One of the first things a lot of people do when they realize they’re dealing with back pain or injuries is seek out others who have had similar experiences. Back pain is one of those things you don’t mess around with or handle casually; there are usually a few options as to what to do about a given problem, and it can be reassuring – or simply educational – to get advice from a chiropractor you know or trust.

In some cases though, people dealing with these worrisome issues can also look to famous figures for guidance. To be perfectly clear, this does not mean that you should ever blindly follow the path a given celebrity took while you’re dealing with your own back pain. You should do a careful assessment of your situation and gather multiple professional medical opinions in deciding what to do. Still, there’s nothing wrong with going through the process of learning about others’ experiences, and whether you’re looking for specific treatment ideas or simply inspiration, it can be interesting to look toward celebrities you might admire. 

In service of this idea we’re outlining a few famous figures you may know of who happen to have dealt with severe back issues. These people aren’t just celebrities either, but rather sports athletes, who in some cases can be most at risk for back problems, and who can suffer most from their debilitating effects.

Usain Bolt

Usain Bolt is a Jamaican sprinter who’s now widely recognized as the fastest man on Earth – and possibly the fastest human being who’s ever lived. With this distinction, his incredibly athletic form, several world records, and eight Olympic gold medals – not to mention the fact that he could probably have been a professional soccer or cricket player – it’s almost difficult to imagine Bolt suffering from any physical ailment or condition. It just so happens, however, that the sprinter has scoliosis, which has resulted in both pain and a slight imbalance in the length of his legs. Bolt has essentially fought the condition through physical therapy, as well as by focusing on his core, and the results speak for themselves.

James Blake

James Blake is a retired professional tennis player who now splits his time between announcing, organizing tournaments, and contributing in myriad ways to U.S. professional tennis. He was once ranked fourth in the world though, and got there despite some incredible struggles along the way. These included a serious illness and a broken neck early in his playing career, but even before that – when he was still a child – Blake battled scoliosis as well. His case was more severe than that of Bolt’s, and according to a profile in the New York Times (and backed up in Blake’s own book, “Breaking Back”), he had to wear a half-body brace for a portion of his youth – four years to be exact. That he became as great a tennis player as he did despite this hurdle should be an incredible inspiration to anyone facing similar challenges.

Steve Kerr

Steve Kerr was a teammate of Michael Jordan’s in the 1990s, but is now well on his way to becoming one of the more decorated coaches in NBA history as well. Kerr has already led the Golden State Warriors to three titles in four years, and most prediction markets and analysts believe they’re on the cusp of a fourth in five. Check in with New Jersey’s sportsbooks, which offer the most close-to-home odds on the ongoing NBA playoffs, and you’ll see the Warriors as fairly healthy favorites, thanks in part to Kerr’s guidance. As stalwart as Kerr has been with the Warriors though, he almost had to step down following complications from a 2015 back surgery to fix a ruptured disk. Kerr has actually advocated against such surgery (which doesn’t mean no one should have it, but does present an interesting perspective), but he does appear to be feeling better thanks to treatments and a good deal of perseverance.

Peyton Manning

Peyton Manning is now retired from the NFL, but finished his playing days as one of the most accomplished quarterbacks in history. His career might have contained even more accolades had he not had some severe back and neck issues, however. Due to a herniated disc and various resulting conditions, Manning underwent multiple back surgeries and a spinal fusion procedure, all before he retired from professional football. To many of us the mere idea of being tackled once while handling back pain or recovery from surgery is unbearable. Manning, however – thanks to a great deal of treatment and lengthy recovery processes – was able to extend his career, and even won a Super Bowl in his final season.

Tiger Woods

Tiger Woods has been in the news once again after winning The Masters when many thought he’d never win a major tournament again. This doubt was due to a few factors, and Woods’s fall from the top of the PGA Tour makes for a complex story. His game specifically suffered largely due to back problems though, with Woods having essentially described himself as being bedridden at times over the last several years. His struggles were detailed following the recent Masters win, and present a dizzying picture: there were spasms, pinched nerves, surgeries, medications, fusions, and more. That he not only kept after his recovery process but made it all the way back to the top is a virtual miracle.

Our success rates are very high. If you are looking for low back pain relief and would like to find out if you are a candidate for our treatment we would like to meet you. To schedule an appointment with our San Francisco chiropractor, please call 415–415–1115 or book an appointment online.

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