Jack Nicklaus has endured debilitating back pain his entire life and in 2016 underwent experimental stem cell therapy in Munich, Germany.
Nicklaus’ back pain has been at an “eight or nine out of 10 on the pain scale” for decades, he tells CNN.
Yet, as far back as his teen years, Nicklaus was combating back pain and taking cortisone injections. Now 78, he had a minor spinal procedure at age 64 to relieve the pressure on his nerve roots. Event that eventually failed to relieve his pain.
Nicklaus figures he has swung a golf club about 10 million times. Those swings have been productive, resulting in 120 professional tournament victories and a record 18 majors. But they have exacted a price.
A few months after Nicklaus met German stem cell pioneer Dr. Eckhard Alt at his 75th birthday party, the Golden Bear was convinced that adipose stem cells, found in abdominal fat, may finally provide him with permanent back pain relief.
On Feb. 22, 2016, Nicklaus received 10 injections in his back on each side of his lower back and four in his cervical spine, CNN reported.
While he didn’t feel “immediate relief,” Nicklaus did notice “the pain he used to feel while actively playing golf, had subsided after a few months.”
Why did Nicklaus keep this treatment a secret? “I didn’t keep it private, no one asked me about it,” he told CNN.
Nicklaus is scheduled for his next stem cell treatment – on his right shoulder – Saturday in Munich.