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Golf and low back pain

How does golfing cause low back pain?


Low back pain is regularly reported by golfers. One of the primary causes of low back pain in golfers is due to the repeated golf swing biomechanics.

Although golf swings may appear to be gentle, significant force are required to generate swing speeds fast enough to accelerate the golf ball to the required distance and direction. Imagine performing this swing for more than 50 times during a round or up to 300 times during a typical practice session. [1] These movements can cause repeated loading and torsional stress to the lumbar spine as seen in the picture below. [2]


Source - Journal of Neurosurgery: Spine [2]




Trauma to the spine from repeated golf swings causes spinal misalignment. The discs between spinal segments will then be compressed and stretched, further causing damage to the structures of the discs. In the long run, this will lead to disc bulges and disc degeneration resulting in nerve compression and causing symptoms like low back pain, numbness or weakness in the legs.



How can chiropractors help? When you experience low back pain from playing golf, taking pain-medication and avoiding golf altogether is not the way to go. Instead, regular chiropractic adjustment can help reposition the misaligned vertebra to reduce disc swelling and nerve compression, thus allowing the disc to heal and gradually relieving symptoms of back pain.

Besides your spine, chiropractors can also help with joint-related issues from playing golf like elbow pain, shoulder pain and knee pain!



Zoey Quah

Chiropractor







References:

1. Cole, M. and Grimshaw, P., 2015. The Biomechanics of the Modern Golf Swing: Implications for Lower Back Injuries. Sports Medicine, 46(3), pp.339-351.


2. Walker, C., Uribe, J. and Porter, R., 2019. Golf: a contact sport. Repetitive traumatic discopathy may be the driver of early lumbar degeneration in modern-era golfers. Journal of Neurosurgery: Spine, 31(6), pp.914-917.


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