March 29th, 2013

Health N' Sports: Golf Pain

Staff Report

Health N' Sports: Golf Pain

Louisville Orthopaedic Clinic explains low back pain

As a part of the Louisville Orthopaedic Clinic, the Sports Rehab Team physical therapists are knowledgeable and trained in the latest advancements and techniques available in sports rehabilitation.

On a weekly basis, the Health N’ Sports Update will give information on prevention, recovery, and include special offers, as well as general health tips that would be beneficial to all. If there is a specific topic you’d like to know or hear more about, email future suggestions to

One of America’s favorite and fastest growing sports is the game of golf. The popularity of golf is primarily due to the increased leisure time and disposable income of the baby boomer generation. Improved technology has also made the game of golf easier providing all golfers, regardless of skill level, the opportunity to enjoy the game.

As with other sports, golf is more likely to involve injuries resulting from swinging a golf club. These injuries usually involve the low back and spine area resulting mainly in muscle strains and sprains. These repetitive movements involve forceful rotation, flexion and extension of the lumber spine that can generate compressive loads up to 1500 lbs. or 8 times a person’s body weight while swinging a golf club. In comparison, running generates up to 4 times a person’s body weight. These repetitive movements can cause imbalances between muscles and joints from the opposite sides of the spine that can exacerbate over a period of years.

Before playing golf, especially for our aging population, arrive at your golf venue 20-30 minutes before your golf round to perform warm-up exercises. These exercises include hamstring, calf, and gluteal muscular stretching activities. These exercises should be performed before, during and after low back pain are rest, ice, anti-inflammatories and decompression of the lumbar spine. This is achieved by lying flat on your back with your calf muscles on the seat of a chair so that your hips and knees are positioned at a 90 degree angle. Low back injuries can also occur while riding in a gold cart, pushing and pulling a golf cart, and bending over to pick up a golf bag. The accumulating effects of these activities can be prevented by demonstrating proper body mechanics and posture while performing above activities.

Lumbar Decompression Stretch


Gluteal Stretch


Gluteal Stretch



Hamstring Stretch



Calf/Hamstring Stretch

If low back pain persists for more than 2-3 days, you may decide to consult your physician for proper treatment such as NSAID’s (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs), narcotics, or steroids. Physical Therapy may also be prescribed by your physician to teach patient appropriate exercises as well as modalities to decrease the patient’s subjective signs and symptoms.

-Patrick Thompson, P.T.-


Assumption Golf Coach Kevin Monaghan gives insight to the golf game

1) What exercises and warm up activities do you suggest for golfers?

Go to the driving range and start with short irons and work your way to the “driver.”  Warming up is a slow activity (yet important) and most of us don’t like slow.

2) What common injuries have you seen with golfers? Why?

Lower back pain and blisters on the hands. Theses can both be attributed to the “Grip it and rip it” mentality.

3) What is your advice for golfers with lower back pain?

Arrive early and then slow down, warm up, swing easy, and don’t go for the fence on every shot!

4) What causes lower back pain for golfers?

It's poor technique and the repetition of hitting balls that usually leads to an injury.

5) What exercises can help prevent lower back pain for golfers?

Doing core strengthen exercises are key to just about any athletic activity and for that matter daily life.


Louisville Orthopaedic Clinic & Sports Rehab Center

Main Office: 502-897-1794

Physical Therapy: 502-897-1790


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