The Masters, Tiger Woods and Chiropractic

An item on the bucket list item for many folks, going to the Masters golf tournament is a rare treat. Master’s tickets, or “badges” as they are so called, sell for several thousand dollars. The Augusta National golf course is said to be one of the most beautiful in the world. Indeed, this is the place where true money and unlimited resources make themselves known in a landscape that is famous far and wide. The Master’s golf tournament itself is so prestigious that volunteers fly themselves at their own expense to be a part of it. Just so they can see The Masters on their resume.Image of 12th Hole at Augusta national and chiropractic.

All of golf’s greats play there and this year is no exception. Well, wit h one exception. Tiger Woods will not be playing The Masters this year. It seems Tiger is out. Tiger had back surgery this past month. A micro disc-ectomy.  Woods has been suffering from back pain for a while now and was supposedly receiving “therapy” on an almost daily basis. However, I have been unable to find out just what this therapy was.  Was Tiger Woods getting physical therapy? Was he getting chiropractic? Was he getting cortisone shots?  I have no idea. What I do know is about spinal discs. If Tiger Woods had a micro-discectomy surgery, that  means he had either a bulging disc or a herniated or fragmented disc. I’m not going to get into all the differences between these categories. That is a topic for another post. However, it makes me wonder if Tiger Woods had received care from a top notch chiropractor, might his life be different now? Whether or not Tiger had chiropractic care is unknown to me. Also his actual condition and the severity of it.

In my office we help people with disc problems every day. In many cases a micro disc-ectomy like Tiger Woods had can actually weaken the disc creating future problems. Also many people feel that once they have back surgery their problem is “fixed” and they don’t need any further type of help or care. Especially if they feel better after the surgery. Many people do, but usually for a limited number of years. Why is that?

Having a micro disc surgery like Tiger’s could be compared to putting a patch on a tire that is wearing out because the front end of the car is misaligned. That repair will get you down the road but is it the fix? Sure you can drive again (no pun intended, well maybe a little) but how long will that tire last? Is a disc with a weakened protective wall really what you want to take out to the course and bet your professional career on?

Please don’t get me wrong. I am not criticizing Tiger Woods here. Honestly, I have admitted that I do not know what types of therapy he has had and have been unable to get research results on the subject. These are just questions that I ask myself whenever I hear of anybody who chooses to have surgery for a pain condition. Could their future have been spared by chiropractic care? Could Tiger be playing in the 2014 Masters Golf Tournament this year if he had gone for care other than the medical model?

Ticket prices are down significantly this year due to Tiger’s absence from the Masters. In fact, it is supposed to have torrential down pores and thunder for the practice round on Monday. That is the day I actually have a ticket for thanks to my neighbor who has been a volunteer for over 35 years. I hope I get to see the Augusta National course and that the practice round will not be rained out. It is doubtful that Tiger will show at all and I was really hoping to see him, even if not in his prime.

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