The development of low back pain can be attributed to poor swing mechanics and poor physical conditioning. The twisting and bending nature of the golf swing places considerable stress on the lower back so what can we do to prevent this?
Remember the athletic set-up? well that not only increases your swing efficiency by enabling you to use your ads and hip muscles, but also reduces the risk of injury to your back. Most of us know the importance of bending at the knees when lifting a heavy object, the golf swing also involves powerful back muscle contractions. Keeping the knees too straight forces the trunk to bend forward more than normal and inceases back stress. A knee bend of 25 – 30 degree is ideal.
Using the Right Muscles
In addition to rotating the truck, contracting the abdominals help to brace the spine thus protecting it from injury. A simple way of increasing the amount of abdominal muscle activity is to gently tighten your abs just before starting your backswing. This protects your lower back and prepares the abs to contract during the downswing and follow through. The abdominals are the most important golf muscle in your body.
Minimize Hip Slide
During the down swing, the hips slide towards the target causing the lower back to slide or tilt to the right if your are right handed and for you lefties the oposite. This side bend motion can the a primary cause of back pain. Try concentrating on rotating rather than sliding your hips.
Swing Plane and Finish
The swing plane refers to the path the club is moved through on the back and down swing. A steep swing plane causes the hips to slide at impact and can be caused by poor set-up and increased separation of the trailing elbow(right) and the trail side of the body. Last but certainly not least is the finish position. Finishing with a relaxed upright posture is very important for reducing lower back stress .
Push rather than pull your golf cart
If you have lower back pain you should be careful if you choose a motorized golf cart. Sitting is one of the worst positions for your spine. If you must ride it is better to be the driver as holding on to the steering wheel will give your back some support.
When bending over to place or pick up your ball use correct body mechanics: stand with one foot in front of the other; use your club to support the weight of your upper body: gently tighten your abs: bend from the knees and hips, NEVER bend over at the waist with straight legs.