Most of us are either right- or left-handed, rather than truly ambidextrous, so you spend many hours perfecting your golf swing on one side only. Practice makes perfect, of course, but the down side to this repetitive, twisting motion can be a significant strain on your lower back.
In addition, a few other facets of the game can increase your risk of injury and pain.
Carrying your bag. Carrying a heavy bag for 18 holes will almost definitely do a number on your back, by causing problems with your discs or pinching nerves. Most courses these days require you to use a cart so you probably won’t have this problem, but just be aware that if you are prone to back pain, avoid carrying your bag as much as you can.
Wear appropriate footwear. Having the right shoes is important both for support and to prevent slipping while you swing. Since you will be on your feet for several hours during a round and swing the club several hundred times between practice and “real” shots, footwear can make a significant difference in how you feel after the round and the next day.
Warm up appropriately. As with any other exercise, proper warm up can do wonders to prevent injury. Arrive at the course a bit earlier than your tee time, and spend some time stretching and practicing at the range.
Avoid dehydration. 4-5 hours in the sun can lead to dehydration. That risk increases if you are consuming alcohol during the round. Make sure you drink plenty of water while you’re out there.
Consider professional lessons. If you haven’t yet invested in lessons, now might be a good time. A golf pro can help diagnose minor problems in your swing, that you might not have noticed, and a mechanically proper swing could help you to avoid back and neck problems (plus it will likely shave a few strokes off your game).
Schedule an appointment with your chiropractor. If you find that a round of golf has triggered pain or discomfort, schedule an appointment with us right away. Avoid golf or any other strenuous activities in the meantime, so that you don’t exacerbate the problem. We will evaluate your injury and offer adjustments to get you “back into the swing of things”.