Golf is Not a Passive Course: Golfers to Take Better Care While Hitting the Links

Recent research by the American College of Sports Medicine suggests that recreational golfers are more vulnerable to long-term injury risk from the sport than many may think. The weekend golfer tries to use golf as a relaxation tool; but, in many cases, long-term injuries can affect their everyday lives. Muscle strains, tendon attachment, and spinal disc problems are just a few of the injuries that can occur while playing golf. Dr. Abraham Rivera of Physician Partners of America states, “The golf swing involves the dreaded spinal triad of bend, twist and lift. Few things can play more havoc on our lumbar disc and this motion can grind a lumbar disc away.”

There are ways in which the golfer can reduce injury but understanding that, Dr. Rivera says, “From a physiology of movement standpoint I can come up with only a few other sports where we purposely stress the low back structure worse.”

First, learn how to swing a club properly. Take lessons from a pro. Get the right equipment, the right shoes, pick the right day to golf. Forget the beer, cigar, and the cart; plan on walking the course instead of riding. Stretch before the game. There is a stretching routine plated in just about every clubhouse locker out there. Follow it; it works. Dr. Abraham Rivera, Medical Director of Physician Partners of America, says, “If your back starts hurting, that is the time to quit. Right there, right now. There is no ‘working through the pain’ with your back. At the first sign of low back pain, is time to stop. Stay hydrated, walk to your cart, and do not carry the bag in your back. There is no wisdom of carrying a bag with a hurt back.”

Muscle and tendon detachment usually occur with rough or forceful golf swings. Disc injuries can occur, very simply by swinging abnormalities. Low back pain can be caused by not enough gentle stretching. If any of these problems occur, see a pain specialist immediately for further diagnosis.