Tiger and I Have Something In Common

Back pain sufferers everywhere (like myself) know exactly what Tiger is feeling. I too, have had those moments where my back went out, my knees buckled and I was dropped ingloriously to the ground.

Tiger, I’m sorry to find that we have something in common. I wouldn’t wish back pain on my worst enemy.

Ok. I actually can think of a couple of people who deserve a bout of knee buckling back pain. But only a couple. And not Tiger.

Last summer, I was on the seventeenth tee when my back went out. I couldn’t move and just had to lie on the ground. After lying there for a while, I became afraid the guys behind me would think I was having a heart attack. I managed to get up and sit on the bench so they wouldn’t pick up their cells and call 911 before I could explain.

The guys were really nice and offered to drive me back to the clubhouse, but I am a little bit of a golf nut and wasn’t going to give up. I also thought that I would be able to walk it off—albeit slowly. I let them go through and then started staggering after my ball. I used an iron as a cane in one hand and pushed the cart with the other. In terms of a swing, all I could do was to manage a little pitch shot.

I finished the round, but my golf was finished for more than a month. I tried ice, anti-inflammatory medicines, my regular doctor (said just to wait it out) chiropractic treatment and finally acupuncture.

The acupuncture apparently did the trick. On the first visit, the acupuncturist said that I would need two treatments, three days apart. About twenty four hours after the second, she said, I would be much better.

I was entirely skeptical. Acupuncture was, in my mind, the equivalent of reading chicken entrails to divine the future. But I was desperate.

To my great surprise, it worked. Just as predicted, twenty four hours after getting stuck with needles for the second time, the pain had disappeared. Even more interesting is that I have not my usual instances of severe pain since then. A little twinge in the lower back, but nothing that really slows me down.

If Tiger has developed the kind of knee buckling back pain that we saw, I wouldn’t be surprised to eventually hear that it is something more than a night of sleeping wrong in a bad hotel bed. (And I wonder why—with all his money—he was in a hotel that even had a bad bed). Tiger is just 37, but he has been playing golf at a high level for 29 years (he won the Junior World Championships at age 8). That’s a long time, and a lot of wear on his body.

So Tiger … I feel your pain.

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