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Hi Guys.

I know this will be hard to determine without you seeing my swing but just looking for any ideas.

I have noticed  an ache on the left side of my back since i started playing again. I am slightly worried that I am damaging myself permanently as it doesn't seem like just stiffness from not using the muscles that way before.

The following picture shows the area and possibly the muscle / muscle's affected. Sorry i just picked the first picture that came up.

Back-Muscles-Diagram.jpg

So I'm thinking its one of two things,

1) During my back swing i am not rotating my hips enough so all my turning motion is from the shoulders causing the muscles on my left side to stretch to far

2) I need to get my clubs fit to me ( All standard spec ). I'm 6'3" and have always presumed i need longer clubs because of this. Could i be stretching something by crouching down to much?

Just worried as I'm only 27 and don't want to give myself back problems by continuing to do something that is damaging me.

Cheers

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Dub,  Is this related to your recent tour striker purchase?

Back pain in most golfers is caused over-swinging with poor mechanics and a sub-par level of golf specific physical fitness to begin with, emphasis on the over-swinging part.  In some rare cases, it's an elite golfer who is just pushing his body too far, aka. McIlroy and his back ligament strains.  When the pain is in the middle like you point out, 99.9% of the time it's caused by either unwinding the shoulders hard from the top, or not getting enough hip turn, and then rotating the hips aggressively at the start, most likely both.  In both cases, the muscle is contracting too quickly and causes tears.  The pain is from slightly torn muscles.  My recommendation is:

1.  Rest.  Let the pain subside, the muscles heal, etc.  Then start up with light, high-rep back exercises, dumbell rows, lat pull-downs, etc.  You want to focus on a full range of motion more than how much you can lift.  Apply force gradually when you lift.  You need to start training your mind to not jerk your muscles from relaxed to complete contraction in one millionth of a second like the majority of people do.  This will help with #2.

2.  Learn to apply contraction force gradually.  It's fine to swing hard, just don't swing hard from a cold stand-still.  Even the long drive guys have a moment of time in the backswing when the club is motionless.  This is mental reengineering, but you need to train yourself to not associate distance with quick contraction.  It causes injury and robs distance.

3.  Those two fix most back issues, but I'd work on mechanics at this point.  Check your hip turn, don't go all "X-factor" in your swing.  Figure out what your body limits are and work within those until you can train otherwise.  Hogan had a huge hip turn, for example.

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All great advice mate.. but

No its not related to my TS purchase I noticed it a few weeks back and also no I probably have the slowest swing speed of all my friends who play.

Its not a pain in the middle ( spine ), its left - middle like if you reach your left hand under your arm pit and try touch your shoulder blade. that's the region.

Looks like i need to post a swing for a multitude of reasons now

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I'm a 6'2" golfer and have experienced some significant back pain as well. I had some temporary relief after having my clubs fitted. However, the pain returned after a few months. Oddly, I've found a weekend massage once per week is quite helpful. I always opt for the sports massage and it really works off many of the issues I've experienced with my back.

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6'3" Ex rugby playing Golfer here and I find my back has been hurting this season more than most.  I found I was swinging/pulling the club through with my arms than rotating my shoulder and hips.

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Originally Posted by Bananarama

6'3" Ex rugby playing Golfer here and I find my back has been hurting this season more than most.  I found I was swinging/pulling the club through with my arms than rotating my shoulder and hips.



A year ago I really struggled with back pain.  A big part of it was rotating to much in the swing.  In spite of what Peter Kostis loves to say, there isn't as much rotation in a good golf swing as most amateurs think.  Once I backed off, stopped rotating so hard (your back gets the brunt of rotation), started using my legs and arms better, I stopped being in so much pain.  Cut my handicap in half easily too.  Check out the first video in my swing thread to see what I mean.  Look at the latest to see what I'm trying to do now.  This has helped so much with pain.  Not trying to kill it from the top probably helps the most of all though.

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Cheers bunker, I have been watching your swing closely.  Though, imagine you are taking a corner at hockey, or pulling a mop through - too much of that motion strained something, but possibly could of been agrivated from carrying my clubs on one shoulder.

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Originally Posted by Bananarama

Cheers bunker, I have been watching your swing closely.  Though, imagine you are taking a corner at hockey, or pulling a mop through - too much of that motion strained something, but possibly could of been agrivated from carrying my clubs on one shoulder.


Push-carts my friend, push-carts.  You look like a loser, but it saves your back and shoulders, and you get to walk as well.

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Second for bunkerputt's diagnosis of over-rotation and starting the swing with a snap to go from the stationary point at the top of the back swing to sudden full bore.  One mental visualization that helped me was to think of it as if you're swinging a (light) sledge hammer.  Say you were trying to hit a hole in a door frame right at ground level with a golf style swing.  You wouldn't swing back with the hammer and then suddenly try to jerk it to full speed instantly from the top of the wind up.  That would result both in obviously hurting your back and shoulders but also in less power!

I can't find the video right now, but there's one that Erik likes to post where the teacher talks about swinging with pressure that slowly and steadily increases from the top of the back swing through impact, rather than with constant hard pressure of the same intensity from the top of the swing.

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Originally Posted by DublinMeUp

huh?



I think he was just looking for the slightest excuse to post that Charlie Sheen pic...  He must have tiger blood in his veins.

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Looks like i need to head to a doctor. Its weird felt a slight twinge yesterday at the range but nothing to write home about but today its pretty bad.

I think its just down to my general lack of fitness and also could have been something i done when i started playing again that i haven't given time to heal.

I've been swinging a club to try pinpoint where in my swing i did it or where I am aggravating it but can't pinpoint anything.

Better stop playing for now anyway, which I'm annoyed about due to yesterdays massive progress ( in my eyes )

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Originally Posted by DublinMeUp

Looks like i need to head to a doctor. Its weird felt a slight twinge yesterday at the range but nothing to write home about but today its pretty bad.

I think its just down to my general lack of fitness and also could have been something i done when i started playing again that i haven't given time to heal.

I've been swinging a club to try pinpoint where in my swing i did it or where I am aggravating it but can't pinpoint anything.

Better stop playing for now anyway, which I'm annoyed about due to yesterdays massive progress ( in my eyes )


How long have you been playing?  When I first started playing, it took me several years to get to the point where I didn't have back issues.  It took three things:  improving mechanics, improving physical fitness and flexibility, and not swinging so damn hard from the top.  The pain started on the left side in your diagram and then some developed on the lower right side.  Now the lower right is the only pain I have occasionally.  It's gotten very infrequent and I usually just lay off for a week or so, do some very light stretching and let it heal.  Then I start up nice and easy.  My driver speed in the first couple of years was in the mid 120s and I would practice every night trying to swing as fast and hard as I could, getting up to mid 130s or so.  I also swung heavy clubs with weights.  Mechanics were very bad.  Looking back, I'm glad I was in decent shape when I did it because it was really stupid to swing so hard with poor mechanics.  Now my driver doesn't really have to get much above 110 to bomb drives, all thanks to mechanics.  Swinging 110-115 is so much better on your body.  Also, I don't really feel a "stretch" anymore like I used to.  I used to be all about "creating torque", or at least that's what I thought I was doing.  It was wrong and just caused me to flip the club.  Does any of this describe you?  If so, I wouldn't go to the doctor, just take an honest evaluation of why you are having pain.  Also, check your mattress because that can cause middle back pain.  Rest for a few days, then start doing this slowly:

CHILDS-POSE-2.jpg

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