Chiropractic Tips & Advice To Improve Your Golf Game & Save your Back

by The American Chiropractic Association

“Most golfers go until they get hurt, then look for help,” says Dr. David Stude, member of the ACA Sports Council and founding fellow of the National Golf Fitness Society. “Back pain is a warning sign that there is an underlying problem responsible for a symptom that will likely get worse. Doctors of chiropractic look for the cause of the symptom and help reduce the likelihood of future injury.”

If you take the chiropractic approach, you’re in good company. According to Dr. Stude, Tiger Woods says that lifting weights and visiting his chiropractor regularly have made him a better golfer. Dr. Stude and the ACA suggest these simple measures to help you avoid back pain or injury and improve your game:

• Purchase equipment that fits. Don’t try to adapt your swing to the wrong clubs: A six-footer playing with irons designed for someone five inches shorter is begging for back trouble.

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Chiropractic Tips & Advice To Improve Your Golf Game & Save your Back

by The American Chiropractic Association

Many avid golfers contort their bodies into oddly twisted postures, generating a great deal of torque. Couple this motion with a bent-over stance, repeat 120 times over three or four hours, add the fatigue that comes with several miles of walking, and you’ve got a good workout-and a recipe for potential lower-back trouble.

As America’s love affair with the game continues to grow, the American Chiropractic Association (ACA) has advice on how to take a proactive approach that will prepare your body for many years of pain-free play.

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How Long Do Shoes Last?

Once you have purchased a pair of athletic shoes, don’t run them into the ground. While estimates vary as to when the best time to replace old shoes is, most experts agree that between 300 and 500 miles is optimal.

In fact, most shoes should be replaced even before they begin to show signs of moderate wear. Once shoes show wear, especially in the cushioning layer called the midsole, they also begin to lose their shock absorption. Failure to replace worn shoes is a common cause of injuries like shin splints, heel spurs,
and plantar fasciitis.

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Shoe Purchasing Tips

Consider the following tips before you purchase your next pair of athletic shoes:

• Match the shoe to the activity. Select a shoe specific for the sport in which you will participate. Running shoes are primarily made to absorb shock as the heel strikes the ground. In contrast, tennis shoes provide more side-to-side stability. Walking shoes allow the foot to roll and push off naturally during walking, and they usually have a fairly rigid arch, a well cushioned sole, and a stiff heel support for stability.

• If possible, shop at a specialty store. It’s best to shop at a store that specializes in athletic shoes. Employees at these stores are often trained to recommend a shoe that best matches your foot type (shown above) and stride pattern.

• Shop late in the day. If possible, shop for shoes at the end of the day or after a workout when your feet are generally at their largest. Wear the type of socks you usually wear during exercise, and if you use orthotic devices for postural support, make sure you wear them when trying on shoes.

• Have your feet measured every time. It’s important to have the length and width of both feet measured every time you shop for shoes, since foot size often changes with age and most people have 1 foot that is larger than the other. Also, many podiatrists suggest that you measure your foot while standing in a weight bearing position because the foot elongates and flattens when you stand, affecting the measurement and the fit of the shoe.

• Make sure the shoe fits correctly. Choose shoes for their fit, not by the size you’ve worn in the past. The shoe should fit with an index finger’s width between the end of the shoe and the longest toe. The toe box should have adequate room and not feel tight. The heel of your foot should fit snugly against the back of the shoe without sliding up or down as you walk or run. If possible, keep the shoe on for 10 minutes to make sure it remains comfortable.

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The Role of Orthotics

Feet are to the skeletal system what a foundation is to a house. If a structural abnormality exists in the foot, the body must compensate—often to the detriment of other areas such as the legs or low back. Orthotics are custom-designed shoe inserts that are intended to correct an abnormal, or irregular, walking pattern.

Although commonly referred to as “arch supports,” orthotics actually alter the angle at which the foot strikes the ground, improving the way your feet function, and in many cases reducing pain.

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Match type of foot with the right shoe

by American Chiropractic Association

The Normal Foot
Normal feet have a normal-sized arch and will leave a wet footprint that has a flare, but shows the forefoot and heel connected by a broad band. A normal foot ands on the outside of the heel and rolls slightly inward to absorb shock.

Best shoes: Stability shoes with a slightly curved shape.

The Flat Foot
This type of foot has a low arch and leaves a print that looks like the whole sole of the foot. It usually indicates an overpronated foot—one that strikes on the outside of the heel and rolls excessively inward (pronates). Over time, this can cause overuse injuries.

Best shoes: Motion-control shoes or high- stability shoes with firm midsoles. These shoes should be fairly resistant to twisting or bending. Stay away from highly cushioned, highly curved shoes, which lack stability features.

The High Arched Foot
The high-arched foot leaves a print showing a very narrow band—or no band at all—between the forefoot and the heel. A curved, highly arched foot is generally supinated or underpronated. Because the foot doesn’t pronate enough, usually it’s not an effective shock absorber.

Best shoes: Cushioned shoes with plenty of flexibility to encourage foot motion. Stay away from motion-control or stability shoes, which reduce foot mobility. When determining your foot type, consult with your doctor of chiropractic. He or she can help determine your specific foot type, assess your gait, and then suggest the best shoe match.

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How to Select Athletic Shoes

by American Chiropractic Association

Because footwear plays such an important role in the function of bones and joints—especially for runners and other athletes—choosing the right shoe can help prevent pain in your back, hips, knees, and feet.

Unfortunately, there is no such thing as the very best athletic shoe—every pair of feet is different, every shoe has different features, and overall comfort is a very personal decision. For this reason, it is recommended that you first determine your foot type: normal, flat, or high-arched.

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What Can a Doctor of Chiropractic Do?

Dr. McClelland says your doctor of chiropractic may do one or more of the following if you suffer from a primary headache:

• Perform spinal manipulation or chiropractic adjustments to improve spinal function and alleviate the stress on your system.

• Provide nutritional advice, recommending a change in diet and perhaps the addition of B complex vitamins.

• Offer advice on posture, ergonomics (work postures), exercises and relaxation techniques. This advice should help to relieve the recurring joint irritation and tension in the muscles of the neck and upper back.

“Doctors of chiropractic undergo extensive training to help their patients in many ways – not just back pain,” says Dr. McClelland. “They know how tension in the spine relates to problems in other parts of the body, and they can take steps to relieve those problems.”

If your headache is symptomatic of a health problem that needs the care of another discipline, your doctor of chiropractic will refer you to an appropriate specialist.

Chiropractic Care Can Help…
Talk to your doctor of chiropractic about other ways to improve your lifestyle. Doctors of chiropractic are trained and licensed to examine and treat the entire body with specific emphasis on the nervous and musculoskeletal systems. They can also help people lead healthier lives by focusing on wellness and prevention.

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What Can You Do?

The ACA suggests the following:

• If you spend a large amount of time in one fixed position, such as in front of a computer, on a sewing machine, typing or reading, take a break and stretch every 30 minutes to one hour. The stretches should take your head and neck through a comfortable range of motion.

• Low-impact exercise may help relieve the pain associated with primary headaches. However, if you are prone to dull, throbbing headaches, avoid heavy exercise. Engage in such activities as walking and low-impact aerobics.

• Avoid teeth clenching. The upper teeth should never touch the lowers, except when swallowing. This results in stress at the temporomandibular joints (TMJ) – the two joints that connect your jaw to your skull – leading to TMJ irritation and a form of tension headaches.

• Drink at least eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day to help avoid dehydration, which can lead to headaches.

In addition, the ACA and its Council on Nutrition suggest you avoid the following food “triggers”:

• Avoid caffeine. Foods such as chocolate, coffee, sodas and cocoa contain high levels of the stimulant.

• Avoid foods with a high salt or sugar content. These foods may cause migraines, resulting in sensitivity to light, noise, or abrupt movements.

• Avoid drinking alcoholic beverages. These drinks can dehydrate you and cause headache pain.

• Other headache sufferers may want to avoid not only caffeine, but also high-protein foods, dairy products, red meat and salty foods.

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Have a Splitting Headache? Chiropractic Care Can Help

by The American Chiropractic Association

If you have a headache, you’re not alone. Nine out of ten Americans suffer from headaches. Some are occasional, some frequent, some are dull and throbbing, and some cause debilitating pain and nausea.

What do you do when you suffer from a pounding headache? Do you grit your teeth and carry on? Lie down? Pop a pill and hope the pain goes away? There is a better alternative.

New research shows that spinal manipulation – the primary form of care provided by doctors of chiropractic – may be an effective treatment option for tension headaches and headaches that originate in the neck.

A report released in 2001 by researchers at the Duke University Evidence-Based Practice Center in Durham, NC, found that spinal manipulation resulted in almost immediate improvement for those headaches that originate in the neck, and had significantly fewer side effects and longer-lasting relief of tension-type headache than a commonly prescribed medication.

Also, a 1995 study in the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics found that spinal manipulative therapy is an effective treatment for tension headaches and that those who ceased chiropractic treatment after four weeks experienced a sustained therapeutic benefit in contrast with those patients who received a commonly prescribed medication.

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