Swinging a golf club includes the rotation and extension of the lumbar spine. Golf-related low back pain has been associated with degeneration of the lumbar facet and intervertebral discs, and with spondylolysis. Reflective markers were placed directly onto the skin of 11young male amateur golfers without a previous history of back pain. Using a VICON system (Oxford Metrics, U.K.), full golf swings were monitored without a corset (WOC), with a soft corset (SC), and with a hard corset (HC), with each subject taking 3 swings. Changes in the angle between the pelvis and the thorax (maximum range of motion and angular velocity) in 3 dimensions (lumbar rotation, flexion-extension, and lateral tilt) were analyzed, as was rotation of the hip joint. Peak changes in lumbar extension and rotation occurred just after impact with the ball. The extension angle of the lumbar spine at finish was significantly lower under SC (38°) or HC (28°) than under WOC (44°) conditions (p < 0.05). The maximum angular velocity after impact was significantly smaller under HC (94°/sec) than under SC (177°/sec) and WOC (191° /sec) conditions, as were the lumbar rotation angles at top and finish. In contrast, right hip rotation angles at top showed a compensatory increase under HC conditions. Wearing a lumbar corset while swinging a golf club can effectively decrease lumbar extension and rotation angles from impact until the end of the swing. These effects were significantly enhanced while wearing an HC. Key pointsRotational and extension forces on the lumbar spine may cause golf-related low back painWearing lumbar corsets during a golf swing can effectively decrease lumbar extension and rotation angles and angular velocity.Wearing lumbar corsets increased the rotational motion of the hip joint while reducing the rotation of the lumbar spine.
Keywords: Golf; back pain; corset; motion analysis; orthosis.