Golfers who experience lower back pain should improve their hip strength and flexibility with a fitness professional, according to the research of Ball State University graduate student Nathan Edwards.

Edwards, of Kokomo, researched which golf swings are most likely to cause back pain. His project, “Quantifying Biomechanical Risk Factors for Low Back Pain in Amateur Golfers,” was one of nine winners at Ball State’s Student Symposium this month.

Lower back pain is the most common type of injury among golfers, and Edwards’ research focused on torso movement, lower body muscle activity, and lower body muscle strength.

At the summation of his research, Edwards advises golfers who experience lower back pain to improve their hip strength and flexibility with a fitness professional.

“In my mind, receiving recognition for two years of hard work cements the relevancy of this research,” Edwards said. “I realize that this project could not have happened without the help of the faculty and other students in Ball State’s Biomechanics Laboratory.”

After receiving his undergraduate degree, Edwards chose to come to Ball State to pursue a master’s degree in biomechanics. In the fall, Edwards will pursue his doctorate in health and rehabilitation sciences at Ohio State University.

“At Ball State, I have been surrounded by faculty and students who have supported and pushed me to grow as a researcher and as a peer,” Edwards said. “The Biomechanics Lab also gave me access to tools that allowed me to pursue my interests with very few limitations.”

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