Ask the Chiropractor- We see lots of various athletes here. Pro Hockey players, to dads who try to keep up with their teenagers. However, there is one group we see more than anyone. Young female athletes? Let's explain why- #healthy815 #icachiropractor
- Hi, I'm Dr. Brant Hulsebus coming at you today with another edition of "Ask the Chiropractor." So "Ask the Chiropractor's" a podcast where we feel if you have a question about chiropractic, you should ask a chiropractor, not anybody else. You'll see a lot of times when people have a question about chiropractic, they might check with your family doctor or medical physician first, but I gotta be honest with you, your medical physician, your family doctor, probably never studied chiropractic, doesn't know much about chiropractic. So if a question about your teeth, I don't think you should ask your family doctor either, I think you should ask your dentist. So if you have a question about chiropractic, it's the point you ask a chiropractor. So that's who I am, Dr. Brant Hulsebus, Chiropractor. So today, we have a question about... Somebody asked me in the office the other day,they were in here about 3:
30, 4 o'clock and they said, "Boy, you sure do have a lot of athletes in here and they were mostly all female athletes." They said, "You take care of that many female athletes what's the deal with all the female athletes coming in?" And you know, to be honest with you, I never really thought too much about it, but we do have a lot of female athletes that come in here and I talk about that, I talk about the age like from middle school through high school because what happens is this is the age where we usually go through a growth spurt and when you go through a growth spurt, it takes a lot of growing in your... A lot of time for your muscles and your body to catch up with you. So as a chiropractor, everyone knows we look at your spine, we find your misalignments and we get 'em back in alignment and your body should heal, take care of itself, and feel better and perform better. That's why we see both athletes. A lot of people know we take care of the Rockford Icehogs, the AHL hockey team for the Chicago Blackhawks, and matter of fact, like in three weeks the pro baseball and the pro hockey players, chiropractor groups, all of us together are getting together for one giant conference, talking about how we can the newest things in chiropractic to help athletes, but let's go back to our young female athletes. So we go through a growth spurt and are a big take off to that age between middle school and high school and our bodies take off and a lot of times our coordination and our muscles don't keep up with us. Now, I wanna talk a little bit about muscles 'cause not all muscles are the same. Meaning that like in my arms, I can move my arms anytime I want to, I can move 'em up and down, all around, but I can't move the muscles between two vertebrates consciously, I can't like consciously just move. Like I can't sit here and say, "Okay, I'm just gonna move my C5." Nothing happened, okay? 'Cause you can't do that, it doesn't work that way. Because the muscles have your shoulders and your arms and your legs, those muscles have a thing called Golgi tendon organ, GTOs. So your body has the ability to tell a Golgi tendon organ where it is in space and how to move it and keep it around, but your spinal muscles don't have those. Instead your spinal muscles have a lot more neuro connections coming straight from the brain and the spinal cord and the job there is to help with what they call the writing reflex. What the writing reflex is, it says at all costs their job is to keep your eyes level. What I mean by all costs, if I was to hurt my neck and have it turn this way to the left, well, my lower back's gonna turn to the right until I'm level again and that's how you get a high shoulder and a low shoulder. So as chiropractors, we look at people all the time, we see how they're walking around and we can see the two different areas involving the writing reflex and we can kind of guess how we take care of somebody, and what happens is these muscles, they have 273 neuro connections per square millimeter. Now, what does that mean? The next closest is in your TMJ of your jaw and those have around 70 so these are just so highly innervated, and what would happen is if you took somebody, you put a camera on them and you record in slow motion and you were to knock them down and we were recording them coming down, you'd be impressed with the way their eyes stay level the whole way down. So that's the real job here is to keep your head on straight 'cause if you're not, you'll have blurred vision, you'll have slurred speech, and you'll have no balance. In other words, you're like you're drunk, okay? So that's what's going on here. So these muscles are very important to keep that coordination down in your body, we're really turning twist to try to keep up. So if you have an area in your body that's not really performing very well in that area, the other areas in your spine you gotta bend and twist more to keep up with that and that puts a lot of extra stress on your spine and your back and your health. Let's go back to the young ladies. So if I'm a young athlete and I'm 12 years old, the high school age, and I'm just gonna go through my growth spurt, maybe all my muscles haven't kept up and with the girls playing more and more competitive sports now, I, you know, I graduated in '93 and I think there's a lot more competitive opportunities now for girls to play in different sports than there were even back when I graduated high school. The girls are having a hard time growing, keeping up with their... With the age they hit puberty and the way their muscles grow. So these girls are out there to play basketball, they're playing volleyball, they're falling, they're taking dives or tumbling and their body's having a hard time adapting 'cause maybe one part is, you know, stuck and the rest of us trying to keep up with it and with the lack of muscle straight, the muscle tone, they actually might require a little bit more compensation, a little more bending and twisting than somebody with a more established or more muscle tone than a young female athlete. So with that being said, when a young athlete, especially a female athlete should fall out and twist or do stuff, there's gonna be more years of compensation involved than we typically see. So what do we do? Well, as a chiropractor, the first thing we do is we adjust them. We try to try to clear their spine up, try to get 'em back in alignment, keep everything nice and loose, but then we need to do some exercises, we need to get these muscles caught up, we need to help them and these are called proprioceptive muscles and what's proprioceptive muscles? Well, if I put my hand right in front of my face, I know exactly where it is. I know where it is, I can see it. If I put my hand behind my head, I can't see it no more, but I still know it's there, that's proprioception, and proprioception has a lot to do with balance of coordination also. Matter of fact, when you see someone near the end of their life, they lose your proprioception and you'll see this because an elderly person when they're walking, they typically watch their feet. When they're going, they don't trust their feets and when they go to sit down, they'll look left and right and they'll take their time sitting down 'cause they're not confident their rear end's gonna hit that chair the right way, that's a loss of proprioception, and so the best athletes I've ever taken care of, the Icehogs players, some of the guys I've seen 'em have in the locker room doing some stuff, you know, like just being guys is pretty impressive, the proprioception they have. I remember watching one of my favorite hockey players, Kris Versteeg, the way he keep his balance on the exercise ball was so pretty impressive, but again, you know he went on to have a great NHL career with a couple Stanley Cups. So I don't expect most of my athletes to come in and do that unless they are Icehogs and I do expect 'em to do that, but they're most very typical high school athletes we don't expect that much. So what can we do? So what we can do and this applies to everybody, but particularly, the young female athletes. I really recommend getting an exercise ball and what you do is you sit in that ball and you have to keep your balance, right? So you can't sit the ball for two or three minutes. You gotta sit in the ball for 30 minutes. You gotta get in that ball and don't get off for 30 minutes. Begin that ball and that ball's wobbly, it's gonna move around and as it moves around, you try to keep your balance, you try to keep your proprioception, you start making this proprioceptive muscles fire like crazy and as they fire like crazy, guess what? They get stronger and stronger and as they get stronger and stronger, it gets harder and harder to like cause extra damage to them when you have an issue in your spine and you can rebound, heal, and get better faster as you get stronger. So that's the basic thing I would do is just have 'em sit at an exercise ball for half an hour a day without getting up. If you get up, you sit back down, you restart your clock, you're in 30 minutes again so that's kind of my rule on that. Now, if you have an athlete you want to go into the next level, some of us say, "That's great Doc, but we want to do even more. What's a more aggressive way to do it?" Well get a BOSU ball, B-O-S-U, a BOSU ball, and then flip it upside down. Put the round side down, the flat side up, and then you stand on there. Now, you're on unstable surface standing up and now, you play catch if you're a softball player. Now, you bump the ball against the wall if you're a volleyball player. If you're a basketball player, raise the hoop up, you know, same height as the BOSU ball and then shoot free throws. So if I can shoot free throws on an unstable surface and hit my shot, can you imagine what would happen during a game if I could do that and somebody were to bump me? I'm not gonna budge, I'm strong, I got a good court and not only that, but if I was to get knocked down or if I was to dive for a loose ball, I'm much more less likely to mess my back up and cause other issues 'cause I had that strong stabilization core. So I hope that makes sense. So if you're an athlete, the first thing you do is get checked by your chiropractor, make sure you're all ready to go. Step two, start challenging that proprioception, start challenging that balance stuff, get in that wobble board, get in that exercise ball a minimum and start making those muscles stronger by exercising them more and more. You get that core nice and strong, you get those stabilization muscles nice and strong. You'll be amazed not only that you feel better, but you're gonna perform better and as your spine stays better, your health's gonna get better. All right, well, that's this week's "Ask the Chiropractor." If you have a question for the chiropractor or a question about chiropractor, please ask a chiropractor. No one's more qualified than a chiropractor to ask a question about chiropractic, just like your dentist is the most qualified person to ask a question about your teeth, right? That be not a podiatrist, probably a dentist. All right, so if you have a question, leave a comment below, shoot us a message, DM us, go to rockforddc.com, R-O-C-K-F-O-R-Ddc.com. Leave us a message there and maybe next time you'll be the question of the week. Thanks again, thanks for listening to "Ask the Chiropractor," have fun, everybody.