Most acute low back injuries that occur during a game of golf will get better over a couple of days to weeks. The most common injuries from golf include:
- Muscle strains: typically occurs with rough or forceful golf swings or a sudden shift during the downswing
- Muscle and tendon attachment: generally occurs due to excessive use, accidents, or swing abnormalities while playing golf
- Disc injuries: can occur from swinging abnormalities (note that this is usually due to a pre-existing disc lesion that is aggravated by golf)
Low Back Pain Relief from a Golf Injury
For relief of the pain and to promote healing from golf-related injuries and low back pain, it is generally advisable to rest for a day or two, apply heat and/or ice, and take pain medication. Medications like ibuprofen or naproxen can help decrease inflammation, and acetaminophen may be taken in conjunction with these medications to further help reduce low back pain and other types of pain.
- For more in-depth information, see The P.R.I.C.E. Protocol Principles on Sports-health.com.
Gentle Exercise for Low Back Pain from Golf
It is generally not advisable to further stress inflamed muscles by continuing to play golf through an episode of low back pain. Taking time off from golf will allow the muscles to heal more quickly. Continuing to stretch between golf sessions is advisable, as is continuing a low-impact aerobic exercise program, such as walking for 30 to 40 minutes every other day. After the low back pain has stopped, slowly return to playing golf and apply the prevention tips (described in this article) to help avoid future occurrences.
When to See a Physician for Low Back Pain
If the low back pain continues for more than two to six weeks, a specific and definable problem may be the cause of the back pain and a medical professional should be consulted.