Tennis Anyone? (A Guide to Simple Back Pain Therapy)

Three Guys Golf Blog on Back Pain: While golf is usually not characterized as hard exercise, it can be unplayable with a bad back. For the past few years I have been working on rehabilating myself so that I could once again play pain free. With the help from the staff at Bodyworks in Durham, NC, I have made great strides but one of the most effective (and cheapest) therapies simply involves utilizing tennis balls and/or baseballs.

For one, I keep tennis balls in the car with me at all times. I simply put them behind me and move them around to places that are knotted or tight, and just use my own weight to apply pressure to work out the tight areas.

Secondly, I use them several times a day on the floor of my house.  All that is required is that I lay on top of the tennis balls with them placed just slightly left and right of my spine, lined up beside each other, so there’s no ‘twist’ to my spine. I can then pull my legs up to my chest to put as much weight as I can on the tennis balls. Additionally, I can shift my body to move them up and down my spine. The same process can be repeated in the upper back area. With my hips, I use baseballs around my hip joint, and with both legs pulled up towards my chest, I gently rock from one hip to the other and move the balls to different places around my hip socket.

I know it may seem like a lot of work but if you have back pain that is keeping you from playing golf, it is a great way to start the rehabilitation. For me, I can tell you that by doing these exercises in the morning, evening, and before and after golf, my back has improved tremendously. No other single exercise has helped me more.

Written by Wade Baynham
Single-digit handicap, who learned golf in his early 20′s from my former father-in-law, a long time PGA tour and Champions tour player. I enjoy studying the golf swing and occasionally give golf lessons.