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Structural Chiropractic is a Golfer’s Best Friend

by Dr. Willemin

TL;DR: Golf requires your body to be able to coordinate complex movements and puts stress on your body. Structural chiropractic helps with that.

Stop! Wait! When is the last time you stood up from your desk!? Has it been more than 15 minutes? Okay, here is what I want you to do. Before you keep reading, stand up, reach as high as you can and stretch. Then lean back as far as you can. Then I want you to put your arms up and squeeze your shoulder blades together. Don’t worry…I’ll wait…

Did you do it? Really? Second chance…go ahead.

Great! I’m glad you that you did that. Anyone who knows me, knows that I’m a research guy. I read a lot of it. I belong to a research group and I’ve even published research (you can read the summary here). Something I find gets supported more and more with every piece of research I read is that, a better spinal structure will facilitate better function. Now what does all this have to do with golf? Everything.

First we will start with the more obvious – injuries. According to Dr. Tom LaFountain, director of chiropractic services for the PGA, about 80% of the golf related injuries involve the lower back. (1) Golfing requires complex movements that put a lot of strain on the lower back due to the rapid rotation of the trunk and the force generated by swinging the club. This means if your back is operating less than optimally it has a good chance to become injured. It’s not just backs that get hurt either. Based on compiled statistics 19% of the injuries for the PGA were associated with the neck, 7% the shoulder and 6% the elbow, wrist, or forearm. (1) If handled properly, these injuries don’t have to sideline you for an entire season, or worse yet, permanently. Additionally, chiropractic patients have been shown to have better long term results. Follow-ups for patients 1 year after receiving either chiropractic care, medication, or acupuncture showed that those who received chiropractic care showed sustained improvement in 5 of 7 criteria compared to 1 of 7 criteria for acupuncture or medication. (2) Structural Chiropractic typically involves special equipment such as laser therapy, spinal decompression, traction, and/or repetitive motion therapy.  This allows all aspects of an injury – soft tissue, bony structures, and affected nerves to be addressed for maximum healing.

Another reason a lot of golfers use chiropractic care is to improve performance. Most people don’t really think about the fact that just because their body isn’t actively hurting doesn’t mean that it’s working very well either. Pain is only one type of response to an injury. Lost flexibility, reduced balance, lost muscle strength, among many other things, are common problems often chalked up to aging, but they don’t have to be. The real reason we have these issues is that our body simply isn’t coordinating optimally. An example of this is that a properly aligned thoracic spine is associated with better lung function (3). The brain and the body coordinate function via the spinal cord, which is housed in the spinal column. Spinal alignment isn’t associated with just pain, it is relevant to all body functions. Nearly three-quarters of all PGA tour golfers use chiropractic. (1) The reason the number is so high is because they rely on their body to be operating at a peak level all year round. Chiropractic care has also been demonstrated to have a significant impact on range of motion (4) an essential part of being a top level golfer.

The last reason so many golfers are seeing chiropractors is longevity. Changes to the spinal structure affect normal physiology. One study demonstrated that different types of compressive loads caused different types of degeneration. (5) This indicates that if you put a repetitive type stress, like say oh swinging a golf club 1000+ times a day, you can cause parts of your spine to wear down faster. A structurally sound joint will reduce the stresses created by these activities. Less friction and inflammation, as well as more normal spinal loading, helps to prevent the degenerative changes which can sideline golf careers permanently.

Why should I care if I’m not a profession golfer, or what if you aren’t a golfer at all? Well, the benefits still apply. We all put repetitive stresses on our body. Whether it is sitting in the same chair at work, carrying the same heavy purse, or just a product of our normal habits, our body is constantly undergoing and adapting to stress. Structural Correction reduces the impact of that stress on your body and promotes healthy long term function as well.

Sources:

  1. http://www.chiroweb.com/archives/26/15/02.html
  2. http://www.chiro.org/research/ABSTRACTS/Medication_Acupuncture_and_Spinal_Manipulation_Follow_up.shtml
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27341855
  4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28731832
  5. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29770581/

I just want to talk to the Doctor!

Our consultation gets such rave reviews because it offers an opportunity to discover if Align Chiropractic is right for you BEFORE you commit to us. No pressure, no tricks, just a simple conversation to help you decide.

We start this friendly conversation with you telling us about your health concerns. Once we know what brought you in, then we will provide as much insight as we can pertaining to your issue. The third and final part of the consultation is where we will tell you what separates us from the community of chiropractors in the area, by telling you what we do.

Our Complimentary Consultation requires no commitment by you. You may have heard of chiropractors that have you in the exam room before you’ve even had a chance to introduce yourself. That isn’t how we would want to be treated, so that isn’t how we will treat you.

All we need is about twenty minutes of your time, after that it is your decision if you would like to move forward with an examination. There is no obligation, but for your convenience we always have a block of time for an exam available immediately following a consultation.

Maybe you’re just curious about chiropractic, the different types of chiropractic care available, or you want to find out what makes us different, but you aren’t ready to do a face-to-face sit down with the doctor. We’ve got you covered. Our office does periodic 20-30 minute workshops that will teach you the ins and outs of chiropractic care. At the conclusion of the presentation, we allow time for a question and answer session to let you ask anything you might have missed, including duration of care, insurance and finances, plus just about anything else you want. If you plan on attending a workshop, please call our office at 248-601-6100 to let us know.

What are my treatment options?

 

A vital part of our mission is to provide you with objective information regarding your treatment options. We aim to empower you to make the best decision regarding your healthcare needs.

In order to achieve this, we will do our best to explain to you how other chiropractors and and other healthcare professionals traditionally address your condition. We will not be rendering an opinion specific to any other chiropractic or non-chiropractic treatments for your specific health challenge, but we will try and help you understand the various approaches available for your condition.  Even if you choose to look elsewhere for a solution, we want you to know you can rely on us to act as an objective health and wellness resource.

We will also explore the best course of action to achieve a Structural Correction. We will discuss what services we recommend, as well as the details of the time and financial aspects of care. We don’t want anything to be a surprise while you are a patient at our office, and so we will do our best to share with you the whole picture of what Structural Correction involves.

Not surprisingly, this approach has led us to getting calls from relatives and friends of patients asking us questions pertaining to their health challenges. It is more important to us that people know they can get straightforward and trustworthy information from us, than to have them under our care. To us that is simply doing what is right.

 

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What are Secondary Conditions?

Symptoms, or as we refer to them, Secondary Conditions can be an indicator of a more serious underlying problem in your body. Your body uses these to warn you that your body is not functioning ideally. Some of the Secondary Conditions that present to our office:

  • Pain – Neck, Mid Back, Low Back, Hip, etc.
  • Numbness & Tingling – Arms, Hands, Fingers, Legs, Feet, Toes, etc.
  • Disc Injury – Bulging, Herniated, “Slipped”, etc
  • Radiculopathy – Sciactica, Thoracic Outlet Syndrome, etc.
  • Muscular Spasms & Tension
  • Headaches – Tension, Migraines, etc.
  • Dizziness, Vertigo, and Balance Issues
  • Degenerative Disc Disease
  • Degenerative Joint Disease
  • Stiff and Restricted Motion
  • Spinal Canal Stenosis
  • Rotator Cuff & Shoulder Pain
  • Wrist Pain & Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
  • Poor Posture
  • Muscular Imbalance

These Secondary Conditions are just some of the examples of what presents to our of office. If you have are currently experiencing a Secondary Condition, you may want to have us explore whether or not you have an underlying Structural Shift. The first step in that process is to schedule a Complimentary Consultation with the doctor and have a conversation, which at our office, is not a commitment.

 

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What do I need to know before my examination?

After being introduced to our office via a consultation with the doctor, when a prospective patient elects to proceed, the next step is to undergo our Structural Chiropractic Correction examination. There is no pressure to move forward immediately. If you feel that you need time to consider what has been discussed during the consultation, our examination can be scheduled for a later time and date. In order to thoroughly evaluate your condition our Structural Chiropractic Correction examination is comprehensive. Thus, you should plan on designating at least 45 minutes of your time for us during this portion of your visit.

What will the Structural Correction Examination consist of?

  • Orthopedic and Neurological Tests and Checks
  • Complete series of Structural Corrective Radiography with Specialized Analysis
  • Grid Posture Analysis
  • Bilateral Weight Distribution Test

The Structural Chiropractic Correction Examination, while essential for detecting Structural Shifts, also allows for a complete understanding of the underlying cause of your condition, and will allow for an improved understanding of “normal”. A conference will be scheduled following your examination where our findings will be explained, how we can help you, and what the approach will be if you decide to move forward with care at our practice.

 

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