King of Pain: Whatever it Takes


Desperate injuries call for desperate rehab. “I’ve tried it all,” Fleischer says. “I went to a lot of extremes.” Here’s his take on some attempted remedies, from the conventional to the unconvincing.

Chiropractic A great fix to stay in alignment. “I go as often as I feel I need to. It keeps me in check.”

Deep Tissue Massage Does wonders. “There was one guy who got in so deep—he’d use these T-bars and go five inches deep into your body. That guy was amazing.”

Exercise Essential. Indoor rowing and water therapy were especially key for Fleischer.

Acupuncture Works differently for different people and at different times. “It was the only thing that worked for my hip, but it hasn’t done anything for any of my other injuries.”

SuperBlue Skip it. “You know, that stuff they sell on TV. It’s just like BenGay, but it’s all natural. Well, it feels nice, but it doesn’t do anything. Whatever. I figured it couldn’t hurt.”

DMSO Amazing. “I got it from a veterinarian. It’s some special juice they use on race horses after they run. It’s an extract from tree bark in the lumber mill process. You can buy a whole tub of this stuff for like $2. It kinda itches and burns, but it increases the circulation and relaxes the muscle. I’m not sure how safe it is from a cancer standpoint, but it doesn’t say to wear latex gloves when you’re putting it on your horse, so I can’t imagine it’s too bad for your bare knee.”

Steroid Injections Not an option. “I went so far as to inquire if there were certain steroids they could inject right into my knee that would increase the healing process. Apparently, they don’t do that. But that’s how far I went to make sure that I asked every question and explored every option possible.”

Patience The best thing out there. “If Dr. Steadman tells you it’s going to be six or eight months, it’s going to be six or eight months. If you’re ahead of schedule by three weeks and you think you’re a rock star, I guarantee you that you’re going to knock yourself down and put yourself a month behind someone who does exactly what they’re supposed to be doing and is patient. I wish I had some secret I could share about some miracle medication, but I’m telling you, I’ve tried it all.”