Tiger Wins Through Pain ... But at What Cost?

"We are exercising too aggressively for the machinery we've been given," he says. Running, for example, is great for the heart, but it destroys the discs in the back. Water exercises work the heart and other muscles, sparing the joints.

"In our society we're taught, No pain, no gain," he says. "Bad advice. When you have pain, you need to stop."

For Tiger to delete the joint abuse from his life, Klapper says he should commit to spending several months exercising in the water during his recovery from surgery.

Down the road, when Woods is in his 40s or 50s, he may be forced to undergo another surgery for the arthritis -- a knee replacement. The procedure would remove damaged cartilage and bone caused by years of friction on the joint, either from running on the treadmill, walking 18 holes or driving the ball down the fairway.

"Sooner or later this 32-year-old superstar who abuses his knee … will have to have some metal and plastic in his knee," Vangsness says of the knee replacement surgery. "When that time comes about, he'll be able to play a lot better."

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