Studies have shown that up to 70 % of recreational golfers suffer from injuries and back pain is one of the most common complaint. Golfers can develop back pain from playing golf, they can develop back pain which is then aggravated when they play golf or they develop back pain and find that they can no longer play golf. I therefore come across a lot of comments that golf may be bad for your back. In my opinion, playing golf can be good for the back as long as the patient follows a few simple guidelines.
1 the Air Bag Technique
2 walk along a slope, not across it.
3 shoulders and hips should rotate together
The Air Bag Technique should be used on every stroke from driving to the putting. Apart from preventing Hip Rib Impingement during the swing, it will provide stability, consistency and reduces unwanted body movements. Hip Rib Impingement is the most likely cause of loss of power/acceleration/club head speed during the golf swing. A few golf pros have noted that they can get 20-25 meters further from their drives just by performing the Air Bag Technique throughout the swing. It is very easy to breath out too early and so risk impingement at the end of the swing which is when it is most likely to happen. So I suggest golfers to keep holding their breath until the golf ball stops rolling; which is about 7-8 seconds according to Andy Mowatt.
It is also useful to perform the Air Bag Technique when teeing up the ball or picking it up or getting in and out of the buggy. Performing the Air Bag Technique while walking will help strengthen the core muscles as well as preventing impingement especially when carrying or pushing the golf bag.
The more slope there is on a golf course, the more challenging it is, but if the golfer walks with one hip higher than the other across a slope then there is a greater risk if impingement. It is better to walk along the slope and follow the terrain in such a way that the hips are level most of the time.
There are 2 basic ways that the shoulders and hips move in relation to each other during the golf swing. The first way is when there is little hip movement but the shoulder is rotated to the maximum in a winding up fashion on the back swing and then rotated rapidly in the other direction during the swing. Unfortunately this is the method that has caused the most back pain in my golfing patients. This rotation of the rib cage can also cause impingement of the intercostal muscles which can result in thoracic, chest and shoulder pains. The alternative swing is when there is hip rotation in relation to the ground but the shoulder moves in the same direction so that the shoulders and hips move together during the back swing and the follow through. In this swing the hips are less likely to hit the ribs during the swing and so reduces the risk of developing pain and improving club head speed. The Air Bag Technique also prevents the shoulders from dropping at the end of the swing which contributes to compression of the intercostal muscles.
By advising my golfing patients on the Air Bag Technique, how to walking on slopes and hip/shoulder rotation I hope they can continue playing golf and benefit from the exercise, social and mental aspects of the game for the sake of their health. Thats all from www.drchrischinbackpain.com