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Is Back Pain Affecting Your Golf Game?

Updated: Mar 9, 2021

Golfer bending over in pain - get healing at Comprehensive Chiropractic - St. Louis Missouri

Comprehensive Chiropractic & Sports Performance doctors favor golf as an out-of-the-office activity. We've each had our fair share of low back soreness after a weekend on the golf course but have learned both from our clinical experience as well as our personal endeavors how best to prevent back pain when golfing. Although golfing may not be a contact sport, it still puts a surprisingly significant strain on the human body. Estimates suggest that more than 50% of golfers will develop a chronic ailment, the most likely of which is lower back pain. The next closest is the left elbow at twenty-four percent, most likely due to tendonitis of the forearm commonly referred to as "golfer's elbow."

Are You at Risk for Low Back Pain?

Below are some of the most common findings that predict whether a golfer will have back pain in the future:

1. The golfer has reduced lead hip internal rotation – 43 degrees is ideal.

Internal Rotation is the movement required on the lead leg when swinging a golf club. If a golfer is unable to obtain a proper amount of internal rotation of that leg, the movement must come from somewhere else to accomplish the swing: usually the low back, leading to an unnecessary amount of extra movement in that region.

Hip Rotations impact golfing success!

2. The golfer has a weakened glute on the hind leg.

The hind leg is what drives the swing and provides the power. It also helps stabilize the pelvis to allow for an efficient transfer of energy from the lower half to the upper half. If the pelvis is unstable, unnecessary torque occurs due to the lack of support.

3. Below average BMI – a height to weight ratio.

This predictor indicates that tall, thinner golfers are more injury-prone than shorter and heavier persons. Their body type requires excessive rotation to achieve an optimal loaded golf swing position, leading to the lower back's disproportionate twisting. Despite being a causative pain factor, less than average BMI values should never justify unhealthy eating and high caloric food intake. Instead, they should remind golfers to emphasize golf mechanics and proper functional training.

Stop missing time on the golf course and letting your score suffer because of your pain. Schedule an appointment today and let us help you understand THE WHY behind your injury so that you can begin to heal and elevate your golf game.


  1. McCarroll, Retting AC, Shelbourne KD. Injuries in the Amateur Golfer. Phys Sports Med. 1990;18:122-26

  2. Evans, Refshauge, Adams, Aliprandi. Physical Therapy in Sport. 2005;6;122-130

  3. Titleist Performance Institute (TPI)


Dr. Caleb Gorman graduated from Logan University in Chesterfield, Missouri in 2020. He has a passion for functional movement, rehabilitation, and sports performance. Dr. Gorman has extensive knowledge of the human musculoskeletal system as he served as an anatomy and neuroanatomy tutor at Logan University’s Cadaver Lab for over two years. Caleb’s treatment and assessment certifications include Active Release Technique (ART), Dynamic Neuromuscular Stabilization (DNS), Selective Functional Movement Assessment (SFMA), and Trigger Point Dry Needling.


Comprehensive Chiropractic & Sports Performance is your Complete Wellness Center. St. Louis turns to us for chronic pain relief, injury rehabilitation, and treatment for many other conditions. We believe that our health is our greatest asset. Any effort we make towards taking care of ourselves is valuable and necessary.

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1 Comment

Thank you. Very informative. Didn’t know the mechanics of a golf swing was so complex. 🙂

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