Checking In on Your Health
It’s been awhile, so we thought we’d check in on you and see how you’re feeling! Don’t start your winter hibernation early! There’s still time to get out on the golf course and spend soaking up some valuable vitamin D filled sun rays.
This week we’re exploring how golfers can avoid injury, the causes that might be keeping you from touching your toes, and some recent developments in COVID-19 research!
Golfers need to golf, but what do you do to avoid injury?
When I first started working at the TAC, I couldn’t decide what the more accurate description of corporate Toronto was: Were there many people working downtown who golfed or were there many golfers that worked in downtown Toronto? Regardless of how you look at it, many of our patients simply enjoy golfing.
For the golfers that eventually come to the Clinic in pain, they often ask one of two first questions: “can I still golf?” or “will I make it worse if I go golfing?”. Being a golfer myself, I never want to tell a patient that they can’t golf.
It has always been my mission to help my golfers work through their injuries to keep them golfing or get back to the game as quickly as possible. I have found that golfers share a similar mindset to runners in that they need to be able to do their sport in order to feel somewhat complete and normal. Runners need to run, and golfers need to be on a golf course. When golfers can’t golf because of an injury they can become frustrated, angry, or even depressed.
In order to avoid this, golfers need to have a fitness routine that reduces the risk of injury. Golfers need to work hard and work smart, by doing the right exercises; not every exercise that you see the top tour pros doing is going to be a good exercise for every golfer. In fact, there’s a good chance that you’re not doing the right exercises or not doing the right exercises properly right now. The devil, as always, is in the details and focus needs to be paid to the proper set up, breathing, form, and alignment.
If you’re focused on building a strong golf foundation for your body, you want to make sure that your program is specific to your capabilities. Depending on your previous injury history and your current movement capabilities, you don’t want to be doing exercises that can eventually re-aggravate a previous dysfunction. This is not age dependent either.
This article is a great read on how an injury can affect a young golfer’s ability to play golf, but given the right treatment and rehab approach, can get back to the game and be better long-term. This 18-year-old golfer had serious degenerative changes in his back, but after treatment and rehab focused on strengthening his body and supporting his spine, he got back to competitive golf again.
If you are unsure of what you should be doing to recover from an injury and want to get back to the golf course, feel free to reach out to Dr. Micheli to see what your best course of action is.
Tight hamstrings might be more then just tight hamstrings!
Put your hand up if you have tight hamstrings!
How many of you aren’t able to touch your toes while standing with your knees perfectly straight and bending forward like in the below picture?
I have had hundreds (maybe thousands) of patients come to the Clinic over the years, saying that their hamstrings are not very flexible. Some have said that they have never touched their toes trying that stretch, or that they haven’t touched their toes in years. I actually had one patient say that he had not touched his toes in 27 years. My response to these patients has always been that just because you can’t touch your toes, or just because you haven’t been able to for years, that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t try to understand why you can’t or what may be causing the limitation and where the origin of the tension is coming from.
But for someone that has back pain or a history of back dysfunction, this is one of the findings that we look for using a detailed approach of uncovering why patients no longer move efficiently. This process is called the Selective Functional Movement Assessment (SFMA). When patients present to the Clinic, we use the SFMA as part of our initial assessment to determine the ‘What, Where, When, and Why’ the body is no longer able to move the way it used to or should. We then determine the best ‘how to fix it’ program to relieve the patient of pain or help them to return to their sport.
The patient that had not touched his toes in 27 years started a specific corrective rehabilitation program that, in short order, had him touching his toes again and wondering why he hadn’t tried to address this issue years ago. If you have been struggling with lower body tightness or have had years of recurring back issues and would like to understand what you can do to help yourself, give the Clinic a call or send an email to get an assessment with one of our therapists.
COVID-19 fighting Anti-inflammatory Nutritional Tips
As the world continues to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic, the scientific community pushes forward to find a vaccine to reduce the impact the virus has been having on families, communities, and economies. While these researchers continue this important work, others have looked at nutrition and the impact some foods can have on us and our ability to fight the virus.
The Acai Berry
This article came out recently, reporting on a group of researchers at the University of Toronto who have turned their attention to the super fruit, the Acai berry, to understand its impact on helping patients deal with the inflammatory component of the COVID virus. Although the study is still in its early stages, the hope is that the use of this super fruit will help reduce hospitalizations from the virus, as well as decreasing the risk of death.
Here is some up-to-date information about these clinical trials.
The other interesting discussion regarding nutritional support for helping us fight the effects of COVID-19 surrounds the use of Vitamin D.
For those looking to understand the potential benefits of Vitamin D in helping with the prevention and treatment of acute respiratory infections, here is a recent article from the Lancet.
As noted in this article, pending results of clinic trials, it would be fair to enthusiastically promote efforts to achieve reference nutrient intakes of vitamin D, which range from 400 IU/day in the UK to 600–800 IU/day in the USA. These are predicated on benefits of vitamin D for bone and muscle health, but there is a chance that their implementation might also reduce the impact of COVID-19 in populations where vitamin D deficiency is prevalent; there is nothing to lose from their implementation, and potentially much to gain.
At the very least, a diet including both acai berries and vitamin D could help in the fight against this virus.