I played to an eight at my peak, but spinal stenosis has put single digit handicap golf, not to mention walking golf, in my rear view mirror forever. I get my walking in with my dog, usually with a cane, but that's not the same as walking a 6000 yard- plus golf course.
While prescription opiates are a necessary part of my pain manement, I don't find them addictive and I'm very careful not to abuse them. Sure, I was a sixties kid, but the occasional doobie at a party was the sum of my controlled substance experience in college. I never take oxycodone prophylactically, but sometimes after a round, that's the only way to cope with the severe spasms. When that's the case, I just lay off golf for a while until things quiet down.
Here's what I would suggest to young players. Youth is fleeting, but it's also very impactful on how senior life will be. I liked food too much and over-ate. I smoked unfiltered Camels from the age of fourteen to the age of forty-seven. I didn't abuse drugs or become too excessive with alcohol, but I never saw the inside of a gym once I was done with amateur boxing, Except for golf, I was the consumate recliner rat. And now, I'm paying the price.
I worked hard to become a presentable recreational player, and it hurts to be able to visualize shots that I can no longer make. That's going to happen anyway, but i will happen later and more gradually with good attention to physical fitness.
Don't obsess. Just be a little smart with your body. You only get one.