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Gordon undergoes back procedure for pain

May 19, 2009 at 7:35 PM

CHARLOTTE, N.C., May 19 (UPI) -- Four-time NASCAR Cup Series champion Jeff Gordon underwent a back procedure Monday to lessen pain that has gotten progressively worse.

"I had a facet block procedure done on my back on Monday, and it went well," Gordon said. "I was a little sore after the procedure, but I'll definitely take that brief bit of soreness if it stops the recurring back pain I've had. It's too early to tell if that fixed the problem."

The procedure involved an injection of local anesthetic and anti-inflammatory into a joint in the spine. The procedure is commonly ordered for patients who suffer lower-back pain or pain associated with arthritis. If it is not effective, surgery may be necessary.

"There's a little bit of arthritis, which is not totally unnatural," Gordon said. "But there are also some other things."

Gordon is expected to participate in Thursday's practice and qualifying for the Coca-Cola 600 at Lowe's Motor Speedway.

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