Do You Play Golf?
Do You Know Someone Who Plays Golf?
Would You Like To Play Golf Without Niggling Back Pain?
So you play golf and you’re fed up with annoying niggles, troublesome twinges and restricted movement holding you back and getting in the way of your golfing performance? Then you won’t be surprised when I tell you that one of the most disabling and common ailments in our golfers today (and our society in general) is back pain, but did you know that according to a top researcher, lower back pain is as common as headaches in modern society!
A recent study showed that if you see your GP with your back pain, if he then refers you to a specialist, who then sends you for X-rays and MRI scans, the accuracy of diagnosis is 15-20%. A frightening yet little known fact. Unfortunately the principles of modern medicine mean that the medical profession cannot treat an injury without an accurate diagnosis; so is there any wonder why the incidence of back pain has doubled every 10 years for the last 30 years?
The problem is that when you have had an injury for more than 6 weeks, another part of your body will start to compensate so you can have new pains as your condition deteriorates. So you can actually end up with more than one injury due to the mechanical compensations, which makes diagnosis even more difficult. As you can imagine, the problem is made even worse when you have had back pain for some time, especially if you are a golfer where the high speed spinal movements increase the pressure on your spine significantly. We need to open our minds and look at back pain differently.
Biomechanists, (scientists) have been looking at back pain quite differently for some time. They look at the mechanical causes of back pain rather than focusing on the pain itself. They have found that they get better results by managing the biomechanical (what is biomechanics?) causes than many in the medical profession achieve by treating the symptoms.
Independent research has shown that if you see at Physiotherapist over a 6 week period for your low grade back pain, your average improvement will be around 39% in functional capacity (the capacity of your back to perform work). If however you were to perform an exercise programme to manage the mechanical causes of your back pain, your average improvement would be around 140%. A profound difference and one that cannot be ignored.
How exciting is it then that this biomechanical approach is found to be a more effective method of treating back pain and is rapidly taking over from the medical approach in popularity.
Of course no single method can be the panacea of all ills, but what we are finding is that if the mechanical causes are addressed, in many cases, the pain can subside without treatment. “I want to be crystal clear here that I am talking about non-specific, low grade pain that is sub-clinical a non-medical perspective” However, sometimes treatment is also required, but often golfers find that once they’ve committed to an exercise programme, they are then more able to manage the problem themselves. Then if local treatment is necessary, it is more likely to be successful, as the mechanical causes are no longer present.
Considering the problems that golfers can have with back pain, prevention is important as it’s far less painful, less inconvenient and far less expensive! The same biomechanical principles that can help manage back pain, can be adopted to minimise the risk.
If you would you like to learn more about how we can assess your capacity to improve the way you move, Resulting in better, safer movement and improved golfing performance. Then ask about our Golf/Movement Preparation Workshop
Check out our Move Better, Improve Performance, Reduce Back Pain Programmes or Register for The Preparation For Movement Workshop contact Wendy@timeandfitnessforyou.com
PGA advisor, Martin Haines
Rachel France Biomechanics Education Ltd
Back Mechanic by Dr. Stuart McGill