Background: Understanding the kinematics of the lumbar spine and hip joints during a golf swing is a basic step for identifying swing-specific factors associated with low back pain. The objective of this study was to examine the kinematic relationship between rotational movement of the lumbar spine and hip joints during a golf swing. Methods: Fifteen professional golfers participated in this study with employment of six infrared cameras to record their golf swings. Anatomical reference system of the upper torso, pelvis and thigh segments, and the location of each hip and knee joint were defined by the protocols of the kinematic model of previous studies. Lumbar spine and hip joint rotational angle was calculated utilizing the Euler angle method. Cross-correlation and angle-angle plot was used to examine the degree of kinematic relationship between joints. Results: A fairly strong coupling relationship was shown between the lumbar spine and hip rotational movements with an average correlation of 0.81. Leading hip contribution to overall rotation was markedly high in the early stage of the downswing, while the lumbar spine contributed greater towards the end of the downswing; however, the relative contributions of the trailing hip and lumbar spine were nearly equal during the entire downswing. Conclusions: Most of the professional golfers participated in this study used a similar coordination strategy when moving their hips and lumbar spine during golf swings. The rotation of hips was observed to be more efficient in producing the overall rotation during the downswing when compared to the backswing. These results provide quantitative information to better understand the lumbar spine and hip joint kinematic characteristics of professional golfers. This study will have great potential to be used as a normal control data for the comparison with kinematic information among golfers with low back pain and for further investigation of golf swing-specific factors associated with injury.
- Lumbar spine
- Rotational movement
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
- Biomedical Engineering
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging