Common misconceptions about back pain in sport:

Tiger Woods’ case brings five fundamental questions into sharp focus

by  Peter O’Sullivan

Back pain is the leading cause of disability in the western world and a major reason for activity avoidance and athlete retirement. In spite of enormous and increasing costs, current approaches to management are fuelling rather than reducing the burden of the problem.1 This was highlighted by the huge media interest generated recently over the demise of Tiger Woods and his golf game relating to his back pain disorder. Tiger’s story has demonstrated common underlying beliefs about back pain often reinforced by wellmeaning health professionals, which in turn leads to the quest for ‘magic bullet’ treatments to ‘fix’ the disorder. Tiger’s situation highlights the diagnostic and management dilemma faced by many health professionals regarding the mechanisms for, and the management of, recurrent and disabling back pain disorders.

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Br J Sports Med-2015-O’Sullivan-bjsports-2014-094542