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Mike Muir’s Back Problems Don’t Keep Him Down

It’s a miracle that Suicidal Tendencies vocalist Mike Muir can walk, much less perform. The singer has been battling back issues since 2003 yet he still gets up there and does his thing! “I had a ruptured, herniated disc,” he told Noisecreep. “When I had an MRI, they told me I had to have surgery or I won’t be able to walk. The nerve was getting smashed, and these nerves die and don’t regenerate!”

Muir even admits to not taking painkillers, because he believes that pain tells you that you’re doing something wrong, an axiom handed down from his father. He said, “I don’t take anything. I want to know when it’s hurting. A lot of people with back surgery are bad off, taking painkillers, and they ask me, ‘How do you do it?’ I just think you have to be able to listen to your body and your mind.”

For one of his two surgeries, Muir checked himself into the hospital two days before Christmas. “It was easy to get [into the] hospital, because people do not have elective surgeries at Christmas,” he recalled. “So it was abandoned. Anyone who was there had to be there … I couldn’t walk, so they had to wheel me in to have an MRI and I couldn’t move my leg. It was raining, and they had to wheel me outside on a gurney outside, and the doors locked. So they were looking for keys and apologizing. It was something I had to laugh at. It will make a great chapter in a book someday. It’s how you look at things.”

Muir had back surgery in 2003 and 2005. He traces his problems back to a European tour where he went to a trigger point masseuse and had even gone to the French rugby team’s doctor for some assistance — and the doctor even knew who he was, despite Muir telling the doctor he was a jazz singer to conceal his identity, so to speak. “The doctor said, ‘You are not jazz singer! You are Mike Muir from Suicidal! I know who you are, and I know you need surgery and you need it right away.”

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