Many golfers contort their bodies into oddly twisted postures, generating a great deal of torque. Couple this motion with a bent-over stance, repeat 120 times over three or four hours, add the fatigue that comes with several miles of walking, and you’ve got a good workout — and a recipe for potential lower-back trouble.

Back pain is a warning sign that there is an underlying problem that will likely get worse. Doctors of Chiropractic look for the cause of the symptom and help reduce the likelihood of future injury. Here’s some advice on how to take a proactive approach that will prepare your body for many years of pain-free play.

  • Purchase equipment that fits. Don’t try to adapt your swing to the wrong size clubs.
  • For senior golfers, if you show some signs of arthritis in the hands, consider a larger, more specialized grip for added safety and performance.
  • 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.
  • Avoid metal spikes. They tear up greens and can increase stress on the back. Soft shoes or soft spikes allow for greater motion.
  • Warm up before each round. Stretching before and after playing is the best way to reduce post-game stiffness and soreness. Take a brisk walk to get blood flowing to the muscles; then do a set of stretches.
  • Pull, don’t carry, your golf bag. Carrying a heavy bag for 18 holes can cause compression of the spine, leading to disk problems and nerve irritation.
  • Keep your entire body involved. Every third hole, take a few practice swings with the opposite hand to keep your muscles balanced and even out stress on the back.
  • Drink lots of water. Dehydration causes early fatigue, leading you to compensate by adjusting your swing, thus increasing the risk of injury.

If you golf consistently, you will no doubt feel the stress of the game, but by following a few simple prevention tips, it is possible to play without pain for a lifetime.

Please consult your doctor of Chiropractic if you have further questions.

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