Prevalence Of Lower Back Pain In Professional And Amateur Golfers



This research will begin with the statement that back pain as one of the most common reasons cited for patients to see a physician. It also is the most frequently reported injury in golf”. Even though back pain is a big problem for majority of the sports people, it is severe in in the case of golfers. According to Ehast, “The golfer is exposed to greater risk of low back pain due to repeated flexion and extension of the spine, especially in rotation, so the growing fondness for the sport has also resulted in an increase of this disease”. Many people have the illusion that golf is comparatively an easy sports and that is why older generation interested more in playing it. It is a fact that compared to football or hockey, golf involves minimum physical activity. However, it should be noted that a large number of muscular movements are necessary for the golfers to strike the ball accurately. Apart from hand muscles, shoulder muscles, hip muscles and leg muscles are active while a golfer strikes the ball. According to Hoogendoorn et al, bending and twisting may cause back pain. It should be noted that golf is a game which involves lot of bending and twisting of the body. Other “Factors that have been suggested to contribute to LBP in golfers include poor endurance and strength of the trunk muscles”. Even though it looks like an easy sports activity, golf is a dangerous sports as far as the striking of the ball is concerned. “The back is an area of the body that undergoes significant movement and muscular activity during the golf swing. It is likely that the significant activity and repetitive nature of the swing are associated with the high rate of injury in golfers”(McHardy &amp. Pollard, 2005, p.135). Low back pain is a common muscular disorder seen among both professional and mature golfers because of the improper swings and striking of the balls. Although, there are many views and opinions about the reasons of back pain among golfers, the exact reasons for the increased rate of low back pains among golfers are still unknown. That is why I decided to research more about this topic. According to a study conducted by Burdorf et al. (1996), on back pain among 196 men taking up golf, the incidence of first-time back pain was 8 percent and the incidence of recurrent back pain was about 45 percent. Men involved in golf and another sport demonstrated a risk of 1.4 for recurrence of back pain, compared with men playing golf only (Burdorf et al., 1996, p.659). These findings clearly indicate that back pain is common not only among golfers but also among other sports men and women. “In Britain, during the decade to 1993, outpatient attendances for back pain rose fivefold, and the number of days of incapacity from back disorders for which social security benefits were paid more than doubled”(Palmer et al. 2000, p.1577). According to the statistics released by North Wales Spine Clinic in 2010, “The incidence of golf-related lower back sports injury ranges from 15% to 34% in the amateur golfer and 22% to 24% in the professionals in Britain. Collectively, the incidence of lower back pain in the male golfer is 25% to 36% and 22% to 27% in the female golfer” (North Wales Spine Clinic, 2010). These statistics clearly indicate that a substantial portion of British golfers are facing severe back pain. “Although little is known about the exact causes of low back pain among golfers, development of such pain in amateur golfers is anecdotally attributed to poor swing mechanics, excessive practice, and poor physical conditioning”(Horton et al, 2001, p.1647). The exact reason for such back pains among golfers is still unknown and hence a research on this subject is definitely help sports people in general and golfers in particular. This paper analyses the literature available to know the exact