Golfing Back Injuries: Golf is an enjoyable game that can be played at all ages. It involves the foundation of the body’s range of motion, the spine. Because of the repetitive nature of a golfer’s unique swing, the repetitive rotating/twisting of the spine slowly degrades the integrity of the spinal discs causing them to bulge, herniate, or rupture. The slightest shift causing misalignment can leave the spine vulnerable to further injury. Non-surgical motorized decompression combined with chiropractic musculoskeletal adjustments can restore and maintain optimal health.
Table of Contents
Golfing Back Injuries
Golfing involves muscle memory. Going through the walk, bending to tee the ball, recoiling for the swing, swinging and following through, walking to the hole, and bending down to retrieve the ball are all repetitive motions that can lead to:
- Back, hip, leg, and foot pain.
- Other injuries to the muscles and discs.
The bending and twisting are the least tolerated motions by the spine. More than half of injuries sustained involve the back and/or neck. Having the spine correctly aligned is vital to retaining accuracy, power, and injury prevention. Common injuries include:
Sacroiliac Joint/SI Joint Dysfunction
The sacroiliac joint is located between the spine and the hip. Symptoms of sacroiliac joint pain include:
- Low back pain.
- Hip pain
- Pain in the buttocks.
- Pain radiating down the legs.
- Groin pain
- Pelvis pain
- Burning sensation in the pelvis.
- Numbness and weakness in the pelvis and legs.
SI Joint Pain Causes
- The sacroiliac joint requires supported stability when transferring a load from the torso to the legs, specifically during the swing.
- If there is compression, misalignment, or weakness, the motion will begin to wear away this stability and leave the sacroiliac joint open to further injury.
- Sacroiliac joint injuries often occur from minor multi-incidents and not one major trauma.
- With time the SI joint becomes misaligned, exposing the cartilage between joints, causing inflammation known as Sacroiliitis.
Facet Joint Syndrome
- The facet joints are located between two vertebrae, allowing the ability to bend and twist.
- Healthy facet joints have cartilage all around them, allowing the vertebrae to move smoothly in all directions.
- Facet joint syndrome causes pain between the vertebrae.
Facet Joint Syndrome Causes
- The leading cause of facet joint syndrome is excessive and repetitive swing movement.
- Misalignment can expose and irritate the joints, causing pain, swelling, and inflammation.
- Multi-micro-traumas and not one major trauma are often the cause of injury/s.
- Muscle spasms are common.
- Highly reduced range of motion
- Muscle pain
- Cervical Facet Syndrome affects the neck, shoulders, arms, and hands.
- Lumbar Facet Syndrome affects the buttocks, legs, and feet.
- Decompression treatment varies from case to case.
- The treatment is computer-controlled to provide gentle and painless decompression.
- The therapist enters the program cycle.
- The decompression table goes through brief moments of pulling and relaxing.
- The spine’s bones are stretched slowly and methodically.
- As the vertebrae are separated, a vacuum is formed, pulling the gel-cushion center of the disc back inside, removing the pressure on the spinal nerves and alleviating pain and disability.
- The vacuum also draws oxygen and nutrients into the injured and degenerated discs to optimize healing.
Long Term Success
Cole, Michael H, and Paul N Grimshaw. “The Biomechanics of the Modern Golf Swing: Implications for Lower Back Injuries.” Sports medicine (Auckland, N.Z.) vol. 46,3 (2016): 339-51. doi:10.1007/s40279-015-0429-1
Dydyk, Alexander M., et al. “Sacroiliac Joint Injury.” StatPearls, StatPearls Publishing, 4 August 2021.
Hosea, T M, and C J Gatt Jr. “Back pain in golf.” Clinics in sports medicine vol. 15,1 (1996): 37-53.
Lindsay, David M, and Anthony A Vandervoort. “Golf-related low back pain: a review of causative factors and prevention strategies.” Asian journal of sports medicine vol. 5,4 (2014): e24289. doi:10.5812/asjsm.24289
Smith, Jo Armour, et al. “Risk Factors Associated With Low Back Pain in Golfers: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis.” Sports health vol. 10,6 (2018): 538-546. doi:10.1177/1941738118795425
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