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What's Wrong with Tiger's Back?

Those of you who follow professional golf might know that Tiger Woods had back surgery in the spring. For those of you who don’t, he had surgery to repair a herniated disc in his lower back. He just returned to playing in tournaments a few weeks ago. The trouble he’s having now is that his back is once again preventing him from playing. Since back pain is such a common problem and since back surgery is often thought to be the best cure, I thought I’d explain.

Photo courtesy of  Keith Allison

Photo courtesy of Keith Allison

While it’s true that his disc herniation was causing him pain, it wasn’t his problem. This is why surgery to remove the disc herniation didn’t fix his problem. His problem was the thing(s) that caused his disc to herniate. He has two of them, in fact. The first was that he had subluxations in his lower back. Subluxations are misalignments or abnormal motion of the vertebrae such that they interfere with normal nerve function causing ill health. He developed these, no doubt, from his lifestyle, as we all do. Adjustments resolve these and I’m sure that Tiger got chiropractic care. The second problem was that the muscles that are supposed to support and move his spine became dysfunctional and unable to do their job. Surgery doesn’t fix this. Only sophisticated and appropriate rehabilitative exercise can resolve this. Regular exercise, even intense exercise, won’t help. Tiger is renowned to be an intense exerciser but his results clearly show that it doesn’t help his back. So, even though his pain was eliminated by the surgery, the problem wasn’t and the pain was destined to return.

There are two further lessons to learn from Tiger’s troubles. The first is that high paid experts don’t necessarily know how to help you. They may know how to do what they know how to do but they may not know what is best for you. And the second lesson is the most obvious. That is, if you want your problem fixed, you must actually fix the problem.

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