Tiger Woods was able to compete this past weekend at the World Golf Championships after receiving treatments for back spasms that forced him to withdraw from the Honda Classic. Of course, lower back pain is a common complaint among golfers at every level of the game, so it’s helpful to know that there are several key steps we can all take to strengthen the spine and avoid injury.
What caused Tiger’s back spasm?
Spasms and lower back pain are usually caused by improper golf-swing technique and poor stretching. While Tiger certainly knows how to swing properly and has experts to help him stretch, the fact is that the way the body rotates when swinging a golf club can place sizable pressure on the spine and muscles. Tiger noted that he was having trouble getting his back muscles to loosen up during stretching exercises at his last tournament.
How can back spasms be prevented?
For the average golfer, poor flexibility and muscle strength can cause strains that may develop into serious injuries, and even a pro like Tiger is susceptible to such issues. But by following a few simple tips, you can help keep your spine safe when it’s your turn to swing.
Here are a few ways you can prevent back spasms:
- Stretch before and after you hit the course. Focus on your shoulders, back and legs, as these muscles will be used frequently throughout your game.
- Hydrate before, during and after your game. This will give you energy and replace your fluids to prevent dehydration and weakening of the spine.
- Exercise regularly. Activities such as rowing, yoga and Pilates are great for strengthening your core, building upper body strength and increasing flexibility.
Tiger said he will reassess how he trains to prevent future injury before the Arnold Palmer Invitational later this month. We look forward to seeing him come back swinging!
If you have neck or back pain, or if you would like more information about enhancing your golf swing while keeping your spine safe, visit Dr. Chetan Patel at the Spine Health Institute. With our help, you will get back on your feet and back on the course in no time.
"Golf Injury Prevention-OrthoInfo - AAOS." Golf Injury Prevention-OrthoInfo. American Academy Of Orthopaedic Surgeons, Aug. 2011. Web