As an avid golfer, it has been a long time goal of mine to work with golfers in and out of my practice. Last week I had the absolute pleasure of working as part of the Wellness Team at the US Senior Open at the Omaha Country Club. It is a completely unique challenge, preparing athletes to perform at the highest level in the middle of a competition versus working on an in-office treatment plan. Over the last 15 years I have worked at the Olympic Training Center, US Senior Open Broadmoor, The World Sport Games Spain and other local events which have led me to creative treatment approaches that work. Want to know my favorite tools for treating athletes on game day?
Graston, Graston Graston. This is one of the absolute best ways to take care of pain, sprain/strain or chronic injury for game-day performance. It doesn't have to be deep or aggressive to get a patient feeling warm, loose and ready to perform. At the US Senior Open I used Graston on shin pain, achilles pain, forearm pain, elbow tendonitis and of course low back and neck pain. It can be done daily, before or after competition.
Kinesiology Tape. Not only does tape decrease pain, but it also improves performance. You can no longer assume that an athlete wearing tape is injured or recovering from injury. Often times they simply feel more confident with tape on. At the US Senior Open I used tape on lower backs, ankles, achilles and elbow tendonitis. While it will not prevent injury, an appropriate tape application will provide relief and improved proprioception or balance.
Chiropractic Adjustments. Adjustments are a POWERFUL, important tool on game day. That said, I do not like to adjust athletes for the first time at an event (with some exceptions). For athletes who are are used to being adjusted, a full spine adjustment may improve performance. For an athlete who has a symptom such as rib pain, wrist or ankle pain, lower back or neck pain - an adjustment to the symptomatic areas may save their competition.
NormaTec. Leg Compression Therapy was incredibly important at the US Senior Open. The course had between 10-30 floors of elevation gain and 7-9 miles of walking depending on which caddy I asked. Each day at the end of the round they were clamoring to use the NormaTec systems. We had two of them, but could have had 10 going!
Activity or Equipment Modification. In some cases during an event, we have to modify an athlete's technique or equipment to avoid worsening pain. At the US Senior open we talked with some players about warm up and cool down strategies as well as hydration and stretching, not a whole of equipment advice - we left that to caddies!
Our Wellness Team included skilled sports massage therapists and chiropractors as well as an Extendtrac spinal decompression machine, from Spine Care Technologies, which many players and caddies (as well as myself) used throughout the tournament. This is a cutting edge machine that requires specific training and was performed by the inventor and developer himself.
I am so grateful to the USGA for supporting the chiropractic profession and understanding that caddies and players NEED our care. I had a fantastic week in Omaha!
Lisa Goodman, DC, CCSP, CACCP founded Washington Park Chiropractic in 2006 in Denver, Colorado. Dr. Goodman is a Certified Chiropractic Sports Physician (CCSP) and Certified Prenatal and Pediatric Chiropractor (CACCP). She is a CrossFit L1 and CrossFit Kids Certified Trainer. Dr. Goodman incorporates sports chiropractic techniques with prenatal and pediatric patients, she teaches mobility and taping classes locally, and is a contributor to POPSUGAR, Urban Life Wash Park and DC Aligned. She is a committee member on the boards of the ACA Pediatrics Council and the ACA Sports Council. Areas of special interest include prenatal care, ankle and wrist injuries, instrument assisted soft tissue techniques, strength training, and pediatric fitness. Stay connected with Dr. Goodman on Instagram @washparkchiro or @lisakgoodman