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Back Pain in Golf

Posted on 7th October 2019 by

Every year, the charity dedicated to supporting and helping people with back pain, BackCare, dedicates a week to highlighting a specific area of back pain. For 2019, the focus is on back pain in golfers.

Back pain in golf

There is a distinct lack of awareness regarding the prevention of back related injuries among golfers which hinder their play and performance in the sport.

Golf is a leisure sport enjoyed by more than 60 million people of all ages across the world and has reached the 4 million mark in the UK alone. It has many health and well-being benefits. It is widely known that a typical 18-hole-round amounts to 6-8 km of walking requiring 8000 to 12000 steps and a significant calorie burn.

You might be surprised to hear that more injuries occur in golf than in rugby! Golf with other leisure sports have an injury rate of 1.8 per thousand persons per year as opposed to 1.5 per thousand persons per year in rugby and other team sports according to the National Centre for Health Statistics.

What are the most common golfing injuries?

Low back injuries are the most common complaint from golfers. They account for 15.2% to 34% of all golf injuries, followed by injuries to the elbow (7% to 27%), shoulder (4% to 19%) and wrist 10%. Golf is a repetitive sport – With an average of 300 swings per golf-playing-day. So the type of injuries a golfer often picks up are overuse injuries.

How common are golf injuries?

Between 15.8% to 40.9% of amateur golfers report an injury (or injuries) every year; among professionals, the incidence ranges between 31% to 90% annually.

How does the swing affect the back?

Back problems are mainly attributed to how the golf swing of present-day professionals, such as Tiger Woods (the ‘modern swing’/‘the X-factor swing’) differs from that of golf legends like Jack Nicklaus (‘classic swing’). The modern swing is more powerful and exerts a greater compressive force toward the anatomy of the spine, which can be a contributory factor in back issues.

‘A long swing with passive wrists and light grip pressure can prevent back issues’ – US Golfer Phil Mickelson. At 45, Mickelson has played without any of the serious back pain unlike most of the major champions like Justin Rose, Lee Westwood, Rory McIlroy and Jason Day. Back injuries have sidelined the careers of former champions Tiger Woods and Fred Couples several times!

Want to know more about preventing back pain in golf, here’s a great little fact sheet ‘Swing Clever‘ that highlights the different factors associated with the classic and modern swing.

If back pain or any other injury is stopping you from enjoying your golf, then do get in touch. Our team can help!


BackCare Awareness Week 2018 – Back Pain in Older Adults

Posted on 6th October 2018 by

This week is the annual Back Care Awareness week, a week brought to us by the BackCare Back Pain older peopleorganisation to highlight and open discussions on back pain.

This year, the theme is back pain in older adults.

Back pain is one of the major disabling health conditions among older adults aged 60 years and older. Many causes of lower back pain are age-related with physical and psychosocial changes. There is a distinct lack of awareness, especially in older adults to the causes and effects of back pain and pain management.

Existing evidence suggests that prevalence rates of severe and chronic low back pain increase with older age. As compared to working-age adults, older adults are more likely to develop lower back pain like osteoporotic vertebral fractures, tumors, spinal infection, and lumbar spinal stenosis.                                                                                       NCBI (www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)

There are many pro-active ways to both help prevent you developing back pain or tackling back pain if you do start to experience it. Here are 3 of our top tips to help you be back care aware!

  1. Live actively – leading an active life is one of the key ways to help make sure you minimise your risk of developing back pain. If you do develop back pain, keeping moving and active will help give you the best chance of a speedy recovery.
  2. Don’t be afraid of using your back – despite all the messages you may hear “Don’t bend like that, you’ll hurt your back!”, “Be careful of your back!”, “Don’t life that, it’s too heavy and dangerous for your back!” – your back is an extremely strong part of your body, designed to move and support you.
  3. Pain doesn’t always mean harm – it can be very scary experiencing back pain, but the pain you feel doesn’t always mean that you are doing harm or that there is anything serious going on. A serious underlying condition causing pain in your back is very rare. Obviously, if you are worried, seek professional advice to put your mind at ease. But back pain is often nothing to worry about and can be overcome quickly and effectively by doing the right things.

Back care Awareness Weekl

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Live well for longer – focus on back pain 

Low back pain and sciatica, the latest NICE guidelines

Back pain myth 1 – Moving will make my back pain worse

Back pain myth 2 – I should avoid exercising, especially weight training

Back pain myth 3 – A scan will tell me exactly what’s wrong

Help, I’ve got back pain! What should I do?

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