Monday, Tiger Woods was found asleep in his car on the side of the road. After the police officer woke Tiger up and had him step out of his vehicle he failed all of his field sobriety tests. I know what you’re thinking— he must have been drunk. There’s no other reason for someone to be passed out on the side of the road right? When Tiger Woods took the breathalyzer test his BAC (blood alcohol content) was 0.000. How could this be? Tiger Woods reported that he must have had a bad reaction to the prescription medications he was taking for pain. For those of you that don’t know, Tiger Woods had his 4th back surgery last month. Typical recovery time for a fusion is 6 months—so yesterday when this incident occurred, Tiger Woods was most likely on some heavy pain killers. Back surgery is something that corrective chiropractors are very passionate about preventing. When asked how the surgery went, Tiger Woods stated, “The surgery went well, and I’m optimistic this will relieve my back spasms and pain. When healed, I look forward to getting back to a normal life, playing with my kids, competing in professional golf and living without the pain I have been battling so long.” This hits close to home because at NorthCoast we work with kids and adults with scoliosis and other spinal problems seeking the same thing. We help people with back spasms and pain on a daily basis and we wonder if Tiger Woods had seen a corrective chiropractic doctor before his first back surgery if his lifelong health outcomes would have been different.
The key to healthcare is to move from least invasive to most invasive. Massage, physical therapy, and corrective chiropractic requires no surgery or medication. If these therapies are not effective, that is when we can consider more invasive procedures. While Tiger Woods has seen a chiropractor in the past, there is a difference between a corrective chiropractor and a traditional chiropractor who adjusts for pain or just symptom relief. Structural corrective chiropractors look at the overall structure of the nervous system and put together a plan to bring the structure back to normal because although you may feel better getting adjusted, it truly takes time and repetition to see structural changes. Getting the spine as close to its normal positioning is important because remember, ALL our muscles and ligaments of the neck and back attach at the spine and with proper positioning generally comes happy muscles. Before Dr. Doug begins care with patients, he does specialized testing to make sure that it is safe and effective to adjust each patient. During the exam we complete a thermal assessment to figure out which areas of the nervous system have inflammation. Depending on what that scan shows, we take digital structural radiographs (X-rays) to see if there is any loss of curvature in the neck or low back from the side and to see if there are any angles from the front. Severe angles and curvatures from the front are known as scoliosis but minor angles can also cause pain and muscle soreness or spasm. X-rays can also indicate if there is any degeneration of the vertebra, bone spurs, or even old fractures that may be of concern. Corrective chiropractic isn’t only for pain, it’s also for athletes who want to prevent injuries like Tiger Woods. If our foundation is strong, the rest of the body is able to function and heal properly as well. I’ll leave you with one of my favorite quotes, “An ounce of prevention is worth more than a pound of cure.”