As we know, for some people, golf can be quite addictive. No matter how good his technique is, a true golfer will always look to improve. Therefore a dedicated golfer will keep practicing---keep swinging the club. When swinging the club, the spine serves as the core of movement: the spine is rotated first so that the weight of the body is transferred from the right leg to the left leg and the striking path of the club is kept a perfect arc.
Therefore the spine is essential for golfing, but at the same time, due to overuse and all kinds of bad golfing postures, it becomes vulnerable to all kinds of back injuries such as acute lumbar sprain, lumbar muscle strain, sciatica, third lumbar transverse inflammation, and spinal arthritis.
In fact, 95% of people will experience back pain at least one time in their lives. The golfers in particular, tend to suffer more serious and usually chronic back pains because of their ever-lasting effort to swing a better strike. The situation will become worse for those who would not stop practicing even in rainy days.
No matter what the cause of chronic back pain, there will be back and forth of conditions, including the golf-related back pain. For this problem we need to understand that we all have self-healing ability and this ability is the key to heal all injuries. When we are young this ability is strong, so that we will usually recover from a pain after a night of good sleep. This ability will deteriorate as we age, and the time to recover will become longer and longer. If a problem is not treated for too long, the time to recover will be extended too. Someone suffering from years of chronic back pain usually recover slower than others. They will feel the pain whenever they walk or sit for an extended period of time or after working, sometimes even cannot sleep at all. Also, the chronic back pain is usually accompanied by fatigue, insomnia, frequent urination, cold limb, depression, panic, and anxiety. To make things worse, for these people there may be a higher chance to develop kidney and heart related problems or other vascular problems years later. In Chinese medicine, the self-healing of back pain is supported by the “kidney” ( it is not the organ kidney in modern context, but rather an imaginative place in the body that adjusts the “qi” of the whole body---this theory have been applied and proved to be effective for thousands of years). The “qi” of the kidney is the fuel for self-healing, and the “kidney” will be weakened if too much “qi” is used in a short time---then many problem follows.
Therefore, improving this self-healing ability, in other words, adding more “qi” to the “kidney” rather than just using painkillers, is the proper way to treat back pain. Only then can the damaged tissues be fixed while preventing long term after effects.
Here are some suggestions for golfers:
1. Make sure you warm up sufficiently (at least 10 mins) before practicing;
2. Do not play golf in rainy days;
3. Stop playing and take rest once acute back pain appears. If the pain persists, go to see your acupuncturist or doctor;
4. Use structural strength, not the muscle to swing the club. If your posture is incorrect, get advice.