At some point in all of our lives we have to deal with lower back pain. Our lower back is responsible for A LOT when it comes to our movements like lifting, bending , twisting, etc. and at some point (or for a lot of us at many points) in our lives we are going to try and use our lower back and run into some resistance. So is it possible to go golfing with lower back pain?
I personally have been dealing with lower back pain since I was 17 years old so I have grown accustomed to adjusting how I do all of my daily living activities and extracurricular activities based on giving me the least amount of pain. So to answer my question, “YES” it is possible. But you have to know things to do ahead of time, during, and after you play in order to keep the pain from worsening, or worse, cause more damage to your back.
- 1 Things To Do Ahead Of Time
- 2 Things To Do Just Before You Golf
- 3 Things To Do While You Golf
- 4 Things To Do After You Golf
Things To Do Ahead Of Time
One of the best things you can do to control or even get rid of back pain is to exercise. One of the best exercises to help with back pain is strengthening your core which is the front, back and sides of a person’s midsection. If you can strengthen your core it will help stabilize your back relieving or eliminating the back pain.
Exercising along with eating a healthy diet will help you lose weight. Taking the weight off of your back will also help with the lower back issues. Imagine wearing a 20, 30, or even a 50 pond weighted vest for a long period of time and then taking it off. The relief you would feel would be WONDERFUL! It’s the same thing with losing the weight except the vest comes off a lot slower.
A lot of men out there think yoga is just for women so they can wear tight yoga pants. In actuality, yoga can be very beneficial to everyone. Yoga not only increases your flexibility, which helps you loosen up those tight areas like your lower back, it also supports joint health, improves balance, and builds strength. All of which will not only improve you back, but your golf game overall as well.
Hang Out Upside Down
A great way to traction your back, which is a form of decompression therapy that relieves pressure on your spine, is to buy an inversion table. With an inversion table you can lock in your feet and tip backwards to what ever angle you want and hang upside down.
Because your upper body is heavy, hanging upside down will pull the disks in your back apart giving relief to those disks that have been compressed. Just writing abut it makes my back feel relief already!
See A Back Cracker
Some people do not believe in what chiropractors do, but if you’re not one of those people then maybe you need to get in and see one from time to time. Chiropractors apply controlled sudden force to a spinal joint, also known as “spinal manipulation”, to improve spinal motion and your body’s physical function.
In other words, sometimes your back gets out of wack and needs to be readjusted. This can help lessen or even eliminate the pain in your lower back so you can enjoy a round of golf without feeling like a 90 year old man.
Things To Do Just Before You Golf
The Heat Is On
Applying heat to your lower back can help loosen up your back muscles. This helps get relief from back stiffness and muscle spasms. Apply heat for 15 to 20 minutes before going out on the golf course to help ease some of the tension in your lower back before your round.
Moist heat like baths, showers, hot packs and heating pads work much better than dry heat for this. Also you can try applying pain relief patches just before you go out to play. This can also provide you with some relief from the pain.
Purchase a back brace from any local drug store or sporting goods store to help stabilize your back while you are playing. It should not interfere too much with your golf swing, and if it does then you need to decide if it is still worth wearing based on how much pain you are in.
Stretch, Stretch, And Then Stretch Some More
Stretching is EXTREMELY important to avoid injuries in any sport or physical activity. Golf, although it mostly seems like a way to go out and have fun with some buddies, is no different. Stretch before you golf, stretch while you are golfing, and stretch when you are done golfing. This will not only allow you to golf with a little less pain, it might just help you avoid lower back pain all together.
Things To Do While You Golf
Maybe It’s Your Swing
Certain golf swings can be very hard on your lower back. All of the things I have mentioned above can help you get through a round, but being able to play with your lower back pain might still come down to changing the way you swing the club. For example, there is a certain kind of swing that even some of the pros use that is as gentle on the back as you can get. This swing type is called the Stack and Tilt.
The Stack and Tilt swing put you in what’s commonly referred to as a “reverse pivot”. I will go into this in more detail in a later post, but just know for now that adjusting your swing could be what you need to do if you experience chronic lower back pain.
Things To Do After You Golf
Ice Ice Baby
I’ve Already mentioned stretching before, during and after a round of golf and I have mentioned using moist heat before a round, but after afterwords the best thing to do is ice your lower back. Ice your back for 15 to 20 minutes to reduce nerve activity, pain and swelling. Do not put the ice directly on your skin though, because you may cause more damage than you are helping.
Not everyone likes to use ice, but it would be pointless to prepare your back to get through a round of golf just to experience all of the pain afterwords. This might frustrate you enough to stop playing golf all together, so take just as much care of your back after a round as you do before and during.
It’s Now Up To You
So now that you know what you can do if you are experiencing lower back pain but aren’t willing to give up on golf just yet. This is where the hardest part of the process comes into play. YOU have to actually plan ahead and do the things necessary to prevent as much pain as possible so it will not effect your game and it will not frustrate you into quitting all together.
Plan ahead, do what is described above, and keep those excuses out of your head so you aren’t too busy, too tired or too lazy to take care of yourself so you can enjoy golfing for years to come.