The core stability, club head velocity and ball carry in golfers with and without low back pain : a comparative study
The core stability, club head velocity and ball carry in golfers with and without low back pain – a comparative study. Objective: The aims of this study was to establish whether an observable difference exists in the abdominal core stability of two comparable groups of golfers: one asymptomatic and the other suffering from low back pain, and whether an observable reduction of performance, expressed as club head velocity and ball carry can be observed in those with low back pain. First Objective was to differentiate the groups at baseline with respect to core stability strength between asymptomatic golfers and golfers suffering from low back pain. Whereas the Second Objective was to establish whether a relationship exists between abdominal core stability, CHV and ball carry in the two population groups under study. Following the above the Third Objective was to establish which other factors besides core stability strength have an effect on CHV and ball carry. And lastly the Fourth Objective was to establish the correlation between CHV and ball carry. Design: A comparative study was carried out between the two sample groups. A sample of forty patients were selected for this study, where twenty patients were asymptomatic and had no current episode of low back pain and were able to maintain a core contraction; and the other twenty patients low back pain and could not maintain a core contraction. Because the patients presented in a random manner, the patients were matched as close as possible according to age, so as to have better comparative value between the groups (the maximum age difference of a year was instituted). This allowed for comparisons among similar ages, with the difference being their low back pain and core contraction status. Outcome Measure: Each golfer was required to hit 5 balls using a standard club (in this study, a standard driver was used), after which an average value v was calculated for CHV and ball carry. All measurements were carried out using the Flightscope Pro machine at the Durban Pro Shop. Results: Core stability and low back pain did not influence CHV. However there was a non significant trend which indicated higher ball carry in the group with better core stability and no low back pain than in the group with low back pain and poor core stability. Increasing age and handicap reduced the CHV and ball carry values significantly. Ball carry and CHV were positively correlated together in both groups.