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Low Back Pain in Golf

Low back pain in golf:

One of the most common injuries in golf is low back pain. Often times, the pain in the low back is due to a mobility restriction above or below. The two main sources are the thoracic spine and hips.

Limited thoracic rotation can lead to increased stress at the lumbar spine during the backswing and follow through.

Limited thoracic extension can lead to loss of posture or reverse spine angle. This opens up your right lumbar facet joints. As you move from your backswing and into your downswing from a maximally open facet position, this can create pain on the right side.

Improving your thoracic mobility can improve your posture in your backswing and decrease pain in your right lumbar spine on your downswing.

Lead hip: externally rotates on the backswing, internally rotates on the follow through 

Trail hip: internally rotates on the backswing, externally rotates on the downswing

You want a minimum of 43 degrees IR and ER in your lead hip
Most golfers need over 31 degrees hip IR in their trail hip. Less hip ER is needed in the follow through on the trail hip, as the foot generally comes with the body at follow through.

Having less than ideal hip ROM will lead to increased stress at the lumbar spine, contributing to painful symptoms.

Check out Instagram posts on thoracic rotation and extension, and hip mobility parts one and two in order to decrease your low back pain with golf!

Thoracic Rotation

Thoracic Extension
Hip Part 1

Hip Part 2


Get in Touch:

(949) 409-1339
Kevin O’Connor, PT, DPT, OCS, CSCS
TPI Medical 3 Certified
Owner - Impact Physical Therapy and Performance
Physical Therapist – Laguna Niguel, California
[email protected]


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