The torque and shear forces of the full swing motion put stress on the spine. Poor cervicothoracic posture, limited rotational mobility, and degenerative conditions can irritate preexisting spine disorders. Research evidence indicated that a large number of costal stress fractures in the lead-side rib cage of beginning golfers were misdiagnosed as "nonspecific back pain."23 Pain and hypomobility in the lead (left) scapulothoracic area and paravertebral muscles are signs of vertebral and zygapophyseal joint dysfunction. Low back injuries ranging from lumbosacral sprains to herniated discs were reported in 48% of the respondents in one study.21 The lumbar spine is prone to facet dysfunction and potential nerve-root irritation. Sacroiliac joint dysfunction and degeneration are also quite common in habitual golfers.22
Other spine problems may include spondylolysis (the breaking down of a vertebra) and spondylolisthesis (forward displacement of a vertebra over a lower segment, usually the L5 vertebra over the sacrum or the L4 over the L5).
Dry needling acupuncture therapy is very effective in reducing acute and chronic stress on the spine and in preventing further development of the spine symptoms. If injuries occur, dry needling acupuncture is very helpful for healing in conjunction with other modalities. Weekly de-stressing treatment is suggested for prevention, and two treatment sessions per week should be provided for treating the symptoms.
Football is a contact sport; it could even be described a collision sport. In a 1997 study by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA),24 the injury rate among athletes was 3.8 per 1000 exposures in practice and 34.1 per 1000 exposures in games. Knees and ankles were the most common sites of injury, and sprains were the most common type.24
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