Sciatica is a specific type of nerve pain. More often than not, this pain starts in the lower back, but it can radiate throughout your whole leg as well. Even though sciatica can become chronic after a while, it also can come in the shape of acute pain since it’s not present all the time. Instead, the pain can be inflicted through several movements. Unfortunately, playing golf is one of them. Sciatica is a common problem among golf players. However, since sciatica is a pain that limits you in what you can do, the question arises of whether or not you can keep on playing golf if you suffer from sciatica.
Now, the answer is a resounding “yes”. It’s even recommended to keep on exercising when you have sciatica to prevent the pain from getting worse. This includes playing golf. However, just because it’s absolutely fine to play golf when you suffer from sciatica, doesn’t mean that you don’t have to take certain things into account.
This post will not only thoroughly explain why you can play golf with sciatica, but it will also set forward some pertinent tips and tricks in this department. For instance, we’ll provide you with important precautions you should take to keep the pain to a minimum. Also, we’ll provide you with some pertinent exercises that you should try out when you struggle with Sciatica.
Can You Play Golf With Sciatica?
Many golf players struggle with sciatica and this is due to the many different types of movements that are involved with playing golf. Yet, that doesn’t mean that playing golf is entirely out of the question if you have this condition. It’s quite the contrary! Healthcare professionals generally encourage people with sciatica to keep exercising. Namely, being very physically inactive can actually make your sciatica worse.
Furthermore, while it is true that sciatica can prevent you from undertaking physical activities that are too burdensome or heavy, golf doesn’t fall under this category. When you’re playing golf, you basically alternate between walking, putting, swinging, bending, and standing still. It’s precisely this mix of movements that makes golf a great activity to partake in when you have sciatica. Concretely, golf can keep you active enough without putting any excess stress on your lower back and legs.
Nevertheless, there are still some pointers to keep in mind when you play golf in order to not make your sciatica worse. That is to say, there are certain precautions you can take to relieve some of your pain. Further, there are also some pertinent exercises you can try out if you’re interested!
Precautions to Keep in Mind
Stretch Elaborately Before You Begin
First and foremost, stretching beforehand is essential before any kind of exercise but it’s especially relevant when you’re playing golf. Even more so, it’s recommended to not only stretch before you play golf but also during and after you’re done playing. Stretching beforehand will provide you with the advantage of loose, flexible muscles. This is particularly favorable since tight muscles are a breeding ground for sciatica pain.
Stretching during and after playing golf is recommended because it will relieve some of the pressure on your muscles. Specifically, playing golf involves making the same movements time and time again. After a while, this can put a great deal of stress on your muscles. By stretching during and after playing golf, you can relieve some of this pressure, and hence, this is the way par excellence to deal with sciatica.
Pay Attention to Your Form
When it comes to golf, it’s always crucial to pay attention to your form. Nonetheless, it’s extra crucial when you struggle with sciatica. That is, sciatica is often made worse by a form that’s not ideal. For instance, you should especially pay attention to the way you rotate before swinging and to your swinging itself.
To make this less abstract, you can ensure that you maintain a good form by standing perfectly upright as a starting position. Your feet should be shoulder-width apart so you can distribute your weight evenly. This will make sure that you maintain a stable position and thus, you will be able to play golf in a relaxed manner. From this starting position onwards, you’ll find that it will be easier to rotate and swing without putting any excess pressure on your lower back and legs. Thus, it will be easier to not let sciatica hold you back.
As mentioned above, playing golf involves the same set of movements continuously. In order to prevent your muscles from becoming too strained as a result, it’s of utmost importance that you treat yourself to some much-needed recovery time after you play golf. While playing golf is not prohibited when you have sciatica, you also shouldn’t overdo it. Otherwise, you risk your pain becoming even worse and that’s something to avoid at all costs.
Wear a Back brace
While wearing a back brace might not be the best solution for every golf player with sciatica, it’s still a very useful solution to at least consider. Back braces are intrinsically designed to provide support for your back. Since sciatica is a condition that mainly targets the lower back, back braces thus could significantly help with the associated pain.
A brace can also help with relieving pressure on the sciatic nerve. This nerve goes from your lower back through your hips to your legs. Sciatica pain is situated on the length of this nerve and that’s where the condition gets its name from. Since wearing a back brace relieves pressure on the sciatic nerve while you’re playing golf, it’s extremely helpful as regards decreasing your sciatica pain.
Visit a Chiropractor
Finally, if you struggle with sciatica, you could benefit greatly from visiting a chiropractor to help you with your pain. A chiropractor will correct the position of your spine on a regular basis. As a result, you will be able to maintain a perfect, upright posture while playing golf and as mentioned before, this is very crucial. That is to say, a chiropractor contributes to relieving sciatica pain through regular care of your spine. A chiropractor doesn’t only tackle sciatica symptoms but addresses the root of the problem and that’s precisely why this is an immensely beneficial treatment option if you struggle with sciatica.
Moreover, a chiropractor doesn’t only work in a preventive manner, but in a curative manner as well. Particularly, if you experience a lot of sciatica pain and pressure, a chiropractor will ensure that your recovery will run quickly and smoothly!
Exercises to Try Out
Firstly, swimming is one of the best types of exercise since you target various muscle groups at the same time. It’s particularly great as regards relieving sciatica symptoms due to a variety of reasons. For instance, swimming can contribute to the strengthening of your muscles and tendons. It also can relieve pressure on your muscles and prevent further damage. Another advantage of swimming is that it can significantly increase your endorphin levels, resulting in a lower tendency to feel pain.
Nevertheless, if you decide to try out swimming as a means to help with your sciatica, your should remember to do so at a slightly slower pace. If you keep this in mind, you’ll find that swimming is the perfect way to relax your muscles, while still strengthening them to the extent possible.
On a related note, if swimming isn’t something you’re very fond of, you could also try out aerobic exercises. These will provide you with the same advantages and are also incredibly fun at the same time.
Core Strengthening Exercises
Secondly, core strengthening exercises are absolutely worth trying out as well. These exercises will gradually allow you to stabilize your spine. As a result, these exercises are great for treating sciatica and injuries to your lower back in general. They do so by strengthening the affected area, relieving the symptoms, and preventing further damage from arising. Consequently, these exercises can help you tackle sciatica on a long-term basis.
The common thread when it comes to relieving sciatica symptoms is to keep exercising without overdoing it. That is to say, if you decide to stop putting pressure on your muscles altogether, your muscles will become weaker. Instead, if you decide to undertake activities that aren’t too straining on your muscles, you will gradually tackle sciatica.
One prime example of such an activity that’s not too intense for your muscles is taking a walk on a regular basis. Even if your sciatica symptoms are quite severe, you can keep on walking to help relieve some of the pressure. However, if you feel like walking has become impossible for you due to sciatica pain, you should contact a healthcare professional. They will be able to provide you with care on demand and useful advice on how to proceed from there.
All in all, playing golf when you have sciatica is positively encouraged as long as you consider the above-mentioned precautions and exercises. Therefore, there is no reason at all why you should definitively put your golf club to rest. Don’t let sciatica hold you back! However, while you’ll already be off to a great start with the tips mentioned in this post, it’s still recommended that you consult a healthcare professional. They will be able to provide you with more information and treatment options based on your personal situation.