Surfing & Chiropractic

Surfing and Chiropractic

Living in the beautiful Northern Rivers, it is impossible to ignore the sparkling blue ocean that we all see every day. And of course, surfing and searching for the perfect wave is all part of our existence. It’s no secret that one of the most popular sports in the Northern Rivers is surfing.

Dr Margaret Tay (Chiropractic) is of course one of these passionate people who enjoys surfing; so if she is not busy helping patients, she is in the surf, anywhere from Lighthouse beach in Ballina to The Pass and Wategos at Byron Bay. Margaret understands the demands on a surfers’ body and the specific mechanics needed to be at their best.

As a surfer herself Margaret understands the risk and how physically demanding surfing can be. Injuries during wipeouts are common when the surf is pumping and of course injuries can occur when just learning to surf too! Unfortunately injuries from other surfers is a common occurrence too when the busy holiday season is upon us. Over enthusiasm with too many hours of paddling can be a problem for those that just can’t let their body rest when the surf is up!

Surfing and Musculoskeletal Problems

Surfing & Chiropractic

Surfboards on the lawn by James Geitz.

Every surfer would love to surf as much as possible and with the best healthy body possible. Unfortunately, injuries do occur and restrict your time in the water and/or decrease your performance. Surfing injuries cause inflammation, spasm, stiffness and a whole lot of back pain. Such injuries often occur during normal everyday surfing movements. You might be just standing up as you catch a wave or even just putting your surfboard onto the car and suddenly, your back ”goes”. Perhaps you have noticed an annoying niggle whilst paddling out, or waiting in the line-up.  That niggle is a warning sign to get addressed, before more serious or chronic problems arise.

Some common musculoskeletal symptoms are: back pain, neck pain, shoulder pain, wrist pain, elbow pain, knee pain, foot pain, numbness, tingling, muscle weakness, and headaches

Two of the most common complaints among surfers include back pain and shoulder pain or dysfunction. For example surfers who exhibit an increased kyphosis (increased upper back spinal curve) with upper crossed syndrome – (postural muscle imbalance of thorax and upper extremities) will experience altered mobility of the glenohumeral (shoulder) joint.  This adds abnormal stress and strain to the rotator cuff muscles.  The rotator cuff muscles are responsible for supporting and stabilizing the shoulder joint. If these muscular imbalances prevail, chronic strain in the form of tendinitis will result from improper overuse of these muscles and optimal paddling power and efficiency will decrease.

Surfing back injuries are usually insidious, which means they sneak up over time due to postural imbalances, previous traumas and bad movement patterns.  All these factors lead to abnormal spinal joint alignment and abnormal muscles and ligament function. The repetition of paddling combined with the twisting and compressive forces on the lower back when performing a turn on a wave can stress the musculoskeletal system. All that time spent paddling out past the waves with the head and mid back hyper extended can lead to pain and stiffness in the back. This often results in abnormal curvatures in the spine, such as a kyphosis.

At Discover Chiropractic Centre we focus on spinal correction. We do specific digital postural assessments as well as x-ray analysis to assess the alignment of your spine and peripheral joints.  We are a corrective chiropractic office that will take follow-up x-rays and show you measurable change.

How Can We help You?

Chiropractic care is safe and effective and is great for treating and managing injuries, correcting structural imbalances, identifying altered movement patterns. Chiropractic is also great for optimizing performance and preventing injury by achieving proper biomechanics and neuromusculoskeletal functioning.

The Team at Discover Chiropractic Centre has experience looking after surfers from local board riders up to professionals and everyone in between. Using a combination of chiropractic adjustments of the spine and peripheral joints (shoulders, elbows, feet etc) the joint is gently mobilised. Addressing a few simple things such as spinal alignment, muscular balance, flexibility, and aerobic fitness will drastically improve overall surfing ability and performance.

At Discover Chiropractic Centre we focus on spinal correction. We do specific digital postural assessments as well as x-ray analysis to assess the alignment of your spine and peripheral joints.  We are a corrective chiropractic office that will take follow-up x-rays and show you measurable change.

Stretching and trigger point therapy for muscles will help to release tight, sore muscles and restore normal function.

Rehabilitation exercises for structural correction will allow for more permanent structural correction of the spine. This will typically involve spinal tractioning and Mirror Imaging Exercises.

Nutritional support will help provide your body with the optimal ingredients to obtain optimal health!

The team at Discover Chiropractic Centre have the tools to get you back surfing!

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