The Loop

Is this the hidden source of your back pain?

There are a lot of reasons golfers suffer from back pain including weak, ineffective glute and hip muscles and poor mechanics. But one of the most common reasons often goes undetected.


The problem with SI-joint dysfunction is that it's not always easy to diagnose. Doctors sometimes think there are issues with the spinal discs—herniated or degenerative—or the sciatic nerve when it's actually the SI joint. Often the pain the patient describes leads them to those conclusions.

The takeaway from this is that if you suffer from chronic back pain, and the diagnosis and treatment weren't directed toward repair of the SI joint, you might want to head back to your orthopedic doctor and ask to be specifically tested for SI-joint issues. If your back pain is easily reproduced during these tests, there's a good chance you've found the hidden source and now corrective measures can be taken. Treatment can range from anti-inflammatory medication to fusing the bottom part of the spine.

Ron Kaspriske is the fitness editor of Golf Digest.