Spine health is the key to a fit and a healthy body. And if you are sportsperson, any injury to your back can be distressing to you career. Though injuries remain unavoidable just like accidents, we can certainly take care to keep our back in a healthy condition so that it recovers fast from any mishap. There is widespread admiration towards this game of golf now in the whole world as technology has improved its pace by use of advanced equipment. However one noteworthy point is that like any sport golf too is prone to back pains and spine injuries due to sprains and strains in the muscles. And if it is a regular feature that you complain about having a backache after making swings or carrying the clubs, then it is high time you take preventive steps before it affects your ability to play and cause frustration.
Four key areas of prevention for the sport of golf:
Warm-up before playing golf
– Warming up your body thoroughly before you wander out in the course is very important to bring your muscles into rhythm and make them ready for the play. This helps a lot in preventing any sudden muscle pull or a strain in the back while making a shot or kneeling down to pick your club bag. Start with stretching and swinging your torso, shoulder, hands, hip area and hamstring muscles. Gently swinging your arms with a club in the hand will loosen necessary muscles. Start your game with small iron clubs before moving to heavy wooden ones to slowly warm up your muscles. The stretched muscles become stronger to take any jerk and can avoid painful back pains.
Practice swinging before playing golf
– While making a long or a speedy shot , golfers tend to apply a lot of force in the lower back which may cause a sudden jerk or a muscle pull. In order to avoid this, golfers should practice making smooth and rhythmic swings which causes less stress to lower back and can avoid possibility of any disc displacement. When you make a smooth twist, the hip, shoulder, lower spine and chest segments also rotate to share the burden of swing from the back resulting in a high club head pace. A great body posture while playing any shot involves keeping your feet apart at the shoulder’s width, bending your knees slightly, keeping spine straight and bending forward from hip area. The body weight should go down evenly on the feet balls. If you work with golf pro in the beginning and concentrate on maintaining a good posture, you will find it fitting in your game style naturally. However one needs to practice consistently and deliberately maintain focus on building the desired posture.
Bio-mechanics of golf and the low back
– Let’s get to understand some inner chemistry of your body and how it works when you twist. When you make a swing the L5-S1 disc space of your spine takes the load to allow you to rotate. The other joints in lower back support this rotation and thus are less prone to getting an injury. The players in the age of 30 to 40 years tend to apply greater force in hitting swings and suffer from isthmic spondylolisthesis or degenerative disc more than players in any other age group. For such players, it is important that they practice playing a lucid and smooth swing and maintain flexibility of the hamstrings to avoid any jerks.
Carrying the golf bag safely
– The golf bag needs to be picked after every shot; hence bending of back is a normal feature while playing golf. You can purchase a golf bag with a stand of the height and with wheels that avoids lesser bending or if you love carrying it along to shed extra fat, then buy a bag with dual straps that evenly divides the burden over your two shoulders and exerts lesser pressure on your lower back .
Your health is your greatest wealth and it is in your hands to keep it in a good shape. You may opt to take preventive steps to avoid major setbacks to your body due to negligence or take corrective steps later once you have fallen prey to these health hazards. The choice is yours!