For Spike Milligan, golf was one way to spoil a nice walk. For the rest of us golf is a way for us to exercise, compete, to relieve lifes stresses, to socialise or to get out of the house. Some of us have been playing since a young age and some take it up later in life. Either way, it is important to be aware of the stresses and strains a golf swing has on your body and that a reasonable level of strength, fitness and flexibility is required if you want to be more serious about your game, prevent injury and not just hack your way around the course.
Our bodies work by using a pattern of alternating stable segments connected by mobile joints. If this pattern is altered, injuries may occur. When considering how this applies to golf, you could use the lumbar spine (low back) as an example. If the usually mobile hips and thoracic spine (upper back) become stiff then the usually stable lumbar spine becomes too mobile and pain can be the result. Unfortunately, a stiff thoracic spine and hips are two of the most common findings when assessing golfers (males in particular). This is quite likely the reason why lower back injuries are also so common in golf.
The two main swing characteristics (faults) that can lead to low back pain in golfers are the ‘S’ posture (too much curve of your lower back) and the reverse spine (bending sideways and backwards instead of rotating in your back swing). When assessed, golfers with these characteristics will have an alteration in the mobility: stability pattern.
The Titleist Performance Institute has performed extensive research on golfers of all levels and found the 12 most common swing characteristics that could be caused by an alteration in the fore mentioned pattern arc; S-Posture, C-Posture, Loss of posture, Flat shoulder plane, early extension, over-the-top, sway, slide, reverse spine angle, hanging back, casting/early release and chicken winging.
The best way to tackle these issues is by having a good team consisting of your golf pro and golf specialist physiotherapist that can work together to get the best out of your body and therefore your golf swing. Improve your accuracy, power and longevity in the game.
While low back pain is probably the most common issue associated with poor body swing mechanics, unfortunately other injuries are also frequent. For example; shoulder pain, knee pain, golfers and tennis elbow.
Golf Assessments are carried out by Rob Edmondson here in the clinic. have a look at Robs profile to find out more about what he does or contact us on 02380 653707 to book an assessment.