Usain Bolt, the world’s fastest man and one of the top athletes on the planet, previously suffered from spinal problems and lower back pain. Many are surprised to learn that the Jamaican-born Usain Bolt actually was born with a curvature in his spine and this curvature led to injuries later in his career.

In 2010 the untreated curvature in Usain Bolt’s spine led to related hamstring problems, which caused him to miss out on competing. To heal and be injury-free for the 2012 Olympics, Bolt received multiple hamstring and back treatments from renowned doctor, Dr. Hans Muller-Wohlfahrt.

In addition to his physical therapy work with Dr. Hans Muller-Wohlfahrt, the 100m and 200m world record holder, Bolt, also received regular physiotherapy sessions to encourage spinal flexibility and correct any imbalances in the spine resulting from his scoliosis. Bolt is also known to use cryotherapy, which is the process of being encased in liquid nitrogen at -140 degrees Celsius to fight inflammation as well as reduce pain and soreness.

Even though Usain Bolt is training amongst the world’s highest caliber athletes and has access to the some of the most prestigious treatments available, lower back pain and spinal problems can truly plague anyone. In fact, back pain is particularly common amongst athletes as nearly 1/3 of professional or varsity-level athletes will experience a back injury due to training or competition.

However, unlike others who suffer from back pain, nearly all athletes choose physical rehab rather than surgery as their recovery process of choice. Athletes understand the challenges of surgery including stress on the body/mind, longer recovery time and the necessity of using prescription painkillers. While surgery is sometimes absolutely necessary, it is important to consider all other recovery options such as physical therapy, acupuncture or even cryotherapy before attempting surgery.

The staff at Kuether Brain and Spine will always aim to provide the best quality care by considering all treatment options for its current and prospective patients whether if they are world-class athletes or a local Portlander looking to live a pain-free life.