Did you know over 25% of golfers (all ages) report feeling lower back pain after every round? This symptom is reported by almost a quarter of all PGA Tour players as well. With such eye-opening data, it is necessary that golfers take every step necessary to ensure they remain pain free to “Play Longer”.
To understand the cause of lower back pain, let’s review the connection between the body and swing. Believe it or not, the lower back is rarely the cause of the pain. More often than not, the pain is merely an indication not the source of the problem. You see many areas of the body are called upon when swinging a golf club. Each joint has a specific function to carry out. Unlike a chain where if one link breaks, the chain falls apart, our bodies are built much better and operate smarter. Your brain finds a way to accomplish the task at the expense of adjacent areas.
The sources of golfers experiencing lower back pain, more than likely, are mobility or stability issues in their ankles, hips, thoracic spine (think upper and middle back), or shoulders. After hundreds and thousands of swings, the lower back breaks down and starts to hurt from doing the job of the other parts. Left untreated, lower back pain could lead to more serious conditions so it’s important to check with your doctor before proceeding.
For golfers with lower back pain due to poor joint mobility, here are ways to improve mobility restrictions and strengthen under performing muscles.
Foam Roll – reduce and release tension and trigger points causing limited range of motion at a joint. Areas to foam roll include:
Improve Internal Rotation of the Hips – Right-handed golfers internally rotate into the right hip in the backswing and the left hip in the downswing/follow thru.
Strengthen the Glutes – the pelvis is the powerhouse of your golf swing. Strengthening the glutes will ensure the proper muscles work in the golf swing.
Improve Middle and Upper Back Mobility – Provides the ability to rotate the upper body while dissociating from the lower body in your backswing and downswing.
Improve Ankle Mobility – Provides the ability to stay in your golf posture and avoid loss of posture and early extension.