… Your pain could be caused by poor mobility in your hips and weakness in your core.
… Prevent lower back pain with strengthening exercises.
… Work with a trusted sports physical therapist for the best results.
As soon as the weather grows warm, avid golfers dust off their clubs and hit the course. However, nothing puts a damper on a new golf season like lower back pain.
Golfing may seem like a less action-intense sport than others, so sometimes it’s easy to forget that golfers sustain sports-related injuries, too. These injuries come from the repetitive motions of swinging your club throughout the season. Lower back pain is the most common complaint among golfers and two factors put golfers at an increased risk. If you enjoy golfing, be aware of the effects of limited hip mobility and core weakness.
If you’re a golfer experiencing lower back pain, you might have limited internal rotation in your hips. This is the rotation of the head of the femur bone in your hip socket. The hip of your dominant side of your body goes through this rotation on your backswing. Then the opposite hip rotates the same way on your downswing.
If your hips are too stiff, however, you will struggle to turn with the speed and power you want for a good swing, and your body will experience straining that leads to back pain. This stiffness can come from a sedentary lifestyle, lack of exercise or simply not continuing your training during the off-season. When your hips usually sit in a comfy chair all day, naturally, it’s hard on them to suddenly be twisting and turning out on the links.
Your hips aren’t the only body parts twisting and straining as you perfect your swing. Those same motions occur in your core and can cause lower back pain if you lack strength and flexibility there.
The lower back doesn’t naturally have a lot of flexibility for the power and motions necessary for a strong golf swing. Thus, it’s easy to injure your back if you haven’t trained and conditioned your core for golfing. Weakness in your core stresses the joints and muscles in your lower back when you swing your club, causing lower back pain. It will hurt your game, too!
Here are some simple exercises you can do before and throughout the golf season to condition your body for the strain of practicing your swing.
Start with HIP DRIVERS to increase mobility in your hip joints. Stand with both hands against a wall and your feet placed about two feet from the wall. Leading with your knee, lift your right leg towards your left hand. Repeat this motion with the opposite leg. This movement imitates the rotation of the hip during golfing and is great practice for the hip joint. Do 10-12 reps.
Move on to BACK BRIDGES to strengthen your lower back and hips. Lay flat on your back with knees bent and feet flat on the ground. Contract your core muscles and lift your bottom off the ground until you are in a full “bridge” position. Hold yourself in this position one or two seconds before slowly lowering yourself to the floor. Do two sets of 20-25 reps two to three times a week.
Finally, try BIRD DOGS for core stabilizing. Get on your hands and knees and tighten your core. Then slowly stretch out your right arm and left leg simultaneously until they are parallel with your spine. Lower and repeat the same motions with your opposite arm and leg. Do at least five reps for each side.
If hip and core strengthening exercises don’t relieve your back pain or the pain has become debilitating, consider visiting a sports physical therapist. Look for one that has experience working with golfers and understands the unique movements and mechanics involved in the sport. With orthopedic physical therapy and rehabilitation and modalities such as manual therapy among others, your physical therapist can help you condition your body to cure the pain and prevent future injuries so that you can get back out on the course in no time.
At True Sports, we’re sports-focused because you’re sports-focused. The best physical therapists in Baltimore and Maryland provide the highest level of sports physical therapy and expertise you need to get back to your sport. With six convenient state-of-the-art locations to choose from, any athlete who takes their rehab seriously can get awesome care and extraordinary results. Select your location and schedule an appointment and have True Sports get you back to your team. For questions about insurance or self-pay rates, please call our office at 1-401-946-1672.