How to Avoid Injury in your Golf Game?

The American Chiropractic Association (ACA) has found that many golfers contort their bodies into strange twisted postures that generates a great deal of torque. Add this motion with a bent-over stance, repeated 120 times over three or four hours, along with walking several miles, and you have a great workout and a recipe for lower-back trouble.

The ACA has advice on how to take a proactive approach that will prepare your body for many years of pain-free play.

According to Dr. Stude, member of the ACA Sports Council and founding fellow of the National Golf Fitness Society, majority of golfers play until they hurt, then look for help. Back pain is a warning sign that there is an underlying problem that will cause the symptoms to get worse. Doctor of Chiropractic look for the cause of the symptoms and help reduce the chance of future injury.

How to avoid low back pain

Tiger Woods says that lifting weights and visiting his chiropractor regularly has made him a better golfer. Dr. Stude and the ACA suggest these simple measures to help you avoid back pain or injury and improve your game.

• Purchase equipment that fits. Do not try to adapt your swing to the wrong clubs.
• For women in golf:If you have “inherited” someone’s golf clubs, they might be difficult for you to use. Women usually play better with clubs that are composed of lighter, more flexible material, such as graphite.
• For men in golf: Spend extra time performing quality stretches before and after your game to increase your trunk flexibility. Men need to improve their flexibility to maintain a more even and consistent swing plane, which will improve the likelihood of more consistent performance.
• For senior golfers: If you have some signs of arthritis in the hands, consider a larger, more specialized grip for added safety and performance.
• For all golfers: For some, enjoying the social benefits of the game is more important than scores. Having comfortable clubs will increase the chances of playing for a long time without significant physical limitations.
• Take lessons. Learning proper swing is critical. At the end of the swing, you want to be standing up straight, the back should not be twisted.
• Wear orthotics. Custom-made shoe inserts support the arch, absorb shock, and increase coordination. Dr. Stude says that what the foot rests on affects your game.
• Avoid metal spikes. These can increase stress on the back and tears up the greens. Soft shoes or soft spikes allow for greater motion.
• Warm up before each round. To avoid post-game stiffness and soreness, stretch before and after 18 holes. Taking a brisk walk to get your blood flowing to the muscles then do a set of stretches. To set up a stretching and/or exercise routine, see a Doctor of Chiropractic or golf pro who can evaluate your areas of tension and flexibility.
• Pull, do not carry, your golf bag. Carrying a heavy bag for 18 holes can cause the spine to shrink, leading to disk problems and nerve irritation. If you prefer to ride in a cart, alternate riding and walking every other hole, bouncing around in a cart can also be hard on your spine.
• Keep your entire body involved. Every third hole take a few practice swings with the opposite hand to keep your muscles balanced.  This evens out stress on the back.
• Drink a lot of water. Dehydration causes early fatigue, therefore can cause you to compensate by adjusting your swing thus increasing the risk of injury. Do not smoke or drink alcohol while golfing because these cause loss of fluid.
• Take the “drop.” One bad swing, striking a root or rock with your club can damage a wrist. If unsure whether you can get a clean swing, take the drop.

Chiropractic Care Can Help

Doctor of Chiropractic are trained and licensed to treat the entire neuromusculoskeletal system. Some Doctor of Chiropractic have specialized training in sports medicine and can provide advice for golfers to help them decrease the stresses and strains placed on their bodies. Doctor of Chiropractic can address other health concerns, such as shoulder, knee, and wrist pain that could affect your game.

Need Relief after a golf injury? Give us a call at (703) 877-0787 or

Book an Appointment