Professional golfer Peter Jacobsen tells how to play golf after surgery
Back pain is a widespread issue in the sport of golf, and even someone as elite as Tiger Woods is not immune to the searing pain of a pinched nerve. In fact, back injuries among golfers are fairly common.
According to professional golfer Peter Jacobsen, approximately eight out of 10 golfers, including those on the PGA tour, will experience some type of back pain at one time or another.
Jacobsen, a 38-year golf veteran, underwent minimally invasive spine surgery at Laser Spine Institute to treat his own chronic back pain. Jacobsen suffered from bi-lateral sciatic pain. He said that the unnatural rotating movement of a golf swing puts strain on the back. Golfers often inadvertently have a tendency to slide and drop their shoulders while in a swinging motion, which can then pinch their discs.
Many golfers suffer from back pain caused by conditions such as:
- Pinched nerve
- Bulging/herniated disc
- Bone spurs
- Spinal stenosis
As someone who can relate to undergoing back surgery and then returning to golf, Jacobsen’s best word of advice for Tiger is to be patient. Jacobsen has some tips that may help Tiger and other golfers who have had back surgery make a full recovery and a comeback in the game of golf:
Listen to your doctor. Tiger should listen to his doctors and physical therapists and follow their timelines, even if he feels like he is able to return to the game at a much earlier time frame. Your physician has your best interests in mind and will help you get back to golfing quickly and safely.
Adjust your golf swing. He should take it slow with his golf swing and listen to his back and body, while also focusing on flexibility before strength. It’s important to listen to your body when you start golfing again. This may mean adjusting how you swing a golf club.
Take it slow. Golfers can get in trouble after surgery by pushing themselves too hard and too quickly. Take your time getting back into the game so as not to re-injure your spine.
Tiger is primed for a comeback if he follows these steps and fully heals before returning to the tour. If you’re an avid golfer, heed Jacobsen’s advice to help avoid chronic neck or back pain after surgery so you can get back in the game.