Thursday, May 21, 2015

Do not carry your own golf bag

Doctor's orders! Spine expert Kaixuan Liu, MD, founder and president of the Atlantic Spine Center, warms golfers about three routes to back trouble.

The lower back is by far the most common site of injury among golfers--a 2007 study showed that a third of amateur golfers have suffered lower back injuries.

This is not a "low risk" sport when it comes to your back.

Three main injuries:

Muscle strains and sprains. Usually resolve in 2-4 weeks.

Disc injury. These are the shock absorbers between the vertabrae--tear these and you have trouble and pain in the back and legs.

Degenerative arthritis.Joints in the lower back can be worn down from years of use. Swinging a golf club makes this happen in the lower back.

What can you do--or not do?

DO warm up.  Slowly stretch the torso, shoulders, and hamstrings. Do you spend more than 10 mins doing this? You should.

DON'T carry your own bag. Shell out for a caddy or a cart. Golfers who carry their own bags have twice the  injuries.

DO get help with your swing. Hire a pro--if only for a short consultation.

Best advice? Don;t start playing again too soon after an  injury. Make sure it's really resolved.

And take those preventive measures--warming up, the cart, the caddy, the pro.

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