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Golf is an extremely popular sport that is played worldwide by people of all ages. It’s great exercise, a social event and can have a number of long-term health benefits. However, a disadvantage of playing golf regularly is the potential for back pain and its contribution to the onset of a collapsed disc or another degenerative spine condition. The following article describes many steps that the savvy golfer can take to limit the wear this sport causes on the spine.
The golf swing
As any golfer understands, the proper golf swing requires significant pivot around the lumbar spine in the lower back, along with a significant transfer of weight. Over the course of 18 holes of golf, the average golfer can end up taking several hundred swings when you factor in practice swings of the golf club before addressing the ball. The problem with this repetitive activity is that it puts additional strain on the spine, particularly in the lower back.
A collapsed disc can occur as a result of frequent golfing when the tough outer walls of a spinal disc become worn to the point that the gel-like center leaks into the spinal canal and compresses a spinal nerve. This can cause significant back pain, sciatic pain and other symptoms that require treatment to experience relief.
Helpful tips for playing golf with a collapsed disc
In order to limit the chance of developing a collapsed disc as a result of your time on the golf course, there are a number of steps you can take:
- Hire a personal trainer to help you strengthen your neck and back muscles
- Thoroughly stretch out your back muscles prior to beginning a round of golf
- Take time at the practice range to slowly warm up; begin with short swings of the wedge and gradually build toward full swings with a wood
- Take a break for lunch at the turn
- Don’t overdo it; golf is about rhythm and timing, and swinging too hard is a good way to damage your spinal anatomy
- Complete cooldown exercises after the round to keep limber and loose
There is a lot of fun to be had on the golf course, and with the proper approach, you can greatly limit the chances of developing a collapsed disc or other degenerative disc problem. If you already experience chronic pain due to a collapsed disc and are considering surgical treatment, contact USA Spine Care to learn how our minimally invasive spine surgery can help you find relief from neck or back pain. Our procedures offer a safer and effective alternative to traditional open spine surgery.
Since 2005, we have helped thousands of patients find lasting relief from their chronic neck or back pain, setting us apart as the leader in minimally invasive spine surgery. Our surgeons use a minimally invasive discectomy to remove a small portion of the collapsed disc in order to free the pinched nerve root and ease your pain and discomfort. To find out if you are a potential candidate for our collapsed disc surgery, reach out to our dedicated team today and ask for a free MRI review.*