Avoid Low Back Pain

Tips to Avoid Low Back Pain Associated with Golf

Lower back pain is the number one reported injury in golf.  Poor posture, swing techniques, wrong equipment, muscle imbalances and over-use are all attributed to causing lower back pain.  While not every golfer will incur a serious lower back injury, the majority of golfers will at least suffer from low back pain at some point in their golf career.

A study of PGA players indicate that approximately 77% of all professional golfers report acute or chronic low back pain related to the golf swing.  The majority of professional golfers train to meet the demands of the rotational stresses created from the golf swing.  They are in top physical condition with near perfect swings, yet nearly three out of every four still incur back pain.  Compared to many amateur golfers that are overweight with poor swing mechanics, it should not be a surprise when a player suffers a back injury.  The following techniques will help prevent low back pain.

Golf Rx: A 15-Minute-a-Day Core Program for More Yards and Less Pain

Golf Rx: A 15-Minute-a-Day Core Program for More Yards and Less Pain


Stretching is considered an essential part of any fitness activity that will help decrease the risk of injury and improve performance.  Static stretching is the traditional form of preparing your body for the necessary athletic movements.  Static stretching refers to holding a stretch with no movement, such as touching your toes.  Dynamic stretching actively involves moving a joint through the range of motion required for a sport.  In recent years, dynamic stretching has become the preferred method while some believe static stretching does not help performance before a competition.  Whatever form of stretching you prefer, learn the proper way to complete the stretch.  In addition, avoid any bouncing movements throughout the stretching movement.


The best way to avoid low back pain is to prevent it from happening through a strength and flexibility exercise program.  Many golfers believe a strength training program will have a negative effect on performance and decrease their range of motion.  The proper training program will help improve your golf game and prevent injury.  All body parts that are being strengthened should also be stretched to maintain flexibility.  In golf, strength is useless without flexibility.

Strengthening muscles that support the spine with exercise can prevent, reduce and eliminate low back pain.  Many injuries in golf result from muscle imbalances.  Weak core muscles are often at the root of low back pain.  Make it a priority to strengthen muscles in the back, abdomen, hips and buttocks that work together to support the spine.

Swing Improvements

Improve your golf swing.  Many golfers compensate for faults throughout their swing.  Limitations or extra movements may not prevent you from playing well, however, they will put you at risk for injury.  Schedule a lesson with a golf professional and improve your technique.

The golf swing is dependent on doing the previous move correctly.  The correct golf swing begins by setting up correctly.  Therefore, improve your posture in your set up.  Poor posture is often the result of muscle imbalances.  Common posture mistakes occur when the shoulders are slumped forward at address while creating roundness to the back from the tailbone to the back and neck.  Creating too much arch in the lower back while in the set up position is another common posture mistake.

The majority of golfers would like to hit the ball farther and more consistent.  Additional benefits of a strength and flexibility program include increasing club swing range and swing speed which result in more distance.  Also, improving swing technique could potentially increase swing speed, contact and produce more distance.

Matt Keller, PGA                                                                                                                                                             keller@pga.com
Golf Simplified: How to Learn Your Fundamentals

Related Posts:

  • No Related Posts