The season can be long and frequently results in golfers dealing with low back pain. Back pain is often considered one of the most common reasons why recreational golfers leave the game and dealing with it can take years. The discs in our back can break down and “bulge”, this bulging of the disc can cause nerve impingement against the vertebrae and it results in back pain, muscle spasms and often times shooting pain/numbness into the leg. Often times it can be made worse by the repetitive bending and twisting motions we go through during the game. By keeping our spines flexible we can create a more healthy environment for our discs and also maintain a more flexible golf swing. I believe it is important to take a proactive approach to keeping our spines healthy. This month I wanted to share a very simple exercise all golfers should do (even if you do not have back pain) which helps the discs in our spine to stay healthy and help to reverse the damaging effects bending and twisting has on our backs.
This exercise has been used by Yoga enthusiasts and Physical Therapists for decades in treating patients with low back pain resulting from disc bulging. However, it should be used with caution if you already have a diagnosis of spinal stenosis or arthritis. If you have one of these two diagnoses please contact your doctor to see if it is safe for you.
Lie face down (prone) on the ground with your forearms and hands under your shoulders (see photo). Press yourself upward with your forearms, keeping your back relaxed and your pelvis on the ground (see photo). You should not have any pain in this position but you may feel some pressure in your low back. Hold this position for 3 min then lower yourself back down to the ground, relax for 1 min. If you have more questions please comment below.