Chiropractic and golf

Chiropractic and golfA lot of people were impatiently waiting for the nice weather in order to be able to play golf. However, before rushing to the golf course, it is important to have some knowledge to avoid some injuries that could keep you from practicing your sport.

First, many people rush to the golf course without having previously made some warmups. Why warmups are so important? Mainly because they help ensure that the muscles are ready to do the exercise and the blood supply will be sufficient in the muscles. They also ensure a proper lubrication of all the joints. To warm up, you can make some golf swings without a ball. In addition to helping your muscles, warming up allows your brain and your nervous system to remember the right way to the golf swing. You can also jump up and do a bit of jogging in place to raise your heart rate. To prepare your shoulders to the effort, you can do some rotations with your arms for 15 seconds.

In addition to warmups, there is something else you can do before playing golf: consulting your chiropractor. What is the link between chiropractic and golf do you ask? In fact, the execution of a golf swing requires a good overall flexibility, good mobility of all joints of your body, good movement coordination, good balance and a precise activation of the muscles of the legs, back and shoulders. The chiropractor is an expert of the posture and of the biomechanics of your body. Therefore, your chiropractor will be able to detect movement restrictions in some of your joints and help you fix them. This way, each joint will be able to function properly and allow you a better swing. If you have posture problems that affect your golf swing, the chiropractor will also be able to help you fix them and contribute to improving your performance. Chiropractic treatments also prevent mechanical disorders that may predispose you to injury.

You’re not a golf fan? No problem! The recommendations mentioned above apply to all sports and physical activities that you are planning to do this summer. So for an active and painfree summer, call your chiropractor immediately.

Article inspired by a text published by the Association des chiropraticiens du Québec: “Performer au golf”

Ice or heat?

Ice or heat

In the past, you may have injured yourself by doing a wrong movement or lifting a heavy charge. Maybe you thought of applying ice or heat on the sore area? But when should we apply ice instead of heat?

You must know that after an injury, inflammation will occur at the site of the injury. Inflammation is a normal reaction involved in the healing process. Therefore, pain, swelling and redness are usually associated with inflammation.

The best way to control the level of inflammation is to apply ice. Ice will decrease the diameter of the blood vessels around the injury and will help decrease the amount of inflammatory cells. The end result will be less pain and less swelling. However, you must remember that ice application shouldn’t be more than 10-15 minutes according to the site of injury and you should wait at least 1 hour between two ice applications. Why only 10-15 minutes of ice? Simply because the diameter of blood vessels will increase after 15 minutes of ice, causing increased inflammation. The icepack should always be wrapped in a thin cloth or towel to avoid direct contact with the skin.

So when should we apply heat? Heat is useful to reduce muscle tension. For example, after intense training, your muscles may be sore. Heat application in that case could help you feel better.

It is not always easy to determine if pain is caused by inflammation or muscle tension. My advice is: if you are not sure what to apply, apply ice instead of heat. Generally, ice application will not increase the pain, which is not the case for heat application. However, should the application of ice or heat increase the pain, stop the application and consult a doctor of chiropractic. He will be able to assist you. Finally, if you have applied ice for 24 hours (10-15 minutes/hour) and your pain is still present, contact a doctor of chiropractic. It may be a sigh that your injury is more important than you thought it was. Chiropractic care helps promote fast healing and decrease the risk of recurrence.

The healing process

Healing process

In this article, I decided to answer to a very common question I have at the office: how long will it take to treat my condition? Here is the answer to that question.

The time is takes to treat your health condition depends on the following factors:

– The nature of your injury

– Your general health condition and your habits

– The goals you want to achieve concerning this injury

– Your implication in your care

The nature of your condition

Of course, the time it takes to treat your injury depends on its nature. For example, a muscle injury heals generally faster than a ligament injury, simply because of the good blood flow found in the muscle compare to the ligament. The same phenomenon if you have a disc injury versus a pelvic injury, the disc injury will usually take more time to heal. This is why the chiropractor will take the time to perform a complete chiropractic exam, in order to establish a precise chiropractic diagnosis. Based on the established chiropractic diagnosis, the chiropractor will be able to give you a better evaluation of the healing time it usually takes for the condition. It is also important to consider the time that passed by between the beginning of the condition and your consultation. Usually, a recent problem is easier to treat compared to a chronic condition, in other words a problem you had for many weeks or months.

Your general health condition and your habits

The nature of your injury isn’t the only factor to consider. Your general health condition and your habits are also very important. Researches showed that smoking decreases the blood flow to the disc between the vertebrae. Therefore, if you are a smoker and you have a disc injury, your condition may take more time to heal and the risk of recurrence may be higher. Other factors could increase the healing time like: if you have a very strenuous work, if you had the same problem a few times in the past or if you have a poor general health condition (especially cardiovascular). It is exactly to evaluate those factors that the chiropractor will ask you many questions concerning your general health and habits.

Your objective concerning this injury

When the nature of your injury will be determined, the chiropractor will want to know your objective concerning this problem. For example, is your main goal to get rid of the pain or do you want to fix the weaknesses responsible for the recurrence of this problem?

Based on your objective, the chiropractor will be able to recommend you the type of chiropractic care you need. You’ll have the choice between symptomatic care, corrective care or preventive care.

Symptomatic care:  The main goal of this type of chiropractic care is to decrease the pain as fast as possible so you can go back to your normal activities. Generally, the frequency of care is higher with this type of care in order to improve your condition as quickly as possible.

Corrective care: The absence of pain doesn’t mean that the healing process is over. The improvement of your symptoms may indicate that the irritation decreased but doesn’t indicate that the condition is healed. It is exactly for this reason that some patients hurt themselves again not long after being back at their regular activities. For those who want to decrease the risk of recurrence of their condition, corrective care is for them. Generally, in this type of care, the frequency of care is decreased and exercises are prescribed in order to strengthen the weaknesses responsible for relapses.

Preventive care: This type of care represents a regular check up of your condition in order to detect and correct dysfunctions right at the beginning. As mentioned earlier, it is usually easier to treat a recent problem than a chronic problem.

Your implication in your care

The last factor is your implication in your care. The chiropractor’s responsibility is to give you the most adapted treatment for your condition and the best recommendations possible. However, you have the choice to follow the recommendations or not. Usually, the healing time is faster if you follow the recommended advices.

As you can see, the time it takes to treat an injury depends on many factors. After the initial exam at the chiropractic office, the chiropractor will be able to give a better idea of the time it’ll take to treat your condition. Don’t forget that you are always free to start or stop your care. The chiropractor’s goal is to give you all the tools you need to get better, but you are always free to use them or not.