Florida's Meyer offers details about health problems

Florida's Meyer offers details about health problems

Published Jun. 1, 2010 1:00 a.m. ET

Florida coach Urban Meyer is taking medication, feeling "fantastic" and hoping his chest pain is history.

Speaking at the Southeastern Conference's annual spring meetings Tuesday, Meyer said doctors have diagnosed the chest pain that bothered him the last three years as esophageal spasms. Although he declined to discuss his health in further detail, he said he is taking medication and that his heart is completely healthy.

"The biggest thing is I wanted to find out what those darn chest pains were and I did," Meyer said. "It's esophageal spasms and they've got me on some medications. I've just got to be smarter in the future and I'm going to be. I'm not going to let that happen again.

"But the biggest thing was all that was related to what the heck were those pains going through my chest. Once you find out what it is, life gets a little better quickly."


Meyer briefly resigned in late December, citing health concerns three weeks after he was rushed to a hospital with chest pain. He changed his mind the following day and instead decided to take a leave of absence following Florida's bowl game.

Meyer said the diagnosis came in January and he's been pain free since.

"It all relates to one pain, and that was waking up every morning with a toothache in your chest for the last three years and that's all related to one thing," Meyer said. "And so, since late January is the last time I had any issues at all with that."

Esophageal spasms often cause chest pain that can be confused for angina, causing the fear of a heart problem if undiagnosed. Symptoms can also include difficulty swallowing, the feeling that your throat is obstructed and a burning sensation.

Medication usually solves the issue, but in severe cases, surgery can be needed.

Meyer scaled back in January - he didn't go on the road recruiting - but still worked steadily through national signing day. He returned for spring practice in March, but managed to take significant time off before and after.

He went to Hawaii with his wife, traveled to Rome and got to see the Pope, took a trip to Israel, visited the Masters golf tournament with his daughter and took in a Tampa Bay Rays baseball game last week.

He said this was the first offseason in which he stepped away for days at a time, leaving offensive coordinator Steve Addazio in charge.

"I feel fantastic," said Meyer, who will turn 46 next month. "I think I've got a better appreciation for the guys around me. When you just bolt for five days - I've never done that in my life. I just say, 'Hey you guys got it, handle it.' And the stadium's still standing, as a matter of fact guys are working out, getting faster, graduating. It's going well."