Michael Piscitello, a physical therapist and Titleist Performance Institute (TPI)-certified clinician
Sports / Orthopedic

Three Bad Golf Habits that Cause Back Pain

Sep 30 2022

Fall is here and the golf season is wrapping up! Golfing offers great exercise and the opportunity to get outside for lots of people. But unfortunately, when played incorrectly, it can lead to back pain.

We talked with Michael Piscitello, a physical therapist and Titleist Performance Institute (TPI)-certified clinician, who shares three bad habits that golfers need to break.


C-posture occurs when the shoulders and middle section of the spine are slumped forward when addressing the ball. There is a definitive roundness to the back from the tailbone to the back of the neck, creating a ā€œCā€ shape.

The most significant joint restriction seen in C-posture is the lack of middle spine extension. Additionally, the lack of pelvic tilt or lack of hip hinging causes the upper body to bend while addressing the ball.

Learning how to bend from the hip and not the upper spine while improving your middle spine extension, rotation, shoulder girdle mobility and scapular stabilization will help stop C-posture from occurring.

Here are some exercises and stretches to try:

  • hip bar hinges
  • foam rolling
  • pectoralis stretch
  • kneeling thoracic extension and lat stretch


S-posture is a postural characteristic that can be caused by the player creating too much arch in their lower back by sticking their tailbone out to much in the golf setup position. This results in tightness in the hip flexors and lower back, and weakness in the abdominals and glutes.

The pelvic tilt exercise can help you find a neutral spine position during the golf swing. It assists the golfer by eliminating a loss of posture during the backswing, which helps reduce low back injuries.

Early extension

Early extension is defined as any forward movement of the lower body toward the golf ball during the downswing. This swing characteristic causes the arms and club to get stuck behind your body during the downswing, forcing your torso to raise up and elevate through the hitting zone. Early extension usually causes two typical miss shots, the block to the right and a hook to the left.

Some exercises to help fix this problem include full deep squats with club overhead and the object on glute drill.

Let us help you with your golf swing! Call 513-985-1273 to schedule an appointment with one of our TPI-certified team members.

Learn more about the orthopedic services we offer in our Cincinnati market. Also, learn tips for reducing knee pain during your next round of golf.

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