Should I Play Golf With Lower Back Pain?


Golf is a popular sport that requires a combination of physical strength, coordination, and mental focus. However, for individuals who suffer from lower back pain, participating in any physical activity can be a challenge. This raises the question: should I play golf with lower back pain?

The answer to this question is not a simple yes or no. It depends on several factors, including the severity of your pain, the underlying cause of your lower back pain, and the potential risks involved in playing golf. Here are a few things to consider before grabbing your golf clubs:

1. Consult with a healthcare professional: Before making any decisions, it is crucial to seek professional advice from a healthcare provider who specializes in treating musculoskeletal conditions. They will be able to assess the severity of your lower back pain, identify any underlying causes, and provide you with personalized advice and treatment options.

2. Understand the root cause of your lower back pain: Lower back pain can be caused by a variety of factors, such as muscle strains, herniated discs, spinal stenosis, or degenerative conditions. It is essential to determine the specific cause of your pain, as certain conditions may be aggravated by golfing or any physical activity.

3. Start with gentle exercises and stretches: If your healthcare provider gives you the green light to play golf, it is essential to prepare your body properly. Engaging in a regular stretching and strengthening routine specific to your lower back can help alleviate pain and reduce the risk of further injury. Consider consulting with a physical therapist who can design a golf-specific exercise program tailored to your needs.

4. Modify your swing and equipment: The golf swing can put a significant amount of stress on the lower back. To minimize this stress, consider making modifications to your swing technique, such as reducing the rotation in your hips or shortening your backswing. Additionally, using clubs with larger clubhead sizes or graphite shafts can help absorb shock and reduce the impact on your lower back.

5. Take breaks and listen to your body: It is crucial to listen to your body and take breaks when needed. Playing 18 holes of golf can be physically demanding, even for those without lower back pain. Consider breaking up your rounds by taking breaks every few holes or playing fewer holes than usual. Be mindful of any pain or discomfort during and after playing, and adjust your activity level accordingly.

6. Consider non-impact alternatives: If you find that playing golf exacerbates your lower back pain, consider exploring non-impact alternatives such as swimming or cycling. These activities can provide cardiovascular benefits without putting excessive strain on your lower back.

7. Use proper posture and body mechanics: Regardless of whether you’re playing golf or performing any other activity, maintaining proper posture and body mechanics is essential for preventing and managing lower back pain. Focus on maintaining a neutral spine, engaging your core muscles, and avoiding excessive twisting or bending movements.

In conclusion, playing golf with lower back pain is not an easy decision to make. It depends on the severity of your pain, the underlying cause, and the potential risks involved. Consulting with a healthcare professional, understanding the root cause of your pain, and taking proper precautions can help you make an informed decision and minimize the risk of further injury. Remember to listen to your body, take breaks if needed, and adjust your activity level accordingly. Ultimately, your health and well-being should be the top priority.