By Dr. Jennifer Fergusson, BASc, DC, Chiropractor, Hands on Healing, Almonte

Golf is considered a relatively low impact sport, accessible to all ages, but if you have ever golfed 18 holes and ended up with back pain you are not alone.

A golf swing can impart rotational and compressive forces of up to eight times your body weight through the lower back. If your body is not properly conditioned and strengthened it is likely to succumb to injury. Injury occurs at the weakest link; this is most commonly the back, shoulders, wrists or feet.

So how can you ensure a pain free golf season?  Here are a few tips:

  1. Prepare now! Get conditioned; start walking.  Did you know that you can walk up to 7 km during a single golf game? Then add 20 lbs for your golf bag!
  2. Stretch! A golf swing requires flexibility, especially in the shoulders, hips and mid back. Limitations in these joints can lead to poor mechanics and pain.
  3. Resistance Train. Balanced muscle groups may improve accuracy and yardage.
  4. Always warm up and cool down. Proper pre-game techniques involve more than just a few static stretches.
  5. Stay hydrated during your game. Alcoholic beverages do not count.
  6. Use a wheeled cart for heavier clubs. Push, don’t pull your ‘pull cart.’
  7. Take care of your feet. Did you know that they make orthotics especially for golfers? Fatigued feet can affect your game.

Golf is a fantastic game, but players shouldn’t underestimate the potential for injuries that every golf swing can bring.  Get prepared.