Low Back Pain in Golfers, A Regional Approach - Pinnacle Physical Therapy

Low Back Pain in Golfers, A Regional Approach

Did you ever think that your back pain may have something to do with your hips? Well, there is current research that indicates that a thorough assessment of your hip joints can help determine their role in driving your low back pain complaints.

As you see in the picture above, there is a principle that the body demonstrates an alternating pattern of a stable joint and a nearby mobile joint. What do these terms mean? Stability in the human body can be provided by bony structures, muscular components, ligamentous structures, and the ability of your brain to coordinate all of those systems to work together to provide stability!

Mobility is the ability of the body to move freely in many planes of movement. Think about your shoulder joint. The shoulder\\\’s role is to allow for accurate placement of your hand to manipulate objects in space. The anatomy of the shoulder joint (ball and socket joint) allows for large degrees of mobility.

The hip joint is very similar to the shoulder joint in regards to its anatomy. The hip is a ball and socket joint. The close proximity of this joint to the lumbar spine (low back) means that one has a relationship on the other.

The lumbar spine anatomy allow for movement mainly in the sagittal plane ( bending forward and backward). The musculature around the low back is a very complex unit creating a system of stability through coordinated contraction in both intensity and timing


There is a study by Vad et al in 2004 that showed that lead leg hip range of motion limitations as well as limited lumbar spine ROM have an effect on the stability of the lumbar spine. When one area of the body looses its ability to play its role (mobility/stability), other areas in the general vicinity have to take up for the limitation. I use the analogy of a football team that has two players on the bench that refuse to play and their team has to play against an opponent that has a full, formidable team. It just does not work out well!


Another research article by Nourbakhsh et al in 2002 showed a strong relationship between the lack of endurance and strength in the back extensor muscles and low back pain. It also showed a relationship between the length of the back extensor muscles, the strength of the hip flexor, hip adductor/abductor musculature, and abdominal muscles in low back pain.

Is your provider checking your hip joint ROM, muscle performance, anatomical alignment, mobility, stability, and endurance? If not maybe you are just treating the symptoms and not attacking the cause of your pain/limitation. Get to the right provider.

Hint, Hint……….PINNACLE PT!

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