Jack Nicklaus’ secret stem cell therapy: ‘I didn’t keep it private; no one asked me about it’ “On February 22, 2016 in Jupiter, Florida, Jack Nicklaus teed off at his famous fundraiser, The Jake, to benefit children’s health. While he wowed the crowd, as the Golden Bear has been doing for five decades, none of the fans knew that just four days earlier Nicklaus had undergone an experimental stem cell therapy in Munich, Germany. For much of his professional golf career Nicklaus has had aggravating back pain that he describes as an eight or nine out of 10 on the pain scale. While most golfers live with some degree of back pain Nicklaus said his was particularly debilitating. Despite trying therapies ranging from cortisone shots to a back operation the pain persisted. At the time he flew to Munich, Nicklaus was willing to try anything, even an, as of yet, unproven treatment.
If you don’t know much about Jack Nicklaus, you can be certain your parents or grandparents do. He is one of the true sports legends of the United States. With 120 professional tournament victories and a record 18 major-championship titles, he is one of 16 individuals in history to receive both the Presidential Medal of Freedom and Congressional Gold Medal for his outstanding achievements in sports and philanthropy.
Nicklaus said he has taken roughly 10 million swings with a golf club, but when you hear his backstory, it is a wonder his career ever happened. Even before he became a professional, Nicklaus was having severe enough back pain to warrant nine cortisone injections into his back. (These are done to insert medication between the joints to relieve inflammation and pain). He was only 19 years old at the time. While they worked for a short time, Nicklaus played with significant pain for parts of his career. At the age of 64, he underwent a minimally invasive spine operation to relieve the pressure on his spinal nerve roots, which provided some relief for much of the last 14 years, but not nearly enough. Even basic chip shots and putts were too painful.”