A Comparison of physical characteristics and swing mechanics between golfers with and without a history of low back pain

Scott M. Lephart, Yung Shen Tsai, Timothy C. Sell, James M. Smoliga, Joseph B. Myers, Kenneth E. Learman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Scopus citations

Abstract

Study Design: Controlled laboratory study using a cross-sectional design. OBJECTiVES: To examine the kinematics and kinetics of the trunk and the physical characteristics of trunk and hip in golfers with and without a history of low back pain (LBP). Background: Modified swing patterns and general exercises have been suggested for golfers with back pain. Yet we do not know what contributes to LBP in golfers. To create and validate a low back-specific exercise program to help prevent and improve back injuries in golfers, it may be valuable to understand the differences in biomechanical and physical characteristics of golfers with and without a history of LBP. Methods: Sixteen male golfers with a history of LBP were matched by age and handicap with 16 male golfers without a history of LBP. All golfers underwent a biomechanical swing analysis, trunk and hip strength and flexibility assessment, spinal proprioception testing, and postural stability testing. Results: The group with a history of LBP demonstrated significantly less trunk extension strength at 60°/s and left hip adduction strength, as well as limited trunk rotation angle toward the nonlead side. No significant differences were found in postural stability, trunk kinematics, and maximum spinal moments during the golf swing. Conclusion: Deficits observed in this study may affect a golfer's ability to overcome the spinal loads generated during the golf swing over time. Exercises for improving these physical deficits can be considered, although the cause-effect of LBP in golfers still cannot be determined.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)430-438
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Orthopaedic and Sports Physical Therapy
Volume40
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2010

Keywords

  • Balance
  • Flexibility
  • Golf swing
  • Proprioception
  • Strength

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation

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