FIGHT! Doctor: Adem Redzovic

(Adem Redzovic courtesy of Flickr.)

The world of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is divided between different philosophies, cultures, social classes, and training methods. But one universally accepted tenet is the importance of stretching. Adem Redzovic of Gracie Barra Chicago found that out the hard way when his back went out during a takedown attempt.

“It was scary, like paralyzing,” said Redzovic. “It was very helpless. I made it home and was in bed for a couple of weeks.” The jiu jitsu instructor had herniated two lumbar discs in his spine, L4 and L5, and several more were bulging. He came across Dr. Peter Goldman while searching online and called his friend and occasional training partner, Ultimate Fighting Championship lightweight contender Kenny Florian, for an opinion. Florian said Goldman was legit.

Redzovic made an appointment with Goldman and flew to San Francisco. Relief was almost immediate, Redzovic said. After the second session, “I felt like there was a pressure taken off my back that’s been there for a while,” he said.

“When I went to see him, I was not like in a state of being crippled, you know? I had already put six to eight months of therapy in. I was walking around. I was doing things, but every time I would train hard, I would get muscle spasms. I never felt confident in my back. But after the second adjustment, I felt something was different.”

His back has been stable since.

“I feel like I’m ready to compete again,” said Redzovic. “So my whole outlook has changed and what wasn’t possible now became possible in training and I kind of feel like I have those options again that I lost with my injury.”

It wasn’t just his back either. His knee got banged up this month and knowing he was going to see Dr. Goldman soon, he knew a few more sessions would take care of that too.

“It was weird. The way I looked at it—that was the perfect time to get injured. I had 100% faith that he’ll help me with my recovery,” said the grappler. “It’s real amazing to have hope in medicine, in healing, to know that pain killers and surgery are not the primary option.”

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