Golf is a sport that requires a perfect form to prevent strain or stress on the lower back muscles. Many golfers seek lower back pain treatment due to years of repetitive movements that cause pain in the lumbar spine.
To relieve this pain, take a break from golf for a day or two, rest, and ice the affected area. In severe cases, seek chiropractic help to ensure that you can get back to your daily routine and the green as soon as possible.
Two common injuries that golfers experience are muscle strains and disc injuries.
1. Muscle Strains
Frequent golfers, as well as beginners, may experience muscle strains. In golf, these typically occur as a result of a forceful swing during which the body makes an abrupt shift in position.
The lower spine or the lumbar spine is comprised of several soft tissues that support the lower back muscles and body weight. Putting your full force into an abrupt swing can cause these tissues to undergo strain and result in a burning pain in the lower back.
When the soft tissues are stretched, inflammation occurs in the surrounding area. Inflammation is caused by an excess of blood flow to the torn or injured tissues trying to heal the damage. Inflammation causes the muscles to spasm or contract lightly, which makes the area sensitive and tender.
At this point, participating in golf becomes much more difficult and continuing to play only aggravates the pain and makes the condition worse.
2. Disc Injuries
Golfing can also cause further damage in individuals who already suffer from a disc injury. Golfing itself is not a typical cause for the start of a disc injury, but when played with a pre-existing condition such as a bulging or herniated disc it can compound the issue.
Disc injuries worsen due to abnormal swinging form, but they normally occur for reasons such as old age. The older your spine, the more likely you are to develop a bulging disc due to a natural flattening of the discs that occur as you get older. When the discs are flat, they are more prone to injury.
Disc injuries can occur from overuse, trauma, and sports injury as well. Given that older individuals are usually the ones playing golf regularly, it is important to monitor any lower back pain to avoid discomfort due to disc injury.
Treating Lower Back Pain from Golf: Naturally
Lower back pain from golf can be treated naturally. Generally, to relieve initial pain after an injury, golfers are advised to rest for at least two days before returning to play.
If rest alone does not solve the issue, applying heat and ice to the affected area can help to reduce inflammation. Anti-inflammatory medications, such as ibuprofen or naproxen, help eliminate swelling. Pain relievers, such as acetaminophen can be used to eliminate back pain and soreness.
Before returning to play, it is recommended that golfers try at-home stretching, aerobics classes, or walking 30 to 40 minutes per day. These activities will reacclimate the body to physical activity and help prevent future injury.
Stretching between golf sessions should become a habit during rehabilitation, here are a couple of simple stretches to try on your own:
Back Flexion Stretch
This stretch requires you to lie on your back and pull both knees to your chest. While doing so, flex the head forward slowly until the stretch is felt throughout the lower and middle back.
Knee to Chest Stretch
This stretch requires you to lie on your back with the knees bent and on the floor beside you. With both hands, pull one knee to the chest and feel the stretch through your buttocks and lower back muscles. Repeat on the other side.
If you feel you would benefit from a professional examination and chiropractic assistance, and if you experience pain as a result of golfing, contact Michigan Chiropractic Specialists to schedule your appointment.