How Owen McKibbin Got Back on the Beach
June 23, 2005
Pro beach volleyball player Owen McKibbin is one of
America's sexiest athletes and Men's Health magazine's
top cover model. But while he looks picture perfect,
Owen has battled life-long excruciating back pain.
McKibbin's condition went undiagnosed for years, which was a result of a stress fracture in childhood. But 11 years ago, world-renowned spine surgeon Dr. Robert Bray performed spine fusion surgery on Owen.
"My spine was completely broken," McKibbin revealed. "Every day of my life was miserable because of my back pain. And it literally saved my life. I'm playing volleyball again."
Dr. Bray is one of the pioneers of a revolutionary less-invasive procedure known as artificial disc replacement, which is an out-patient surgery done with a microscope through the abdomen.
"They are sent home the same day, and they are
usually back to work in a week," Bray revealed.
But Dr. Bray told us that most patients don't need surgery -- they need exercises that stabilize the spine, such as Pilates and yoga.
And Owen, who is a spokesman for the Bowflex exercise system, has this prescription to ease back pain: "I think the key to back recovery and keeping back pain in check is in your core, in your stomach muscles," McKibbin advised. "Training that keeps the stomach tight and hits it at all angles."