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For many, golf is a rewarding and relaxing sport that isn’t too taxing on the body. Golf does, however, present a few issues. The repetitive motion of the swing, lugging around heavy clubs and trekking through the heat can take a toll on your back and your joints. Here are a few tips to make your golf outings more joint-friendly, and who knows? Maybe you’ll improve your game while you’re at it!

Warming Up

Before you take the first swing, the most important thing you can do to prepare is warmup. Give yourself 10 minutes of warmup time before you tee off.

  • You want to be able to stand and walk without pain, so stretch your hamstrings and back.
  • Golf is all about your posture and your swing, so warming up your torso and arms is essential.
    • Stretches and movements that open up your shoulders are beneficial.
    • Side bends, torso twists and forward bends will help loosen up your body.
    • Practice your swing in slow motion before the real thing, and use a heavier club rather than a driver during warm up.


  • Your grip should be firm, but not a full-on vice grip. Being too tense could cause pain or even injury.
  • Play shorter or fewer holes. If you’re getting fatigued, it’s okay to play a shorter game or start each hole further in.
  • Practice using longer tees. This will help you avoid hitting the ground and sending a shock to your upper body.
  • Speak to a golf instructor. Learn which kind of swing your body responds to best. Having someone physically guide you through the postures and motions is a valuable asset. If your swing is hurting you, chances are, you need to change your technique.
  • Your swing should be smooth and natural feeling.
  • Don’t reach too far back during the backswing, and downswing solidly with your body rather than trying to put all the stress on your arms or shoulders.
  • Finish your swing with your spine as upright as possible to reduce any lower back strain.


  • Switch to a rolling golf bag. Carrying all that weight isn’t good for your back and shoulders.
  • Graphite clubs are some of the lightest on the market. Make sure your clubs are outfitted with grips or grip tape.
  • Consider carrying only the gear you need. A light bag, even if rolled, is a good thing.
  • Ride a golf cart. Walking for exercise is well and good, but if you’re looking to make your golf game even more joint friendly, consider hopping on a cart instead of walking 9 or 18 holes.
  • Wear comfortable, supportive shoes.
  • Use gloves to increase your grip.

If you’re living with chronic neck or back pain, tips like these are but conservative measures. Depending on the level of injury or illness related to your pain, you may need to seek out medical help. At Back Pain Centers of America (BPC), we have board-certified physicians skilled in treating an array of pain-causing conditions. Our specialists can help you get on the road to recovery and back to your active lifestyle through one of our minimally invasive treatments. Give us a call today at [sc name=”patient_phone_number_dash”] to learn more about how we can help you!

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