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Athletes, whether professional or amateur, are great to work with. Generally they have excellent body awareness and are informed about their condition. They are motivated to heal and are hungry for information and direction.
When working with athletes, we first must define the problem. The symptom and the problem are not always the same!
A recent case involved a cyclist who had ongoing problems with his right SI joint and lumbar spine: stiffness and a "catching" feeling after cycling. Sure enough, the right SI was misaligned, the first lumbar vertebra was misaligned, and the right internal oblique abdominal was overactive and starting to become fibrotic. My examination allowed me to follow the kinetic chain to the left ankle, which had been severely sprained about two years prior and never properly rehabilitated. The treatment plan in this case was to treat the root (the ankle) and the branch (the SI, first lumbar, and internal oblique). This produced a very satisfactory result for this cyclist, with immediate improvement, and pretty much full resolution in six weeks and five treatments.
We must also identify your goals. This is crucial when working with self-motivated and self-reflecting patients. If you know what you want and can articulate it, it becomes MUCH easier to reach the goal. I recall the case of a 55 year old distance runner who was beginning to realize that he was slowing down. He was developing degenerative disc disease in his lower back. This was causing lower back pain and some weakness in his hips. He was quite clear that he did not intend to return to his previous distance and pace. He just wanted to be able to run 3 to 5 miles a few times a week. This was an important distinction that altered our treatment plan.
Every chiro loves to brag about the professional athletes they've worked with. Though privacy laws prevent me from naming names, I can give general info and brag a little bit: NBA players, pro golfers, olympic skiers, triathletes, and cyclists. On the amateur side, the patient population has run the entire gamut: runners, golfers, skiers and snowboarders, surfers, kiteboarders, soccer players, cyclists, volleyball players, dancers, and even a professional juggler/slack line enthusiast.
I'm always available for email questions. Just click here and send me a message, I'll be happy to talk with you about your problems and your goals.