Low Back Injuries and Golf

Written By Palmercare Chiropractic on June 20, 2016

Lets just start out being completely honest. Golf is a high velocity, high impact game when it comes to your low back. You are putting a torque motion on your low back which is the #1 motion to cause disc herniations and pain. If you are an avid golfer you are going to eventually feel some back pain and or stiffness. Here is how to minimize it.

First understand that you must stabilize your low back. There are two main muscle groups that do most the stabilizing when it comes to your low back, the abs and the glutes. The abs are considered the queen stabilizers and the glutes are the king. I can tell you that without proper firing and control of your glutes, golf can be a very difficult and painful game. If you are sitting down and reading this I want you to try something. Without getting up, moving, or touching anything just flex a glute (butt cheek). Not both, just one. Can you do it? If you cannot do it you have found your first issue. You do not have the proper firing of your glutes. You should be able to make the connection from your brain to each individual glute and fire them one at a time.

To correct this or improve on what you already have here are some exercise. The first one is called deer in the headlights. Simply lie on the ground and practice flexing one glute at a time. The name of the exercise comes from the expression you make if you can’t do this. If you are having trouble doing this then try taking your hand and tapping your glute as you try to flex it. This will cause a better connection between your brain and the muscle and you may be able to flex it doing this. If you still cannot flex one glute a time with the tapping then do the other two exercise first and then come back to it.

The second exercise is a bridge. Lie on your back, bend your knees, put your arms in the air and lift your butt off the ground. If you feel stable here, extend one leg out at a time and hold 30 seconds each side. You should feel your glute firing. IF you feel other muscles holding you up besides your glute, again tap on the glutes to get them to fire more.

The third exercise is called kick back. Get on your hands and knees. Start with one side and lift the foot up to the sky keeping your knee bent and flexing your foot the best you can. Do 10 reps on each side again focusing on firing your glutes. If you do not feel your glutes firing have someone help you by tapping on the glute you are trying to fire.

Then there are your abs. Without meeting you and prescribing specific exercises I only have one, but it is a goodie. Planks. Planks are great because they engage all of your abs and they show you how well they are working. Simply get on your toes and your elbows with your back off the floor but parallel to it and see how long you can hold. You should be able to hold at least 60 seconds without shaking. Work up to 3 minutes. If 60 seconds is hard or you start shaking early, you have found an issue.

Stabilization of the low back is one of the keys to avoiding pain and stiffness, but there is also mobility. When you cause trauma to your low back on a regular basis (aka golf), your spine tries to protect itself. It does this by locking the joints in the lumbar spine (lower back). If these joint are allowed to stay locked they will without a doubt lead to pain and discomfort and if left alone will lead to permanent degenerative issues in your spine. If degeneration reaches a certain point then there is no going back. Spine health/mobility is so important. Movement is life literally. Make sure not only to keep your low back stabilized but to keep it mobile. Visit your local Chiropractor, physical therapist, or massage therapist to reduce and remove restrictions from your low back.

It is my job to make sure you can play for many more years and enjoy it, so please take care of your body.

Get Healthy. Stay Healthy.

Corey Malnikof, DC, CGFI

Titleist Certified Doctor of Chiropractic