Why Golf Drills Alone May Not Help Your Swing or Back Pain - Mercy Medical Center

Why Golf Drills Alone May Not Help Your Swing or Back Pain

Posted on: July 30, 2013

Does this golfing scenario sound familiar?

You get off work at 5 p.m., and rush to the golf course for your 5:15 p.m. tee time. By the time you change your shoes and get your clubs out of the trunk, you have just enough time to step onto the first tee box and take one practice swing with the longest club in your bag.

Unfortunately, this routine is not conducive to low scores or a healthy back.

Daily Life Can Interfere with Your Golf Technique

Any pain in the golf swing is generally due to physical restrictions, poor mechanics or inadequate warm-ups. Back pain specifically is prevalent in golf due to the nature of our daily lives. A day full of yard work, computer time at a desk, sitting in a car or playing video games on the couch can cause restrictions in the middle-back (or thoracic) spine and hips. Tightness and dysfunction in these areas transfers the stress of the golf swing to the low back and causes technique breakdown.

Poor golf-swing mechanics may necessitate a lesson with your local golf professional; however, the root of the problem is usually more complicated than prescribed drills, especially when pain is involved. You may find that, despite the golf professional’s performance-enhancing advice, you are still unable to perform the drill effectively or eliminate the pain. This means you need to identify and address the physical limitations that are causing your injury-inducing swing faults.

For example, tight hips, a weak core and a tight middle back are some of the biggest contributors to low-back pain during golf.  These, in turn, will cause posture issues in the golf swing and can result in pain due to major swing faults, including early extension (thrusting the hips towards the golf ball) and reverse spine angle (leaning towards the target during the backswing).

Three Steps to Less Back Pain & a Better Golf Swing

If you are serious about your golf game, then you need to take a deeper look at the back pain you may be experiencing. Here are three steps you can take in the right direction:

  1. If you are actively having back pain during golf or daily activities, you need to consult with an appropriate medical professional to determine and treat any underlying causes.
  2. Once you are cleared to begin therapy or resume sports activities, you need to attack your injury-producing swing faults and physical limitations by consulting with both your golf professional and a golf-fitness professional.
  3. Build time into your pre-golf routine to perform the exercises and stretches prescribed by these professionals to prepare you for a pain-free round of golf.

Taking this new approach to your golf game has the potential to pay big dividends in your final scores. In my next post, I’ll be talking about a basic golf warm-up to get your body prepared for its first swing of the day. So stay tuned!

Do you live in or near Canton or Massillon, Ohio? Try the Mercy Golf Performance and Rehabilitation Institute. Our staff is certified by the Titleist Performance Institute. Mercy Sports Medicine also offers many other athletic performance programs for area athletes.

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