The motion that places the most strain on the lower back is forward flexion combined with twisting - otherwise known as "the golf swing." The average time to play a round of golf (18 holes) is approximately 5 hours. During this time the average golfer will swing his or her club 60 times at an average speed of between 80 to 100 mph. In "The Golf Biomechanic Manual," Paul Chek writes, "Amateur golfers achieve approximately 90% of their peak muscular activity when driving a golf ball. This level of exertion and muscular activation equates golf with such sports as football, hockey, and martial arts. The difference is, other athletes outside of golf, include conditioning as an integral part of their preparation before play." Here in Massachusetts we don't have the luxury of playing year round so ask yourself a couple of questions: What is your off-season conditioning program? What is your in-season conditioning program? What type of stretching are you doing on a daily basis or prior to teeing off? If you answered none to one or all of these questions, read on.
With regards to golf; there are a number of potential causes for lower back pain: a golfer's overall level of fitness (as previously mentioned), his or her lack of flexibility, faulty swing mechanics, ill-fitting equipment, muscle imbalance, poor posture/spinal alignment, or simply over-use. Those of you suffering from either acute or chronic lower back pain should seek help from a medical professional, as ignoring the problem can result in further injury. Chiropractic treatment in combination with muscle therapy is simple, safe, and very effective in minimizing or eliminating the risk of debilitating pain or serious injury by maintaining proper spinal alignment and increasing flexibility. I have played football and rugby. The only time I have ever injured my lower back was golfing. I broke my arm golfing; but that's a story for another time.
An over-use type injury where the inner part of the elbow on the trailing arm (right arm for right handed golfers) becomes inflamed. Symptoms include: localized swelling, tenderness, radiating pain from the elbow into the forearm, pain when lifting, pain with resisted flexion, and pain usually subsiding overnight (with rest). Initial treatment is EMS/ice and/or ice cup therapy depending on degree of tenderness. Once inflammation has been resolved, treatment will change to EMS/moist heat, muscle therapy (specifically ART) and active/passive range of motion exercises leading to resisted exercise to strengthen and stabilize the joint. Length of treatment is typically 6 to 15 visits, obviously depending on severity and whether the condition is acute or chronic.