When it comes to golf injuries, the back seems to be the number one issue for players no matter what level of play.
Tiger Woods, arguably the greatest golfer of all time has had his fair share of back problems, as has Saskatchewan’s best player of all time Graham DeLaet, but without the fanfare hundreds of thousands of amateur and recreational players have likely dealt with back injuries. For most the trouble comes from muscle strains in the lower portion of the back. Dr. Trevor Erdie is a chiropractor in Estevan. He said his office sees an abundance of golfers suffering from back pain.
“Obviously chiropractic ties in with all kinds of sports, but definitely golf,” Erdie told Golf Saskatchewan. “We see our fair share of golfers. Everyone is trying to make changes to their game and improvements in different areas so we try to help out wherever we can.”
According to the Saskatchewan Chiropractors’ Association website chiropractors work with clients to develop a plan together to relieve pain and restore mobility through different tactics.
When it comes to playing golf, and Erdie being an avid golfer himself and member at TS&M Woodlawn, he suggests that prevention is the first step in having a healthy back.
“You want to make sure you are swinging properly,” he said. “Talking to your local golf pro, doing a lesson, making sure everything that is moving the way it should be, and you have the proper transfer of energy is probably the most important thing. Is the golf swing natural? I think it can be. It’s the repetition that we worry about, especially if you don’t have a good golf swing.”
Erdie went on to stress the importance of preparing for playing a round or even hitting a bucket of balls at the range. Proper warm up practices is key in keeping your back well over the season.
“There’s lots of things people can do to help prevent golf injuries, but I think a good, dynamic stretching routine prior to your round or range session can really prime your body and reduce the chance of injury,” Erdie explained.
Some other key preventative measures include:
- Take it slow, don’t jump right into a full 18 holes or 100 balls on the range on day one
- Proper swing mechanics and posture
- Good weight transfer
- Not overswinging
- Don’t overlook the dangers of transferring clubs or carrying them around the course if you are a walker
The provincial association provides a great summary of exercises on their website as well as a pamphlet they distribute to golf courses across Saskatchewan.
Erdie understands the excitement of a round of golf on a beautiful summer day but making sure your body is ready is the number one way to battle an injury.
“The best injury I always say is the one that doesn’t occur,” he stressed. “Doing the appropriate things to prevent the injuries, seeing a healthcare provider whether it be a chiropractor, physiotherapy, or massage therapist to make sure you are working on things if they do get injured. The education side of things as well, make sure you are ready for that round before you hit the links.”