3 Tips for Golfing With Spinal Stenosis

If you’re considering surgery to treat lumbar spinal stenosis and you’re an avid golfer, you’re likely wondering whether you’ll be able to return to the green after your procedure. Although most people can play golf again after spinal stenosis surgery, it’s important to keep specific safety tips in mind to avoid another injury.

Start Slow

If you haven’t gotten out on the green for a while, you should take it easy at first. It’s tempting to jump back in and see if you can hit the ball at full force, but this can have a negative impact on your back. Aggravating an existing injury could mean more time off the field!

Also, if your doctor approves, you can take ibuprofen before you go out to play. Do so about 30 minutes before heading out to help manage potential discomfort.

Take Care of Your Back

First, gently but thoroughly stretch your muscles before playing golf, focusing on the lower back. Stretching encourages blood flow to the muscles, which can ward off injury. Ask your doctor to recommend lower back stretches for you to try.

While you’re playing, reduce the amount of force you’d usually use to hit the ball. Your swing should max out at 50 to 75 percent of your average power.

During the game, wear a supportive lower back brace. This serves several functions: it reminds you to be gentle on your back and keeps the area warm, which relaxes and loosens the muscles and soft tissues. These braces can be purchased at your local pharmacy without a prescription.

Listen to Your Body

If you experience pain after playing golf, take a break for a few weeks and allow your symptoms to resolve before giving it another try. In the interim, focus on gentle stretching and strengthening exercises. You should also strive to engage in low-impact exercise such as swimming or walking for at least 30 minutes a day three times a week.

Before undergoing any physical activity after surgery, talk with your doctor to make sure it’s safe for you to do so. It’s also important to follow his or her instructions during the recovery period to ensure successful healing and improved mobility.

For any prolonged back pain, talk to the experts at the Marc Cohen Spine Institute. We offer state-of-the-art care and customer satisfaction. To learn more or to schedule an appointment, call (973) 538-4444.