26 million people play golf in the United States. While golf is thought to be a relaxing sport, injuries can still occur. And by far, the most common injury suffered by golfers is low back pain. Low back pain accounts for over one third of all injuries suffered in golf.

Fortunately, many of these injuries can be prevented. Some simple steps to decrease pressure of the lumbar spine can pay dividends.

Using a backpack with dual straps to carry the clubs might prevent lower back strains, as single-strap bags place a lot of stress on the lumbar spine and lower body. If you use a cart for your bag, pushing the cart rather than pulling it might help too.

Tips to prevent low back pain in golfers

If you are taller or shorter than most golfers, having clubs fit to your body size could prevent you from using abnormal postures that could put stress on your lower back.

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Losing weight can be helpful, as obesity is thought to be a risk factor for low back pain. Weight loss through diet and exercise can be helpful for golfers.

Working with a professional can help lower your scores, but they can help your back too. Identifying flaws in your swing can help prevent developing back pain, so it might be worth working with a teaching pro soon after you start playing the sport.

Finally, golfers should get back pain checked out. Most low back pain in golfers isn’t serious, causing players to miss only two to four weeks. But playing through pain could cause symptoms to worsen and take longer to resolve.