Golfers take care of your back

I guess this is Healthy Golf Week on the blog. Today’s post concerns golf’s number one injury, the lower back.

The human body was not designed to accommodate the stresses golf places on the lumbar spine. Regardless of what anybody says, there is no stress-free golf swing.

What you can do is get fit for playing the game, and adopt practices that minimize the stress.

There is one book I have found that tells you everything you need to know on this subject.

It is titled, Golfers Take Care of Your Back, written by Susan M. Carpenter and Florence P. Kendall.

Florence Kendall comes to golf with heavy credentials. She is, coequally with her husband, Henry O. Kendall, the founder of physical therapy in this country.

Her book, Muscles: Testing and Function, is on the desk of every working physical therapist today.

When she speaks, listen.

You can find this book at I recommend you get a copy and follow its advice.

If you want to know more about golf and the back from a clinical perspective, I would refer you to this comprehensive but somewhat imposing metastudy.

One thing. On the golf forums I read, every now and then someone will say, my back really hurts whenever I play. Should I stop playing and see a doctor?

That’s not a dumb question. We are often reluctant to seek medical assistance because we are afraid of what we might find out, afraid of what the treatment might be, or afraid of how treatment might affect our life’s routine.

But if your back hurts after every time you play, or after every time at the range, Stop! Get it checked out. It might be something that eventually affects more than your golf game.

This part is important: if you have back pain and have lost control of your bowels and bladder, this is an emergency condition. See a doctor immediately!

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