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J Chiropr Med. 2007 Mar;6(1):20-6. doi: 10.1016/j.jcme.2007.02.010.

Golf-related lower back injuries: an epidemiological survey.

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Student, Macquarie Injury Management Group, Department of Health and Chiropractic, Cronulla, NSW 2230, Australia.



This study describes the playing characteristics of golfers who had an injury to their lower back in the course of play or practice in the previous year (12 months).


A retrospective survey was mailed to members of randomly selected golf clubs across Australia. Statistical methods used included 2-sample t test to compare means of 2 independent populations and the chi(2) test to examine the association between categorical variables/factors in the study.


Of 1634 Australian amateur golfers surveyed, 17.6% of golfers sustained at least 1 injury in the previous year. The lower back accounted for 25% of all golf-related injuries in the previous year, making the lower back the most common site of injury. The golfer with a golf-related lower back injury was likely to have a previous history of lower back injury, while the injury had a progressive onset compared with an acute single onset. The follow-through phase of the golf swing was reported to be associated with the greatest likelihood of injury compared with other phases of the swing. Most of the injured golfers received treatment of their injury with a general practitioner (69%), a physiotherapist (49%), or a chiropractor (40%).


Practitioners treating golfers with a history of lower back injury should evaluate the golf swing follow-through to identify potential causes of aggravation to the lower back. Targeted measures such as spinal manipulative therapy, soft tissue and back exercise, and conditioning programs to assist the strength and mobility of the golfer could then be implemented.

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