Back Pain Harming Your Golf Game?

Connor Drislane

By Connor Drislane, PT, DPT, Aquacare – Millville

Love golf but hate the pain you feel that night or the next day? Golf and similar activities can strain muscles and cause stiffness in the lower back, a dull ache on one or both sides of the back, pain that extends to the hip or thigh, and nerve-related pain that extends down the leg.

A 2014 study, published by the Asian Journal of Sports Medicine, found lower back pain stemming from playing golf accounts for up to 54 percent of all golf-related injuries.

According to the study, “Methods to help control or eliminate excessive stress on the lower back would include reducing the amount spent playing or practicing, seeking professional assistance to assess and adjust swing mechanics, improve trunk and hip flexibility, increase the strength and endurance of the trunk musculature, consider different footwear options and avoid carrying the golf bag.”

Physical therapists, especially those specializing in golf therapy and sports medicine, can help teach proper swing mechanics, help improve flexibility and mobility, and work with you to strengthen key muscles.

Several Aquacare locations, including Millville, Seaford, Lewes, offer targeted physical therapy led by therapists with golf therapy or specialized sports therapy certifications.

Here are some steps to take to prevent golf-related injuries:

  • First, make sure you have a dynamic warm-up routine to properly prepare your joints and muscles. This should include stretching and calisthenics.

    Second, if you walk from hole to hole on the course, do not carry your bag on one shoulder. Carry it on both shoulders, find a bag that rolls, or use a golf cart.

  • Third, if you feel a strain, snap, or experience severe pain while teeing off, it is a good idea to stop playing and ice the painful area.
  • Finally, if you are experiencing pain each time you head to the course, talk to your healthcare provider about physical therapy.
  • Ways physical therapy can improve your golf game:

  • Physical therapists can show you specific exercises to improve your core strength, which will prevent injuries and strengthen your swing.
  • We can work on your swing with specialized tools to show you areas to improve.
  • Therapists can create a stretching and warm-up routine specific to your needs to improve flexibility and mobility.
  • We can help alleviate existing pain and show you how to prevent it from returning.
  • If you are experiencing severe back pain that doesn’t lessen with rest, have loss of bladder or bowel control, or feel weakness in your legs, contact a healthcare provider immediately.

    Aquacare offers free evaluations and screenings. We provide one-on-one physical therapy both in the gym and in the pool, and we can often schedule you within 24 hours.

    To schedule your appointment at Aquacare – Millville or one of our locations, call 844-547-7432, your local Aquacare location, or go online to If you are a physical therapist looking for a great place to work, Aquacare is hiring. Learn more:

    Connor Drislane, PT, DPT, is the Regional Director of Aquacare’s Delaware offices and serves as the Clinical Director of Aquacare – Millville. He graduated from Ithaca College in 2018 where he received his Doctorate in Physical Therapy while minoring in Psychology. While at Ithaca, he played on the Division III football team and worked as a personal trainer. Dr. Drislane has completed 2 of 4 parts on his way to obtaining a McKenzie certification, which emphasizes advanced treatment for the spine and extremities. He became a certified vestibular therapist in 2019, specializing in vestibular pathologies and concussion rehabilitation. He became a certified Titleist Performance Instructor in 2022, specializing in golf-specific injury assessment and rehabilitation. Dr. Drislane has a special interest in working in sports medicine and general orthopedics, in addition to his specializations. He strives to provide specialized, one-on-one care to his patients to return them to a pain-free and active lifestyle and to promote and optimize functional movement patterns in athletes in their specific sport.

    Caption: Connor Drislane, PT, DPT, sees patients at Aquacare – Millville. Call your neighborhood Aquacare to schedule an appointment or evaluation.

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