Back, Elbow or Knee Pain?
By mustang6560 on 8/1/11
Golf is not an inherently dangerous sport - there are no 6'3" 225 pound linebackers or 100 mph fast balls to avoid - but the sport is not void of injury.

In fact, did you know that 40% of amateur golfers suffer an injury while golfing? And the reason is linked to poor bio-mechanics.

Scientists at Stanford University compared the swings of 10 professional golfers and five amateur golfers of varying ability and published the results. The study determined professional golf swings share three distinct characteristics that help them create effective power and avoid injury. The three aspects are:
  • X factor: The difference in horizontal rotation between the hips and the shoulders. At the top of their swings, pro golfers' shoulders rotated 55-60 degrees beyond the rotation of their hips. Amateurs' tended to over-rotate, exposing them to back injury.

  • S factor: The tilt of the shoulders right after impact. Pro golfers' lead shoulders tilted up quickly at impact to a 48 degree angle; amateurs were slower to tilt and tilted less.

  • Clubhead height. Pros dipped their clubheads only slightly at the top of their swings, just before their hips began their downswings. Amateurs dropped their clubheads too low at the top of their swings, putting extra torque on their wrist and exposing them to injury.
So basically, if your back or elbow hurts as a result of your swing, you're doing it wrong.

My left knee, left elbow and right lower back hurt from time to time and it makes complete sense that I'm inflicting the pain on myself because of a faulty swing. I couldn't play golf on Saturday because my lower back hurt during my downswing. I am definitely going to analyze my swing later to see if I'm over rotating my shoulders, which is the leading cause of lower back pain.

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photo by funkypancake

[ comments ]
Kurt the Knife says:
I had a left lateral epicondylitis (left outside tennis-elbow-like-thingy) that started in February and I'm still fightin' it.
Ligaments n tendons have no direct blood supply so they're notoriously slow to heal.
stringbean79 says:
I found I was trying to swing too hard, which eventually would lead to lower back pain at the end of a round. Bringing my swing back to a comfortable speed actually helped both my pain and my score since i was making much better contact as a result.
snuffyword says:
Last September, I started to develop a left tennis elbow. This May, I hurt my shoulder/back right under my right shoulder blade. Last month, I decided to get back to basics, again. I focused on maintaining the spine angle, rotate around the core with a better hip turn, slow down the tempo even more, and worked on a late release. There has been less pain, the swing and impact seem effortless, and I think I discovered what lag is all about. I still take Aleve or Advil before every round just to minimize any soreness afterwards.
falcon50driver says:
Kurt,sorry to hear about your left lateral epicondylitis. I know that when you have a growth removed from your throat, it's called tonsilectomy. When you have a growth removed from your abdomen, it's called an appendectomy. I'm having a procedure done this morning, where they remove a growth from my head. It's called a haircut.
Backquak says:
thats what I'm here for, we chiropractors love to see that over rotating, less tilt, and extra torque. Hit it harder, come on you can hit it 350 if ya just torque a little more... my kids need braces and clothes
legitimatebeef says:
Interesting point about amateurs over-rotating, kind of contrary to the common perception. On tv golf coverage the windbags are always going on and on about "look how much shoulder rotation, blah blah blah". But I think its true about amateurs. I think that's one of the distinguishing characteristics of a very good golf swing--it's compact and yet at the same time full and not at all abbreviated. I know that I tend to over-rotate on the back and I'm thinking it's an instinctive move to try and generate more power. Unfortunately it does put the arms, shoulders, club etc out of sync. I wish it were as simple as "swing shorter" but it takes a lot of work to re-condition your whole move like that.
gpickin says:
I guess I'm lucky I'm old fat and can't pull off a full swing.
I always get told "Imagine how far you hit it if you had a full swing" and my normal response is "I hit it far enough this way, and its easier to control".

General fitness, when i get tired, i let my posture go, and my lower back hurts. But its not just golf, its all sport. When you get tired, you get lazy and bad posture ends up hurting my lower back.
I hurt my wrist the other day, but only because i tried hitting a ball out of the water duh
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