After Tiger Woods struggled to an opening round 77, fans were wondering if he could make a charge on Friday to make the cut. However, they didn’t get the chance to see Woods golf, as the 41-year-old professional withdrew from competition, citing back spasms.
Woods is familiar with back issues, as he’s undergone multiple microdiscectomy operations in the past to address damaged discs and pressurized nerves. However, Woods’ agent suggested that this week’s issue is unrelated to his previous three spinal operations.
“Spasms are a funny thing, I’m certainly no doctor but they come and go,” said agent Mark Steinberg. “And again, the fact that he feels as though it’s not the nerve pain, that’s very encouraging for him. He’s had spasms before. He’s got to get the spasm to calm down from what I gather. He has his trainer here, which is good, and that’s who has been working on him for the past several hours.”
Trying To Put Back Pain Behind Him
Woods made his return to professional golf last week at Torrey Pines, and his attempt to play in the Dubai Open was only his second professional tournament in 17 months. Steinberg told reporters that Woods had no pain in his back after his first round in Dubai, but it’s clear that Woods is hesitant to trust his spine. After missing the cut last week, Woods suggested that his biggest concern heading into the Dubai Open was the international flight.
“The only concern is I have a long flight ahead of me,” Woods said last week. “How is my body going to handle flights? Flying out here is something I hadn’t done in a while. Now we have a pretty good jaunt, 17 hours. It will be good. It is a long process in the mornings. Trying to get ready and warmed up. The task and tall order is to stay warm and stay loose. That’s one of the things I hadn’t dealt with.”
Although Woods’ agent suggested that the back spasms weren’t related to the nerve issues the golfer has had in the past, he did suggest that his weakened spine may have played a role in the spasm development.
“I’m sure there are so many different factors that could play into it,” Steinberg said. “I just don’t know what causes a back to go into a spasm. He doesn’t have the strongest back in the world, so it’s probably easier to spasm because of the issues he’s had.”
What Causes A Back Spasm?
Steinberg said he wasn’t exactly sure what causes a back spasm, so we thought we’d tackle that subject on the blog.
Back spasms can occur for a number of different reasons, however, they generally have one of three main root causes:
- Acute Injury
- Repetitive Injury
- Genetic/Other Medical Condition
Back spasms occur due to injuries to the muscles, tendons and ligaments in your back, or because of a pre-existing medical condition. When your back is injured through excessive strain or injury, tissues can be damaged, which causes a muscle to involuntarily contract or tense up.
In Woods’ case, his back is already damaged from previous surgeries, and he stresses his spine every time he strikes the ball. It’s no wonder that the spasms started to set in, especially after a 17-hour flight. He’ll benefit from staying hydrated and really working to stretch thoroughly prior to every round he plays to ensure the muscles have adequate time to warm up and get ready for the rigors of the course.
Woods is no longer in his prime, and while I hope he gets his spine issues under control, I doubt this will be the last tournament he withdraws from because of back problems.