Why Your Back Hurts When Playing Golf


Lower back pain is the most common golf-related injury. This may be something that occurs with each swing, some soreness following your round, or something that is limiting you from playing as much as you like. Typically, lower back pain gets worse without a correct plan to fix it. On average, a golfer with lower back pain may take a week or two off to rest and let the pain subside. While this may be a good temporary solution, the cause for the back pain is still likely present, making it probable that you will experience this again. But why is your back in so much pain?

Believe it or not, the lower back is not typically the cause of your pain, just the source of the pain. Our lower back can be thought of as “the good guy gone bad.” This area tends to get overworked because other parts of your body are not doing their job. For example, our bodies are designed to rotate more through the thoracic spine (mid back) and the hips as far as the golf swing is concerned. Therefore, if the mid back or hips are not rotating well, then the lower back will try to rotate more. This is a movement our back is not designed to perform and over time will cause injuries.  Many golfers that suffer from lower back pain have limitations in the ability to rotate in the mid back and the hips.  When treating this ailment, it’s best to assess the hips and mid-back first and treat that before the lower back itself. If you are suffering from lower back pain, here are a couple of exercises that you can do to improve the mobility of the mid back and hips.

T-Spine Rotation Open Book:

  • Lay on right side, hips and knees bent 90 degrees. Rotate your left shoulder toward the ground as you reach back with your left arm. Your arm should follow your body. Do not extend your arm past your body. Make sure you do not let your knees come apart or off the ground.

Heisman:

    • Stand close to a wall, toes straight ahead. Raise one knee up and across your body so that your pelvis rotates around the stationary leg. Try to turn your belt buck without allowing your chest and shoulders to rotate. Do 8-10 reps each side.

To watch more videos, visit our YouTube. If you’re experiencing lower back pain, or would like help with your swing, we offer free injury assessments at our valleywide locations. Request an appointment today or give us a call at 480.289.5502.


Adam Halseth

PT, DPT, SCS | Adam is the Education Chair for the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) golf special interest group. As a result of his Titlist Performance Institute (“TPI”) Medical Level III certification, interactions with top medical and fitness providers in the golf industry, and numerous other trainings, Adam has developed an in-depth understanding of specific golf training modalities North Scottsdale