Tiger Woods and Bulging Disk Syndrome
By Dr. George Bobbitt
There has been a lot of talk lately about Tiger Woods and his back troubles. Tiger has been through a lot of physical complaints over his career, and he has managed through most of them. Having to miss the 2014 Masters this year has to be heartbreaking.
Tiger Woods was diagnosed with a pinched nerve from a bad disc in his back. He recently had surgery and is now in recovery with extensive rehabilitation to follow. Some have high hopes of a return to the course later in the season.
It is important to know that the top professional athletes in the world are in better shape than most people. They train all day, every day with the hopes of attaining what others only dream of doing. What many people forget is that there can be great consequences for abusing the body no matter how "in shape" one is.
When we look at Tiger Woods, there is little doubt that he is probably in the best shape of his life. I am sure that his core is stronger than ever. It would be safe to say that he also had a great cardiovascular routine as well. I imagine he has the best doctors money can buy, and his diet most likely is close to perfection.
So how could someone who is in such “great shape” end up with a bad disc and have to miss one of golf’s greatest opportunities?
A possible answer may be the hidden toll on the body from just the simple repetitive stress of swinging golf clubs day after day, year after year. Maybe part of the mystery is in the gruesome training regimen that athletes endure. Sometimes it is simply neglect of an area of the body because there was no indication that trouble was approaching.
Regardless of the why, could this injury and surgery been prevented? What happens now? What does the future look like after back surgery? Obviously the exact answer is not known, but I can give you most likely scenarios.
As I have witnessed far too many times, this will most likely be the beginning of many future back problems. Even with conditioning and rehabilitation the body most likely will never be the same again. This is the case for most of us. It has been my experience that most people will not do what it takes to give the back the best chance of performing at a new normal. The most likely reason the back failed was that there was more damaging habits happening than there were positive restoring back processes.
Just because the bad disc is remedied does not mean that the back is fully corrected.
A strong focus now has to be placed on correcting the causes that led to the bad disc in the first place. No one ever looks in that direction. It took a long time for the back to finally give up. We get caught in the symptom correction and then stop there. The rehabilitation helps tremendously, but until a damaging lifestyle is changed or modified there is little lasting hope for future stability.
What needs to be understood is that the daily stresses we put on our back, the repetitive motion, improper lifting, lack of training, poor diet, accidents and many more maladies that tag along accumulate and leave us struggling for quality of life. Now is the time to evaluate your back health and try to restore as much function as possible before it is too late.
There are ways to measure back health besides being surprised by symptoms like pain, numbness, tingling, weakness etc. To adequately access back health, a functional medicine approach could prove to be extremely helpful.