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Tiger Wood’s real source of championship withdrawal – Inflamed Cervical Facet Joint

Recently Tiger Wood's unprecedentedly withdrew with a sore neck in Round 4 of The Players Championship, 2010. Rumour mills have been suggesting he wasn't playing to expectation and pulled out to save him from further embarrassment or maybe the sore neck came from the infamous car crash.
Regardless, an inflamed cervical facet joint as was confirmed by his MRI can cause symptoms serious enough for a typical office worker to take sick leave, let alone a professional athlete playing at the highest level.

Symptoms from an inflamed facet joint are limited range of motion due to pain and stiffness especially in rotation, muscle spasms and radiating pain. Cervical headaches can also occur as described in a previous article. http://mcr.coreconcepts.com.sg/neck-related-headaches/

So what caused Tiger's injury?
As explained by Tiger previously, he ramped up his training intensity to get himself ready for the Master's 2010 but his body was not conditioned enough to withstand the demand of high level sports. Similar to our weekend warriors, playing at a high intensity when the body is not conditioned to the sport causes excessive wear and tear and as a result, overuse syndrome.

How does a facet joint get inflamed?
A facet joint gets inflamed from excessive wear and tear especially when the joint mobility is limited or stiff. Limited joint mobility either from being in a prolonged static position like a deskbound job or when the muscles are tight and inflexible, limiting joints from moving through its full range. In fact most neck pains are caused by stiff facet joints which explains why the deskbound worker forms the largest proportion of our neck pain clientele.

Physiotherapy treatment for would include mobilisation techniques to the affected stiff facet joints to encourage mobility, stretching and strengthening exercises. Aggravating factors like prolonged static sitting position will have to be avoided and proper ergonomics advise will be given to prevent a recurrence.

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