The Fitness Fixer
The Fitness Fixer

Readers Count - Second Missed Cause of Back Pain With Golf

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Although twisting during the golf swing is often thought to be part of spine injury, two far more injurious movements are the most ignored.

Reader Jean Christophe wrote asking about the second factor - how many times do you bend wrong, instead of bending right using the leg and back muscles. This is a largely missed cause of back pain both in every day life and in golf. I asked readers to count how many times every day they bent badly. Jean Christophe wrote:

"Dear Dr Jolie Bookspan,
"One year ago, I wrote you about golf and you gently answered. I could not play then because of the season and just wanted to share with you that we have to bend and reach the floor a lot of times: We tee the ball 18 times, and pick up the tee from the ground 18 times, we take the ball from the hole 18 times, we repair pitches on the green 10 to 15 times, we putt 36 times, we go to the bunker 4 times so we have to take the rake on the ground, we make divots that we take from the ground 18 times, and we have to take the flag from the ground 6 to 12 times; this means that we bend in a golf course around 115 times in a round of 18 holes. If you add the practice session where we put a ball on the ground 60 times or the putting practice, this means that we bend 200 times each time we go to play golf.

"Now, all of us bend the wrong way. But frankly, I tried to squat but it is not practical to tee the ball (it is not nice looking either but let's forget that) or to pick up the ball from the hole (ie under the ground).

"So I tried to stand on one leg and make the kind of stretch you spoke of ones putting the trunk and the other leg horizontal. This is more nice looking but not really the solution.

At the end, I reverted to bend badly like all the other players, unhappy because there must be a way.

"Last but not least, I made a swing more on my whole feet (instead of on the balls of my feet) and played solid. So the swing doesn't lose with good posture. But these 200 bendings need some work.
"Dear Jolie, thank you for all you help.
"Jean Christophe"


1. The reader captured the problem with this summary: "All of us bend the wrong way. But frankly, I tried to squat but it is not practical to tee the ball (it is not nice looking either but let's forget that)." To solve this problem, the first thing to do is to make good bending, using a squat (also called crouch) or lunge (drawing at right), practical to tee and pick up the ball:



2. Standing on one leg, lifting the other keeping the back straight and upper body uplifted, rather than bent over is a useful way to bend for objects on the ground. It is often called the "golf pick-up."

3. Reader Jean Christophe counted 200 bad bends in a single game of golf. No wonder it hurts. He reminds that bad bending is not the answer and wants to know how to get out of the habit: "At the end, I reverted to bend badly like all the other players, unhappy because there must be a way." One good way is to realize that bending right as an isolated strange action will not build the brain and body habit. This is bending you want the day when not golfing:


4. To see the first major overlooked factor in back pain with golf, click the post - Lower Back Pain and Golf.


5. Stopping back pain from golf, other sports, and daily life is covered in the books Fix Your Own Pain Without Drugs or Surgery and Health & Fitness in Plain English THIRD edition How to be Healthy Happy and Fit for the Rest of Your Life.


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About the Author


M.Ed, PhD, FAWM

Dr. Bookspan is an award-winning scientist whose goal is to make exercise easier and healthier.

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