Back pain is the number one injury that I see in the golfers that I treat. There are a number of swing faults that can lead to back pain associated with your golf swing. When I work with golfers who are in pain I always like to start at the beginning and work on posture. If you don’t begin your swing in the right position it can put a lot of pressure on your spine and lead to pain in your back.
The most common postural issue that I see in a golfers set up is C-posture. C-posture is when you are rounded forward and look like the Hunchback of Notre Dame. This puts a large stretch on your low back and compresses your lumbar discs. Over time this compression and rotating around this compression will lead to pain in your back.
The other common postural issue in golf is S-posture which is the polar opposite of C-posture. S-posture is when your low back is scooped and your belly drops towards the golf ball. This position puts extra compression on your lumbar facet joints. Just like the discs, over time this compression will lead to inflammation of the joints and pain when you play golf.
Not that we’ve gone over what bad posture is, let’s talk about what you should look like when you set up to the golf ball. If you look at your set up from a down the line view you should be able to draw a straight line from your hips to your ear and your spine should fall right on that line. This flat back position stabilizes your lumbar spine and allows you to rotate with your hips rather than your low back. Not only will this position keep your back pain free when you play but it will also give you a little extra pop in your swing. When your low back is flat it means your core and glutes are active. This will lead to an increase in your swing speed and more distance down the fairways.
Here is a good drill that you can do to make sure that you are getting in the right position before you take a swing. Work on this drill during the off season to make sure you are in the right setup position when the season starts. Enjoy playing golf next year with a pain free back.
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