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A series of articles written by Dr. Gray as published in Space Coast Sports
for golf / sports related injuries that maybe holding you back from the best game of your life! 

Chiropractic, Healthcare’s missing link                               

Shoulder impingement vol 3

In my practice, after neck and back pain, the next most common area of injury is the shoulder. The shoulder is the most freely mobile joint in the body, one that allows for tremendous mobility. This mobility also gives it great opportunity for injury.

Shoulder function in the golf swing is very important. You can get by with less than optimal shoulder function, but usually the pain and inconsistency will inspire you to start an investigative process into how to restore/improve your function and lessen the pain.
As I have mentioned in my previous articles, your spine and pelvis play a tremendous role in the golf swing. The plane, rotation and turn allow for the shoulder to start your take away and complete your back swing. Your shoulders functional importance determines the degree of acceleration through the ball and your follow through. Most importantly is whether or not you compensate for improper shoulder function by “coming over the top”, when observed is usually started by right shoulder lifting or compensating in right handed golfers. (Reverse for you lefties).

The shoulder joint is complex to say the least, and in my  30+ years of practice almost everyone has some level of impingement or impairment that does not warrant surgery, (until left untreated for a length of time), but can be corrected with a specific gleno-humeral technique usually administered with no discomfort, allowing you to return to normal day to day activities and sports immediately, with renewed energy and abilities.  This can greatly reduce the need for surgeries, which come with side effects.

Movements in the shoulder joint are aided by large muscle groups, such as, but not limited to, lats, traps,  pecs and rhomboids. Of course the group that gets the most press in shoulder injuries is the rotator cuff group.  I have found in the thousands of shoulders I have treated I have been able to help the greater majority. Shoulder impingement is a very common issue, (prevalent in sports), but can be found in auto accidents,(shoulder harness), mother’s picking up babies with one arm, lugging unusually heavy bags, mechanics, hairdressers, carpenters, weightlifters and anyone involved in throwing sports such as football, basketball and baseball, stick or racquet sports like lacrosse, tennis and hockey and of course GOLF!!

I would wager the majority of people over 18 years of age have some shoulder dysfunction issues that can be corrected conservatively with chiropractic before any therapy or surgery is needed. To find out if Dr. Gray’s proprietary shoulder technique can help you call his Suntree office at 321-622-6778 for your complimentary consultation.

SI Joint dysfunction     vol 2

 Hello again, I hope you have been playing golf and having fun! In my last article I spoke about how the golf swing relies on spinal rotation to keep a consistent swing path. In the same subject, but to a more specific region, an often over looked and misdiagnosed condition of the sacroiliac joint is also a big contributor to a poor spinal rotation. Let me explain, the sacroiliac is made up of three bones, the right and left ilium (hip) and a triangular bone called the sacrum. The L5 disc sits on top of the base of the triangular sacrum and above that stacks the rest of your spine. The sacrum is supposed to have the ability to move within the confines of the right and left hip. Due to a wide array of trauma, beginning as early as learning to walk, the sacrum can become fully or partially subluxated. This is why chiropractic is so important even when we are children. To correct our spinal subluxations as they occur, in most cases, insures a faster stabilization, as the muscle memory has not taken over holding us in this mal-positioned state. We put our bodies through a myriad of mini traumas growing up. Our bodies are resilient, but each micro trauma to our spine accumulates to the degree in which it causes spinal misalignment, which then becomes acute and eventually chronic, causing aches and pains in our daily routines. If not caught and treated properly this condition can cause a multitude of other ailments. When we are talking about the sacrum in this text, you can see symptoms such as leg, hip and low back pain, numbness, stiffness and swelling often occur. The not so obvious symptoms are knee and foot pain and constipation. On the chart below you can recognize what these can do to your rotation during your golf swing. If you have a subluxated sacrum you may have difficulty achieving a solid hip turn, your body now has to compensate making your spine and knees work harder which in turn causes more back and knee pain. A specific 5 minute adjustment can begin to bring back the correct positioning of the sacrum and lessen the trauma to the rest of the body, helping all your joints feel better. This malady is often misdiagnosed; but can be detected by an experienced Chiropractor through x-ray and a few diagnostic tests. The treatment will vary per patient but basically consists of a specific adjustment, which can be followed by rehabilitative exercise, (that you can do at home), and a few supplements such as glucosamine chondroitin and MSM. Always consult with your health care professional before starting any supplemental therapies. Dr. Marc Gray, chiropractic physician at Suntree Chiropractic in Suntree Business Park, has had 30 + years of diagnosing and successfully treating this condition. To get more information on how chiropractic can help your body and game visit www.suntreechiropractic.com or call 321-622-6778 to set your appointment today.


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Vol 1

Why are Chiropractic Physicians a part of the traveling PGA health care team?

The PGA has included Chiropractic in their health care program in all regular and senior tour events and even in Q school! Why? The reason may surprise you, the tour players demand it! The pros have realized for a long time that having chiropractic adjustments on a regular basis keeps them in "tune" and allows their bodies to perform better under the strenuous repetitive traumatic motion to our bodies, better known as the golf swing. 
As golfers we all know our sport takes a lot of time, money and an inordinate amount of patience, all of which are precious commodities, but, above all that, coming to the course feeling good reins supreme. This is most everyone's missing link, sure you can eat well and exercise, there are even special exercises for golfers to be had with private training sessions, but if you haven't corrected your physical inner barriers, you're apt to spend a lot of time and money in lessons and trainers and still have "swing issues". The pros and many others have learned Chiropractic can put them on a more level playing field. If you start your training and lessons with your body firing all its proverbial pistons, you can have game too!
Let's break down a little of what we are asking our bodies to do during the golf swing. We are all familiar with the basics of the human body functions, we signal our bodies to do everything from our brain, (well that's the conservative version!), including swinging the club.  The signal has to travel uninterrupted through the spinal cord out the peripheral nerves that exit through small openings, (foramina), between the vertebrae to each and every muscle in our bodies. At any point these specific requests that have been sent can be altered from their original intent due to subluxations, (vertebrae that are pinching nerves), some we feel, others are hidden from pain but are evident in our limited abilities. In our daily lives, beginning at birth, we can and have had accidents and incidence where we have chinked the armor and created blocks in our messaging system. Over time these blockages become entwined in our muscle memory and we create alternative actions to proceed. Maybe you can't swing through, your shoulder or back hurts, you're sore or in pain after a round of golf. It's most probable that your body is being blocked from performing as it should. The golf swing and all motions there in, tax not only our neuro muscular system, (nerves and muscles), it also greatly affects our musculo-skeletal system,(joints and muscles), as any sport would. The golf swing with its unnatural torque of the spine, twisting of the torso while swinging both arms at the same time  can wreak havoc on the bodies of even the fittest of athletes. You might think golf is easier on our bodies then many other sports because it is a non-contact sport, which is to say no one is likely to tackle you while you play! The entire game of golf is based upon the rotation of your spine. To create that force from a stationary position is traumatic to your whole body. Every joint, every muscle is involved. Then to do it over and over again in the exact same motion each time, well you get the picture, shoulders get impinged, backs and discs can be damaged, wrists and elbow and knees take a beating. To stay in the game, (or just to stay sane), take care of the whole body.  
It's time to let specific Chiropractic adjustments open your messaging system and create a level playing field.  The painless, non-invasive, non-toxic treatments positions your inner alignment that will not only return your smile it may even add distance to your drive! Eliminate the need for shoulder surgery, regain your posture, and rid yourself of knee pain and sciatica. Chiropractic can't promise what direction the ball will take but it will most definitely improve your game and your quality of life. 
Dr. Gray has been keeping people in the game for over 30 years; he has seen and helped thousands of people with sports related injuries. He is a relentless golfer and was an avid polo player, he knows sports injuries!! To discuss how he and Chiropractic can assist you in your pursuits, whether that's golf or tennis or any other sport, you can reach him at his new office opening in Suntree, June 1st, just off Wickham directly west of the Publix shopping entrance on Interlachen, in the Suntree Business Park behind Chase bank. Call 321-622-6778 to set your appointment today!

vol.3

Our Proprioception impulse     VOL. 4

I was standing on the practice range the other day and to my left was a medical doctor and to my right was another Chiropractic physician. We went through our routines and chatted between shots about what ‘is’ the golf swing, how does it happen? We were speaking generally about technique, but during the conversation it occurred to me why so many golfers treat with Chiropractors. Proprioception

The golf swing would not be possible, or for that matter any specific action, without our bodies proprioception impulse. This impulse is the one that *1Even with our eyes closed, we have a sense of body position. Muscles, tendons, joints and the inner ear contain proprioceptors, also known as stretch receptors, which relay positional information to our brains. Our brains then analyze this
information and provide us with a sense of body orientation and movement’. *2
The awareness of posture and changes in equilibrium makes us aware of position, weight, and resistance of objects as they relate to the body’. In golf, the player’s ability to co-ordinate all the proprioceptive impulses received by our brain and use them to complete a task such as a golf swing is paramount to the success of the game. This leads me back to Chiropractic and the thousands of benefits it creates for our bodies which we turn into actions.  

The body’s built in proprioceptive system that controls and coordinates every movement and every function we complete is the central nervous system, which is attached to the muscular system and it gives the body the ability to balance among other things. Awareness of body part positioning is also very important for the ability to regulate muscle tone. This is very relevant in golf, it’s called playing by feel; touch around the green. Putting is very proprioceptive dependent. If proprioception is disturbed then so is muscle strength. Muscle inhibition (weakness) is the direct result of abnormal proprioception.

elephant-balance1_1.jpgThe proprioception signal can be altered by biomechanical changes in one or more joints in the body. Shoulders, knees, hips, spinal joints, (vertebrae), or problems in the middle ear can affect balance and create compensatory problems. This signal is much like our bodies GPS and when interrupted, it interferes with the commands we think we are sending from our brain. An example; I went through my check list before hitting the ball and I still cannot ……. Fill in the blank. It could be your lack of agility or maybe your preceptors are blocked, both issues can be helped by Chiropractic, it’s what we do! Top golfers see chiropractors to get the fine tuning benefit of properly administered specific chiropractic adjustments. Are your receptors being heard? www.suntreechiropractic.com

*1 http://www.exploratorium.edu/snacks/proprioception/index.html
*2 http://medical-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/proprioceptive

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