Leon E. Popovitz, MD
Top-Rated Orthopedic Surgeon
Specializing in Arthroscopic Surgery of the Shoulder & Knee.
For appointments 212.759.4553

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Avoid Back Pain Playing Golf

This weekend the world will be tuning in to watch the US Open Golf Championship. Former number 1 golfer Tiger Woods withdrew last week. As we all know, he has been suffering from many injuries over the years that have kept him from competing at the top level. He has had several back surgeries, and is still not ready to return to play.

Woods is not alone living with back pain, and even playing golf with back pain. Whether it’s on the PGA tour, or at a public course near you, many golfers suffer from this very common condition.

Here are a few suggestions that should make your round more enjoyable. Warm up, and I don’t mean on the putting green. Stretch, for five to seven minutes, your arms, neck, and hamstrings. Take practice swings, starting off slow to warm up the spine muscles.

When playing, practice swings should be same as your regular swings, or don’t take them. On the backswing, make sure the right knee is bent, and the left shoulder is pointing downward. This will take pressure off the spine. It is very important not to arch the back, but instead, to do a pelvic tilt (suck in the abdominal muscles). Shift the weight from right to left, don’t stop the swing, and follow through. Don’t grip the club too tight, and don’t try and kill the ball.

There will always be stress on the back, but these tips should reduce some pressure.

After the round, stretch again to avoid muscles going into spasm. Ice can be applied.

An exercise routine for golfers should include strengthening of the hip and buttock muscles, as well as all core, abdominal and lumbar paraspinal muscles.

Don’t count yourself out if you have back problems. Whether you’re suffering from disc herniation, radiculopathy (sciatica), spinal stenosis, arthritis (degenerative disease), or just soft tissue pain (muscle spasms), you can still enjoy golf.
There may be times you will need to be evaluated by a specialist to arrive at a proper diagnosis, and treatment protocols.

 

Michael Y. Mizhiritsky, MD

NY Bone and Joint Specialists is a top rated, private Orthopedic and Sports Medicine practice in New York City and New Jersey. The Orthopedic Surgery, Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, and Pain Management specialists routinely perform surgical and non-surgical treatments for patients across the United States and various other countries. Leon E. Popovitz, MD, and Michael Y. Mizhiritsky, MD, along with their team of best-in-class orthopedic physicians, are known for their exemplary orthopedic surgical skill and best-rated physical medicine and rehabilitation program. With this, along with their top in-office physical therapy and long-term sports rehabilitation processes, NY Bone and Joint Specialists work toward better overall quality of life for each and every patient.

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