Three Swing Characteristics That May Be Affecting Your Golf Game
If you’re a golfer, perhaps you know one of the most common injuries golfers sustain during the season is lower back pain.
According to the Titleist Performance Institute, 28.1% of players from a pool of over 31,000 golfers suffered from low back pain after every round*. That is far too much time spent in pain; pain that could potentially keep you from continuing something you love.
To better understand what is happening to your body when you experience this pain, read this brief article highlighting where the pain is coming from and some popular reasons it’s happening to you.
Cause & Effect
It may surprise you to learn that while your low back is the source of the pain, it is typically not the cause of it. When it comes to movement, we have “mobile” and “stable” parts of the body. Your shoulder moves more than your elbow does, right? That’s because your shoulder is “mobile” (rotates all around) and your elbow is “stable” (bends one way). Simply put, when a body part does what it is not supposed to do, that’s when strain and pain happens.
More often than not, your “lumbar” spine is taking the brunt of the work while your “thoracic” spine is not moving enough. Thoracic is the center of your chest whereas lumbar is the base of your spine, hence the low back pain. Move the areas that are supposed to move: your shoulders, ankles, thoracic spine, and reduce the strain on your lower back.
Adjust Your Swing
There are three ways a golfer may swing that negatively impacts their game. These may be to compensate for pre-existing pain, or just a bad habit you fell into. See if any of these three sound like you.
Reverse Spine Angle (RSA): This is the number one swing characteristic that causes lower back pain in regards to golfers. This occurs when you are leaning too far back at the top of your backswing. Rather than leaning into it and putting the strain on your abs where it should be, the strain is all in your lumbar spine due to the angle in which you’re swinging. Instinctively, you may be falling into this habit because to hold the weight in your abs feels like more work, so you subconscously lessen that load by making your back hold the weight.
S-Posture: This one is more of a set up problem than a swing problem. S-posture is when there is a lot of pressure on the lower back and tightness in the hips due to weak abdominal and gluteal muscles. This is typical with golfers who have needed to sit at a desk for years and years. It can be identified by the “S” shape of your spine; your butt will stick out but your spine will still be curved, rather than keeping your back straight.
Hanging Back: With this one, you may notice pain predominately on the right side of your body. If you video yourself setting up a swing, imagine a straight line going up from your left foot. When you swing, you should come back to meet that “line.” If you in fact go farther away from that line, you are “hanging back.” This may be happening because you are attempting to open the clubface with impact, or you already have low back pain and therefore aren’t properly shifting your weight forward because of this.
Get Well, Stay Well
Whatever the reason may be for your pain, it’s bad. It’s keeping you from a game you love, and affecting other aspects of your life as well. Maybe you can’t sleep well, maybe you can’t pick up little ones as much, or maybe just sitting/standing grows to be too painful and distracts you from work. If you have an injury or experience pain in the lower back, chiropractic care will get you back on track. At Allied, we will not only put you on a plan to get better, we encourage care for you to STAY better.
Pain Management, Sport