitate a lot of force and contortion of body, which ought to comes through in smooth rhythm. This is not inherited but refined through practice and is the only way to prevent injuries.
Your feet should be spread apart to retain a good balance, spine erect with bent hips and swing brought down from a height through the equal, symmetrical rotation of shoulders, hips and thoracolumbar segments (chest and lower spine) that ends with a wrist snap.
• Bio Mechanics
A proper Golf swing generates power from the L5-S1 disc space due to the rotation of the spine centered in this region. The other muscles and joints assist but are not actively involved since they can’t rotate as much.
So it’s important to understand conditions and habits that affect this region such as degenerative disc disease or isthmic spondylolisthesis and work towards a program to alleviate them. Flexibility is also a very important factor in golf and it’s vital you get on a workout program that addresses it such as yoga and pilates.
￼Posture and lifestyle
Then there are lifestyle habits which can hinder your golf game and lead to back pain. This includes carrying extra weight in the midsection that makes it difficult for you to walk around the course or stay energized for the whole duration of the game.
Carrying golf clubs and bags, which are of considerable weight, can also put significant strain on your back. Repeatedly bending over to pick up the ball or lifting the bag from the ground with bad technique can ruin your spine. Always be aware of your posture and the way you stand/walk/bend in order to prevent putting unnecessary stress on your body. If you carry your own golf bags, invest in double strapped bags which spread the weight equally as opposed to single strapped, across the shoulder bags.