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Pro Seeking Pro

Carl Paulson’s Road Back To Playing On The Tour. Part 1 of 3

By: Kristi Gomen
Posted: July 10, 2007




Competitive, determined and talented, just a few words one thinks of when talking to PGA tour player and Central Florida resident Carl Paulson.  This native Virginian that turned pro in 1994, has switched his determination on the golf course and replaced it with his determination in the office—not any office however, a medical office in which he works every day with doctors and physical therapists in hopes of returning to the tour in 2007and utilizing his talent and competitive edge.

In July 2005, after finishing a putt at the US Bank tournament in Milwaukee, Paulson bent down to pick up his ball and could barely stand back up.  “I knew then, that I was in trouble,” states Paulson when asked when his injury happened, “I don’t contribute picking up a golf ball after a putt to three herniated disks, I contribute years of not keeping “golf fit” to three herniated disks,” explains Paulson, “I simply missed the fitness phenomenon by about five years, that would have probably prevented this injury.”

With his round ending, before it even began in Milwaukee, Paulson, left the tournament and headed home to Florida to regroup and to educate himself on what to do next.  “The hardest part of a back injury, is trying to make decisions that can inevitably affect the rest of your life, you career, your mental attitude and your health,” explains Paulson.  He was determined to find the most conservative treatments out there for back injury and to never loose sight of the ultimate goal---returning to the tour.

The first step to Carl’s road to recovery began with research and asking lots of questions.  Carl’s determination to play as he states,“Carl Paulson Golf,” again, began with the decision to choose a lengthy rehabilitation journey instead of surgery.  This more conservative approach would require months of physical therapy, personal determination, willpower and an extreme level of commitment on his part, as well as on the part of top therapists and doctors in the field to guide and monitor his progress and to make sure that healing, not further injury was being achieved daily.

A PRO FINDING A PRO

Meet Dr. Robert Masson and his team at the Neurospine Institute, located in Florida, and you have the second step to Carl’s recovery—researching and finding an expert to treat your condition.  Located practically in his own back yard, Dr. Robert Masson is an internationally renowned Neurosurgeon that encouraged Carl to seek out many, many opinions and to learn about as many treatment options as possible for his back condition.

“I tell my patients that they should have a check list of items to evaluate when talking to a medical professional,” states Dr. Masson.  “Put the experts on the spot, educate yourself as much as possible, look at ALL the options, build your knowledge BEFORE hindsight takes place,” a quality medical professional will not rush you into any treatment and will encourage you to find out and learn about all your options,” replies Dr. Masson,” if there is any doubt in your mind, listen to your gut.”

It was this encouragement from Dr.Masson that Carl found most impressive. “For a doctor to help you weigh your options and to help you research other facilities, practices and other doctors shows the immense desire Dr, Masson has for the patient to fully recover as well as the confidence that he has in his own abilities and treatments,” explains Carl.

A TEAM IS FORMED


Determination and talent, words used in describing Carl’s passion on the golf course are synonymous when used to describe Dr. Masson’s passion for recovery success.  Leaving surgery for the last and worst case scenario with over 80% of his patients, Dr. Masson’s team, consists of top physical therapists and physician assistants, that created a specific plan for Carl based upon his injury and his profession. The treatment, conservative in nature but extremely strenuous and time consuming is the best way at this time to treat not only the symptoms, but to fix Carl’s herniated disks, and enable him to become “golf fit and strong” ultimately making sure that he returns to the tour stronger than ever and with a keen ability and knowledge on how to listen to his body.  Once this is achieved the goal will be to continue to work on a preventative fitness routine.

“Understanding your muscles, listening to your body and learning about your injury and how to prevent further injury is what we want to teach Carl during his treatment,” states Charles Goodough, one of Carl’s physical therapists and a key team player at Neurospine Institute.

The journey to recovery is a long one, but not one is which Carl is scared of, more so he feels challenged and mentally and physically better than ever.  He knows that his treatment team will not let him return to the tour until he is 110% ready to play “Carl Paulson Golf,” but most importantly, he won’t return until he is 110% golf strong and healthy.

Stay tuned for the summer issue Golf Fitness Magazine, in which we see how Carl Paulson’s is progressing and to talk about key routines that he is using to strengthen his back and lengthen his swing