Dufner off Course Due to Bulging Discs

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Jason Dufner may be one of the top 30 golfers in the world - but even the best suffer from painful injuries after years in the game. Dufner announced this past Wednesday that he has been living with two bulging discs in his neck since the Masters back in April. He received a steroid injection to help him prepare for the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational, in hopes that the injection will help clear the inflammation.

“There are many kinds of bulging discs; it all depends on the magnitude of the herniation,” said Dr. Chetan Patel, Medical Director of the Spine Health Institute. “The disc can come out of place and put pressure on the nerve, causing pain that radiates down the arm.”

This was the case with Dufner, who originally thought his pain was from a shoulder injury, but an MRI showed that he had not one, but two bulging discs in his neck. Depending on where the herniation is located, arm and finger numbness can be a symptom, along with tingling and muscle weakness.

Golfers put their bodies through frequent twists and turns every time they step out on the green. Herniated discs and strained muscles are a common injury among golfers, especially pro players like Dufner.

“Anti-inflammatory medicine, physical therapy and injections are the initial non-operative options considered to treat a bulging or herniated disc,” said Dr. Patel. “Most patients are typically better within the first 6 – 12 weeks. For those patients that fail non-surgical treatment or those that have significant weakness initially, surgery is a good option.”

Dufner said his doctor hasn’t started to consider surgery yet as the injections seem to be helping. We will hopefully be seeing Dufner back on the course within the next few months. We wish him a safe and speedy recovery!

The Golf Fore Life program at the Spine Health Institute can help you develop the skills you need to improve your game and protect your spine. For more information about our program, call Call407-303-3451. If you or someone you know if experiencing back pain, call Dr. Patel at the Spine Health Institute.

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