“BACK” to GOLF!
Diane Klos, PT, CSCS
It’s that time of year again where many of us dust off our clubs and hit the driving range or our favorite golf course. For many, this time of year comes along with the onset of low back pain. (Usually a reminder of our lack of fitness during the long winter here in Wisconsin, or our full day of work sitting behind a desk.) That being said, here are some “Dynamic Performance and Therapy” tips to help you navigate the return of your golf game safely:
- History of low back problems?
- If you have had a previous back injury or surgery, make sure your medical doctor, chiropractor or physical therapist clears you for a safe return to play. Here at Dynamic Performance and Therapy we have golf movement specialists who can evaluate your fitness and help you return to your game safely.
- Consider wearing a back brace:
- If you have had a back problem you may benefit from wearing a supportive back brace. This helps to support and enhance your core stability and helps prevent your low back from over rotating during the backswing or the follow through.
- Consider the time of day you are going to play.
- Most people with a history of back pain are more stiff and sore in the mornings (Primarily if your problem is related to a disc, arthritis or spinal stenosis.) You may benefit from playing a little later in the day after your body has had time to warm up.
- Start with a proper warm up:
- This may include stretching and mobility exercises (video below) and/or lightly swinging the club working from partial swings to fuller swings to make sure your body is prepared to hit that first drive. This is especially important for those of you who have a more sedentary job that involves a lot of sitting.
- Meet with your golf professional:
- If you are having a problem with a painful or unproductive golf swing, check to see if your golf professional can help you “simplify” your swing. A proper swing uses a summation of rotational movement from the hips, torso and shoulders so that they all “share the load.” If any one of them does not have the mobility to contribute its share of the movement, the other areas suffer the consequence. A mobility screening from your Dynamic PT can help you identify where you have a problem and they can consult with your golf professional to help you make those changes in your swing.
- The importance of using your breath is critical for supporting your low back and activating your core. Try taking a breath in through your nose before your backswing and gradually exhaling that breath through your mouth as you take your club through your full swing. This exhalation helps activate your core to protect your back and helps the transfer of forces from your torso to your arm more efficiently and effortlessly so your arm just “comes along for the ride!” Ultimately, it should result in a greater club head speed, a longer ball distance and no back pain.
- We all have good intentions to be ready for the golf season, however some us need a little bit of guidance and reminders of how to prepare. Here are some videos of what we recommend at Dynamic to help your body prepare for this years upcoming golf season!