Original Research

The efficacy of injury screening for lower back pain in elite golfers

Samantha-Lynn Quinn, Benita Olivier, Warrick McKinon
South African Journal of Physiotherapy | Vol 79, No 1 | a1843 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajp.v79i1.1843 | © 2023 Samantha-Lynn Quinn, Benita Olivier, Warrick McKinon | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 02 October 2022 | Published: 09 February 2023

About the author(s)

Samantha-Lynn Quinn, Department of Physiotherapy, School of Therapeutic Sciences, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa
Benita Olivier, Department of Physiotherapy, School of Therapeutic Sciences, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa
Warrick McKinon, Movement Physiology Research Laboratory, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa; and, School of Medicine, Keele University, Keele, Staffordshire, South Africa

Abstract

Background: Injury prevention is a growing focus for golfers in general and for elite golfers in particular. Movement screening has been proposed as a possible cost-effective means of identifying underlying risk factors and is widely utilised by therapists, trainers and coaches.

Objectives: Our study aimed to establish whether results from movement screening were associated with subsequent lower back injury in elite golfers.

Methods: Our prospective longitudinal cohort study with one baseline time point included 41 injury-free young elite male golfers who underwent movement screening. After this, the golfers were monitored for 6 months for lower back pain.

Results: Seventeen golfers developed lower back pain (41%). Screening tests that were able to differentiate golfers who developed and those who did not develop lower back pain, included: rotational stability test on the non-dominant side (p = 0.01, effect size = 0.27), rotational stability test on the dominant side (p = 0.03; effect size = 0.29) and plank score (p = 0.03; effect size = 0.24). There were no differences observed in any other screening tests.

Conclusion: Out of 30 screening tests, only three tests were able to identify golfers not at risk of developing lower back pain. All three of these tests had weak effect sizes.

Clinical implications: Movement screening was not effective in identifying elite golfers at risk of lower back pain in our study.


Keywords

golf; back; injury; prevention; lumbar; spine; rehabilitation; junior; sport; physiotherapy

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Crossref Citations

1. How to optimise the fidelity of exercises in an unsupervised golf injury prevention programme? A pilot study
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BMJ Open Sport & Exercise Medicine  vol: 10  issue: 1  first page: e001681  year: 2024  
doi: 10.1136/bmjsem-2023-001681