How to Get your Back in Gear for Golf or Tennis

shutterstock_112030817-croppedBack pain doesn’t have to keep you off the golf course or tennis court.

Use these strategies to stay at the top of your game—pain-free:

Stretch daily! If you have chronic low back pain, you may lose flexibility. We can help you come up with a daily stretching program, which will help prevent pain when you hit the courts or golf course.

Commit to regular exercise. Make time for low-key aerobic exercises like walking or stationary biking, because they will help lessen back pain overall. Keep in mind, strengthening your abdominal, chest and back muscles can also help minimize or prevent back pain. Set aside 30 to 40 minutes to do these exercises at least three times a week.

Check equipment. If you’re playing tennis, ask a pro about racquet tension. A more flexible racquet requires more trunk rotation than a stiffer one with less tension in the strings, for instance.

Warm up. If you hit the golf course or tennis courts without warming up, you can almost count on straining your back. Stretch your hamstrings by bending over and trying to touch your toes. Stretch your hips by pulling your knees to your chest. If you’re playing golf, hold your club behind your neck and shoulders, then rotate your torso. Gently swing your golf club to warm up your muscles. Start with the small irons first.

Work with a pro. Have a tennis or golf pro check your form before you play. He or she can make helpful suggestions on how to avoid injury.

• Swing safely. If you’re playing golf, your shoulder, hips, chest and lower spine should rotate when you swing. Bend your knees slightly and keep your feet shoulder-width apart.

Make accommodations. If you’re having trouble walking the golf course because you’re in pain, don’t be afraid to use a golf cart. If your swing is causing pain, modify it. With tennis, consider using a slice serve to reduce the strain on your back. Ask us about the safest ways to swing.

If you’re struggling with back pain, consider making an appointment with us. Our staff has lots of experience getting patients back to a pain-free sporting life.

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Posted in: All Posts, Fitness, Health & Wellness, Low Back

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