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Archive for May, 2014

Back Pain and Pinched Nerve Pain During Golf

Saturday, May 31st, 2014

Have you ever had back pain and pinched a nerve during golf? It hurts and early in the season it is more common than you think.

What causes back pain and pinched nerve pain during golf? Typically it is a result of spinal damage, poor technique or both. If your spine does not move properly on a segmental basis, meaning each vertebra needs to rotate, flex, extend and side bend on top of the others, it will be much more easily injured when brought through extreme ranges of motion. Also, if you have any prior history of disc disease or spinal injiury and arthritis of any sort, it is more likely to be easily injured. Is there hope for your golf game even with a little (or a lot) of spinal damage? Absolutely. Here are a few tips to get you golfing with less pain.

First, you need to properly warm up before you golf. This does involve being willing to look a little stupid in front of your friends so you will need to suck it up to feel good. I would suggest doing planks or sit ups to activate your core muscles and prepare them to contract during your golf swing. Doing walking lunges will also help warm up your legs and butt muscles. I also recommend doing spinal rotation while keeping your hips very still and quiet. Going back and forth several dozen times will help your body prepare for the extreme rotation associated with golf.

Secondly, you know your back always feels sore after your first few times golfing. Pre schedule your visit with your chiropractor before you hurt yourself. The old saying, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure applies here. My patients that get adjusted regularly and take care of their spine with regular chiropractic care have better swing mechanics, less pain during their round and less recovery time. They end up playing a lot more golf in the season because they are not stopped by pain. Tiger Woods has had his own private chiropractor his entire career and while he has recently been sidelined, he has been quoted numerous times on what an invaluable member of his team his chiropractor has been.

Thirdly, make sure you have good swing technique. Don’t try to evaluate this yourself. A PGA pro will be the best person to help you improve your swing mechanics to avoid damaging your back.

At Active Family Chiropractic, we are always here to hep you feel better. Call us to schedule your appointment and let us know ahead of time if you would like to bring your golf club with for a swing analysis.

Cycling and Numbness

Friday, May 30th, 2014

Cycling and numbness typically go together when you find yourself back on your bike in the spring. As a chiropractor and avid cyclist, I too get tingling in my left hand at about mile 5. I have a history of neck pain and a history of neck injury. It crops up the most during cycling season and reminds me that the discs in my neck are not as healthy as I would like.

Here are several strategies you can use to help your numb hand wake up. First, ride a bike that allows you to have multiple grips. It took years for me to drum up the courage to drop a thousand dollars on a bike. I’ll tell you, it was the best $1000 I have spent. I feel so much more comfortable on it and moving my hands and arms and back to several different positions allows me to ride longer and more comfortably. One trick I have learned with my own hand is putting it behind my back for 30 seconds to stretch the front side of my shoulder. It relieves the numbness and brings the feeling back. I also ride with padded gloves and in all honesty, my bike could use new grip tape. For those with shoulder injuries, you can also buy accessory pads to provide more shock absorption through the handlebars.

When I get home, any friend of mine will tell you, I am immediately stretching. It doesn’t take me 20 minutes, I know my problem areas and do two or three stretches for each area as soon as I get off of my bike. I feel dramatically better when I am done and am not as stiff the next day. I also picked a tip up from a yoga instructor I know that helps open up my chest and stretch my arms. I get a broom stick and put it behind my shoulders and pull down on both ends and let everything stretch and open back up. It really helps my posture and I use it even when I am not cycling.

On top of this, I find the chiropractic care I receive weekly invaluable when I am at my peak activity level. I have been getting regular weekly chiropractic adjustments since I was 16. I can say with 100% certainty that without regular adjustments with my chiropractor I would be relegated to eating cheetos on my couch and watching endless amounts of Dancing with the Stars. I am incredibly grateful for the active healthy life that chiropractic care has allowed me to have. While I mention it at the end of this article, it is probably the first step in ending or at least managing the numbness and neck pain you have while cycling.

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