The lumbar spine and low back pain in golf: a literature review of swing biomechanics and injury prevention.

Gluck GS, Bendo JA, Spivak JM

The golf swing imparts significant stress on the lumbar spine. Not surprisingly, low back pain (LBP) is one of the most common musculoskeletal complaints among golfers. This article provides a review of lumbar spine forces during the golf swing and other research available on swing biomechanics and muscle activity during trunk rotation. Prospective, randomized studies have shown that focus on the transversus abdominus (TA) and multifidi (MF) muscles is a necessary part of physical therapy for LBP. Some studies also suggest that the coaching of a "classic" golf swing and increasing trunk flexibility may provide additional benefit. However the authors note that there is a notable lack of studies separating the effects of swing modification from physical rehabilitation, and controlled trials are necessary to identify the true effectiveness of specific swing modifications for reducing LBP in golf. Although the establishment of a commonly used regimen to address all golf-associated LBP would be ideal, it may be more practical to apply basic principles to the tailoring of a unique regimen for the patient.

Spine, 2007, online article ahead of print

Link to Abstract