In March 2014, Tiger Woods underwent a medical procedure to relieve tension on the spinal nerve in his lower back. Tiger has been dealing with spinal problems for many years and likely not because he was born with a bad back but mostly because of all the stress loading from different forces. When Tiger swings a driver, he generates 140 mph of swing, and intense forces are loaded on his spine. In 2006, he would use a 2 iron and a 3 wood for some holes because they would create less force than the driver when swinging.
When a golfer swings a club, this create two forces: torque and axial loading.
Torque is when the body creates rotational or twisting movements. Excessive torque on the spine, combined with a lack of proper spinal care, can result in weakened discs, early degeneration, and herniation of the disc spaces. Torque is very common for baseball players, tennis players, and golfers, as they rotate their bodies a lot, creating the stress.
For people who do crossfit, they do not create a lot of torque on their body, but they do create the second force, known as axial loading. When a crossfitter does any olympic or power lift, they are placing a load on the spine, and this is usually negative. It’s not that lifting is negative, but people who have a misaligned spine make the lift negative. A person with a spine that is rotated or out of alignment is creating negative stresses placed upon the spine, and these can ultimately lead to disc herniations or bulging discs. Unfortunately, only a small percentage of the spinal nerves perceive pain, so feeling whether something is in or out of alignment is impossible.
The only way to know whether the structure of your spine is in proper alignment is by seeing a chiropractor who is trained in biomechanics and corrective work.
The spine is meant to act as a shock absorber when dealing with both forces, and when it is in proper position, it can handle the loading. When the spine is not in its proper position, the forces act as a negative stress and place A LOT of heavy loading on the spine.