Natalie Gulbis: Living with back pain at 18

Natalie Gulbis golfing

As an LPGA player, I spent a lot of time golfing, and over time, my golf swing took a toll on my back. A lot of twisting, torqueing and force go into a good swing, and it wasn’t long until I was in near-constant back pain.

I was at a time in my life that was supposed to be filled with promise, but instead I was in my late 20s and not able to play professional golf or be out on tour. I wasn’t even able to sit at dinner or travel comfortably. I was uncomfortable sleeping. I had a hard time doing activities that I enjoyed. I felt like I wasn’t myself.

Everything was complicated. I had to think about every move I wanted to make. I had to decide if what I wanted to do was worth the pain that would follow. It got to the point that my doctor suggested I retire from the LPGA, but I wasn’t ready for that.

That was when I learned about Laser Spine Institute from fellow professional golfer Peter Jacobsen. After hearing Peter’s story and learning that he was able to golf shortly after his surgery, I called Laser Spine Institute.

Going to Laser Spine Institute was so encouraging for me because they clearly explained the condition of my back and the risks involved in surgery. Finding out I was a candidate for surgery was a huge moment for me because I had nothing to lose; I was in so much pain, and I couldn’t play professional golf.

After surgery, I was so surprised I could walk the next day — and walk without pain. My surgeon Dr. Michael C. Weiss had said even though I was going to feel really good, I still needed to be careful. But the next morning, I felt like I could get up and run. It was amazing. It was the first time I hadn’t had pain in years.

Are you suffering from chronic neck or back pain and missing out on your life like Natalie? You don’t have to live in pain. We can help. Visit to learn more about our minimally invasive procedures.


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