Newswise — As a golfer, you’re used to contorting your body into oddly twisted postures. Couple this motion with a bent-over stance repeated 120 times over three or four hours and miles of walking the course, and you’re bound to experience lower back pain.
This year, be more mindful of your spinal health. The American Chiropractic Association (ACA) suggests the following simple measures to help avoid back pain or injury and improve your game:
- Purchase equipment that fits. Don’t try to adapt your swing to the wrong clubs. A six-footer playing with irons designed for someone five inches shorter is begging for back trouble.
- It's a good idea to spend some extra time performing quality stretches – before and after your game – to increase your trunk flexibility. Perform dynamic stretches such as lunges and squats.
- Take lessons. Learning proper swing technique is critical. At the end of the swing, you want to be standing up straight; the back should not be twisted.
- Pull, don’t carry, your golf bag. Carrying a heavy bag for 18 holes can cause the spine to shrink, leading to disc problems and nerve irritation. If you ride in a cart, alternate riding and walking every other hole – bouncing around in a cart can also be hard on the spine.
- Drink lots of water. Dehydration causes early fatigue, leading you to compensate by adjusting your swing, thus increasing the possibility of injury.
For more information or to speak with Jay Greenstein, DC, a chiropractor who specializes in sports injury prevention and treatment, who can offer additional guidance on this topic, please contact Amanda Donohue at [email protected] or (703) 812-0209. To find an ACA chiropractor near you, visit www.acatoday.org.