“Walking a golf course contributes to cardiovascular fitness for golfers of all ages and is a means of enhancing or maintaining physical fitness,” says Rami Said, DPT, Senior Physical Therapist at the The Spine Hospital at the Neurological Institute of New York. “However, the sport is deceptively demanding on the musculoskeletal system and participation often leads to orthopedic injuries across all skill levels of participation.”
Dr. Said is an author of the paper The Relationship between Golf Swing Trunk Rotation Biomechanics and Low Back Pain in Golfers, published in SpineLine, the clinical and news magazine of the North American Spine Society (NASS).
In the article, co-authored by Evan K. Johnson, DPT, Director of Physical Therapy at The Spine Hospital, the authors say the swing phase of the golf stroke is the main culprit in causing the most common golf injury, low back pain.
“Trunk rotation during a golf swing generates force through coiling and uncoiling of the spine,” Drs. Said and Johnson say, emphasizing the importance of screening golfers for mobility in their upper and lower spine as well as for stability in their hips and lower spine.
“Isolated trunk rotation requires good mobility of the thoracic, or mid, spine with stability of the lower body.” To this end, they say exercises that focus on rotation and strengthening of the upper and mid back, while keeping the lower trunk stable, could be of great benefit to golfers.
You can see more assessment techniques and exercises for golfers in their SpineLine article here.
Originally published Nov 7, 2013
Updated May 23, 2017