What a day! I just got done a round of 18 holes and have edged out all my buddies by at least 3 strokes, which prompts them to owe me a nice steak dinner. I'm on top of the world... until I have to ask my wife if she has any aspirin in her purse.
Yes, much like many other golfers, I too suffer from chronic back pain that is onset by my favorite hobby. This leads me to reach for painkillers of some sort every once in awhile after a game.If you are not like me and are lucky enough to not suffer from this affliction yet, then there are ways to prevent it. If you don't want to suffer from back pain or are just looking to prevent further damage, then take a look at these following tips.
What to Do
Stretch it out
Much like athletes do in other sports, warming up and stretching out will help to not only prevent back pain but many other long-term aches and pains associated with golf. You can do this by rotating your back and hips for awhile, as well as practicing twisting your back for your swing before a game.
Kind of in the same grain as warming up and stretching, regular exercise of your back muscles will help to prevent back pain by stopping atrophy from misuse. There are many methods in which you can exercise your back muscles, from anything as simple as sit-ups to lifting weights while bending over. If you are unsure which exercises would be good to do for your back, ask someone at your local gym or do a quick google search online.
Leave the Cart Behind
As golfers, we kind of rely a good bit on our golf cart to do most of our heavy lifting for us and to get us from place to place on the course. In truth, if you leave the cart behind until needed and walk with your gear around the course, you can not only increase your stamina but improve the muscle in your legs, arms, and back as well. In the long run, this will help to keep your back muscles strong and prevent back pain.
With this in mind, make sure to at least carry your bag in a safe manner. Always wear the appropriate straps when carrying the bag and try not to lift more than you are able. If you don't do this then you risk injuring yourself even further (which, in case you forgot, is what we are trying to avoid here!)
While it may be tempting to go all out every time you step up to your ball, not every shot needs to be a super-powerful one. If you are already developing a bit of back pain, try to limit the strength of your shots a bit. Doing so may make the ball fall a bit short of its target, but will help you to keep your back from becoming damaged further.
If you don't want to reduce your shots completely, instead try starting out slower. This means to at least take it easy for the first few holes, only exerting yourself more than usual when it is absolutely needed. This will help you to ease your back pain and to pace yourself throughout the game.
Standing Your Ground
Always try to maintain a proper golf stance while playing. This means to not slouch a lot when addressing the ball and keeping your back as straight as possible. This will keep you from putting any additional strain on your back.
Also, if you need to, stand slightly closer to your ball (about an inch or two) than you normally would. This will help you to move a bit more easily when hitting the ball, which means you are exerting your back muscles less.
You Can't Fight Mother Nature
As you get older, your body will become frailer than it used to be. This is an unfortunate fact, and it translates to how you play golf. If you are an older individual, try not to put any added stress on your back and, while it may not be preferable, try to play golf a bit less. Doing this you can make sure that your back stays as strong as possible for as long as possible.
Our bodies also need rest to function properly. Playing golf for days on end in addition to our everyday lives is bound to have adverse effects not only on our back but our body as a whole. Try to limit yourself and rest up when needed instead of constantly pushing yourself to your limits.
Even with the methods above, the back of a golfer is likely to deteriorate as time goes on. At least with the tips above you can slow the process a bit and keep your back strong and painless for as long as you possibly can.