Pain, suffering in discomfort caused by illness or injury. Who the hell wants that! Especially when it can be avoided.
For golfers, especially amateur golfers, pain is the number one reason they leave the game, and back pain is the number one cause of that.
Approximately 70% of golfers are playing in pain or have played in pain! Playing in pain takes the fun out of the game.
Common Causes Of Low Back Pain In Golfers
In Western society, we are used to referring to the site of pain as “the problem” and subsequently treat the symptom, not the cause. Unless it is a trauma-related injury, the site of pain isn’t the problem, it’s just a symptom of dysfunction somewhere else. Let me explain.
You see your body is made up of a series of joints. Some of those joints or segments are designed to move in more than one direction. We refer to those joints or segments as mobile joints. The joints or segments above or below are designed to only move well in one direction. Those are known as stable joints. This philosophy or concept of how the body works is known as the Joint-By-Joint approach and it’s the approach the Titleist Performance Institute has adopted when evaluating how a golfers body moves and how that relates to their swing or pain problems. We call this The Body-Swing Connection.
Let’s use the low back as the example here. The low back or lumbar spine region is primarily a stable segment. The hips and the thoracic spine, the segments above and below, mobile segments.
All golfers know that golf is a rotational sport. But what is supposed to rotate (the hips and thoracic spine) often don’t, or not well enough to prevent issues with the lower back.
How Do We Know?
We don’t guess, we assess. The TPI Level 1 movement screen helps me to identify if you are struggling with hip mobility and/or thoracic spine mobility. And I can tell you from 10 years of performing these screens that most of you will struggle with one or both of these. Even if you don’t have back pain, lack of mobility in these segments is effecting your golf performance.
Strengthen Your Core
Not that long ago, the medical/therapy and fitness industries were focused mainly on strengthening “the core” for low back pain patients. That’s what the core is for, to prevent unwanted movement.
Renown physical therapist, Shirley Sharman states, “During most daily activities, the primary role of the abdominal muscles is to provide isometric support and limit the degree of rotation of the trunk….A large percentage of low back problems occur because the abdominal muscles are not maintaining tight control over the rotation between the pelvic and the spine at the L5-S1 level.”
So the main function of the core musculature is to limit the motion of the trunk at the lumbar spine. We definitely want a strong, functioning core that can resist unwanted movement during a dynamic rotational ballistic movement like the golf swing.
But no matter how strong your core is or how often you go to the chiropractor unless you unlock your hips and T-spine low back pain will always be a problem.
Brett’s Bottom Line:
If you want to swing the club pain-free you need to know what your body can and cannot do and how that is effecting your body and your game. Any physical restrictions you might have can correlate to common unwanted swing characteristics as well as injuries common to golfers.
Once we know what works and what needs work then I can tailor a corrective exercise program for you to help you overcome pain, swing without fear and play the game you love for years to come.
What My Clients Are Saying
“I am a board-certified dental specialist who had suffered occupational back pain and stiffness for over 15 years. Brett has shown me how to stretch, strengthen, recognize, and head – off pain before it emerges. In short, Brett has made me pain-free! I am thrilled to be his client.”_Peter B., NYC
For your free phone strategy session just call (917) 596-8485 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Let’s get you started swinging pain-free!