Hit Longer and Straighter: How Chiropractics Can Improve Your Golf Game

Does your back feel stiff after a round of golf or a day at the driving range? Or worse yet, do you take aspirin before you play around in anticipation of the pain you know is coming?
If so, you are on your way to hanging up your clubs someday, which will come sooner, rather than later. Did you know that the number one disability that forces players to retire from the pro tour is low back pain? Consider this quote from PGA tour pro, Casey Paulson, “The guys out here do the things they need to do to keep their back from being an issue. They take care of their bodies. You can’t play this game very well if you are hurting.”
We certainly are able to twist our shoulders without our hips, however, this repeated motion eventually takes its toll on our intervertebral spinal discs, causing inflammation in the short term and full degeneration over time.
If the problem is treated early in the minor inflammation stage, you can expect a full and speedy recovery. However, if it’s not, you can expect increasingly serious consequences as time goes on and irritation persists.
Your body is smart enough to try to compensate for this tender area. You may find that you lean slightly to one side or that you don’t quite stand up straight. You may drop one shoulder slightly or stand with uneven hips. How your body responds really depends on where your pain is and any other problems you may have that are already being compensated for.
As time goes on and if the irritation persists (like you’re going to stop playing golf), the muscles and ligaments in our back begin to “accept” this new compensated posture as normal. They constrict and stretch to their new relaxed positions, and this becomes your new natural posture.
You can see how this becomes a snowball effect. The irritation and inflammation continue; the body continues to make more drastic compensations, and the posture that your body accepts as “normal” continues to become more and more disfigured.
All the while, of course, your golf game continues to suffer. Maybe you don’t go downhill right away, but it begins with a serious performance plateau. How can this body continue to produce an improving game? The body’s “range of motion” and “balance” are seriously hampered. The smooth, fluid motions that are required for a good golf swing are interrupted by “kinks” in the system.
All of these problems don’t even factor in the requirement for power in the swing. When you apply a thrusting power into this flawed system, the power won’t flow along the ideal path. Are you transferring power from one muscle to the next at the proper timing? There are so many subtleties that can affect a golf swing.
Now factor in the most obvious and destructive component of your swing – PAIN. Nothing diverts your concentration like the anticipation and sensation of pain. Do you stop short on your backswing or your follow-through? Do you tighten up just as your club strikes the ball? People respond to it differently. But one thing is for sure; it will mess you up!
It’s not uncommon at this point for players to literally give up the game for a whole season or even longer, while they wait for their backs to heal. By stopping the irritation, the inflammation will eventually subside. The pain will lessen or possibly go away altogether. But one thing that won’t change on its own is the body’s new “normal” posture. The compensations that the back made to deal with the pain are now held in place by the muscles and ligaments. It’s the new you, ready to take up with new problems when you head back out to the golf course.
To finish our worse case timeline, the die-hard, play-through-the-pain golfer will continue to aggravate that problem disc until it literally disintegrates. At this point, the pain is chronic and almost unbearable. He will most likely have to endure back surgery to fuse the vertebral bones. Talk about a range of motion problems then! It’s best to avoid this phase.
What can you do about it, you ask? Consider this quote from Rocco Mediate, “Without Chiropractic, I’d be a mess. I don’t know how I’d survive without them. The swing is a very unnatural motion – one that repetition hurts a lot more than it helps.”
Chiropractic can treat your pain and correct your posture effectively. I would argue that “enabling” your body is far more important to your golf performance than any new piece of equipment you could buy.

Cervical Spine Adjustments: The Cure for Headaches


If you have a headache, you’re not alone. 9 out of 10 Americans suffer from headaches. Some are occasional, some frequent, some are dull and throbbing, and some cause debilitating pain and nausea.

Headaches have many causes, or “triggers.” These may include foods, environmental stimuli (noises, lights, stress, etc.) and/or behaviors (insomnia, excessive exercise, blood sugar changes, etc.). Ninety-five percent of headaches are primary headaches, such as tension, migraine, or cluster headaches.

The majority of primary headaches are associated with muscle tension in the neck. Americans engage in more sedentary activities than they used to, and more hours are spent in one fixed position or posture. This can increase joint irritation and muscle tension in the neck, upper back and scalp, causing your head to ache.

What do you do when you suffer from a pounding headache? Do you grit your teeth and carry on? Lie down? Pop a pill and hope the pain goes away? There is a better alternative.

Research shows that spinal manipulation – the primary form of care provided by doctors of chiropractic – may be an effective treatment option for tension headaches and headaches that originate in the neck.

A report released in 2001 by researchers at the Duke University Evidence-Based Practice Center in Durham, NC, found that spinal manipulation resulted in almost immediate improvement for those headaches that originate in the neck, and had significantly fewer side effects and longer-lasting relief of tension-type headache than a commonly prescribed medication.

Traditional over-the-counter headache remedies (Aspirin, Tylenol, Ibuprofen, Excedrin, etc.) can have detrimental side-effects to your liver, kidney, stomach, and GI lining. If you or someone you love suffers from daily, weekly, or even monthly headaches and consistently takes OTC or prescribed meds for their headaches, please call Gulf Coast Sport & Spine to see if we can help.

Slip and Fall Injuries


Slip and fall injuries can happen to anyone, but especially the elderly and those who do manual labor. Taking precautions to avoid suffering from a slip and fall are necessary: watch your step and avoid stepping over any items in your path, take notice of “wet floor” signs, and use handrails when available. Slip and fall injuries typically happen suddenly because of unexpected circumstances, including:

  • spills
  • uneven ground or flooring
  • faulty stairs
  • puddles
  • patches of ice

Slip and fall describes a broad set of injuries that occur from a slip, trip, fall, or loss of balance. Injuries resulting from a slip and fall can appear on any part of the body. The most common types of slip and fall injuries that require treatment are:

  • nerve damage
  • spinal injury (herniated disc)
  • joint injury (knee, wrist, shoulder, ankle)
  • torn muscles and ligaments
  • neck and head injuries (concussion, whiplash)
  • bone fractures

Chiropractic is one of the best options for slip and fall injury treatment, because Doctors of Chiropractic examine the body as a whole, and don’t merely focus on where the symptoms are. Treatment from an chiropractor can include advanced imaging to confirm your injury, spinal and/or extremity manipulation, whiplash treatment, stretching/strengthening affected areas, and more. Furthermore, chiropractic treatment greatly reduces the risk that the injuries sustained will not become a problem years down the road.

Slip and fall injuries occur suddenly and are always surprising to the injured person; they are never expected. What you can expect is to receive the best slip and fall injury treatment from your chiropractor at Gulf Coast Sport & Spine.

Why Car Accident Victims Should Seek Chiropractic Care

Being involved in a car accident can be one of the most traumatizing events in a person’s life, both physically and emotionally. While no one ever wants to be in an automobile accident, it is important to know how to proceed with treating your injuries should you ever be involved in one. Visiting a chiropractor for evaluation and care is always one of the first things you should do, as these healthcare professionals specialize in treating many of the most common automobile accident-related injuries there are.

In most non-emergency car accident situations, symptoms may not appear until days after the collision, and some injuries don’t present themselves until months prior! Whiplash, in particular, tends to take weeks to present symptoms, and this is one of the most common injuries caused by auto accidents. Some severe cases of whiplash can manifest for up to two years following an auto accident, which is why it is important to always visit a chiropractor for an evaluation, even if you think there may not be a serious injury present. When you treat an injury like this right away, you are putting the body in the best possible position to heal and recover quickly, and most importantly, reduce the risk of causing permanent damage to your back.

The most common symptoms following an auto accident are neck pain, headaches, upper back and shoulder pain, lower back pain, stiff and sore muscles, and even chronic fatigue and mood changes. Whiplash can also result in lower back injuries, muscle injuries, ligament problems, and disc damage. A study done by the University of Bristol concluded that 93% of patients with a whiplash diagnosis responded favorably to chiropractic treatment. Gulf Coast Sport and Spine specializes in soft-tissue injuries that are the result of motor vehicle accidents; a soft-tissue injury can be permanent. Scar tissue can form in your muscles leaving them less flexible and prone to re-injury in the future without treatment. High-speed collisions are not the only ones that can cause damage; many injuries from car accidents occur at speeds less than 20 MPH. In fact, the Journal of Brain Injury published a study that concluded the following: “The amount of damage to the automobile bears little relation to the force applied to the cervical spine (neck) of the occupants.”  In other words, even “minor” accidents are enough to cause significant injury to the spines of accident victims. Moreover, being in a minor accident often increases the chance of victims ignoring their injuries until they get worse.

The best advice I can give anyone who is involved in a car crash is to seek chiropractic care immediately, whether you are experiencing pain or not! Most medical professionals agree that the first 72 hours after an accident are critical, and that is the time treatment can be most effective. The treatment plan for PREVENTING pain is a much quicker and enjoyable process for the patient, as opposed to the treatment plan for RESOLVING pain which can be a much longer time-frame and is more rigorous on the patient. Statistics show the longer you wait for treatment after you are injured, the longer it takes to heal and more treatments are required. Many injuries will not heal on their own. Prompt functional treatment can restore normal function and prevent complications in the future.

Another reason to seek treatment in a prompt manner is to preserve your legal rights and supports any claims you might make regarding accident injuries that involve insurance companies and legal counsel. Many insurance companies set a time limit on claiming injuries related to car accidents. If you wait too long to see a chiropractor and end up with an injury outside of the designated time period, you could lose valuable coverage for treating the injury. The doctors at Gulf Coast Sport and Spine work with various personal injury lawyers in the area, and can give our patients recommendations if they feel the need for legal representation. Insurance companies have lawyers to protect them…shouldn’t you?

The Mystery of Frozen Shoulder

Frozen Shoulder and Treatment

Frozen shoulder, AKA adhesive capsulitis, is inflammation of the capsule in the shoulder joint and therefore causes pain and stiffness in the shoulder. The shoulder is a ball-and-socket joint with a capsule that surrounds the joint. Frozen shoulder causes the capsule to becomes inflamed and thickened which results in less synovial fluid (lubrication) and the formation of adhesions in the joint. Pain is present with active and passive range of motion. This means pain is produced when the patient moves the arm him/herself and when the arm is relaxed and moved for him/her by the doctor. The cause is not fully understood, and seems to have no connection with previous injury, arm dominance, or occupation. Certain risk factors can increase the chance of developing this condition. The most prevalent risk factor is diabetes while others include stroke, thyroid disease, cardiac disease, lung disease, RA, and other autoimmune conditions.

Frozen Shoulder and Treatment - Metairie Louisiana - Chiropractic Remedies

Frozen shoulder occurs in 3 stages:

  1. Freezing (Painful) Phase: pain continues to get worse and worse with severe night pain.  As the pain worsens the shoulder losses range of motion. This typically lasts 6 weeks to 9 months but can be shortened with chiropractic treatments.
  2. Frozen (Stiff) Phase: pain may actually improve, but range of motion is greatly diminished. Daily activities become increasingly difficult, if not impossible to perform.  Activities such as tucking in the back of one’s shirt, reaching for a high shelf, combing hair, or fastening a bra. This typically lasts 4-6 months but can be shortened with chiropractic treatment.
  3. Thawing (Resolving) Phase: pain and range of motion slowly improve. This typically lasts 6 months to 2 years depending on the shoulder severity and the timing of chiropractic remedy.

Affects of Frozen Shoulder

Many women between the ages of 40-60 are affected by Frozen shoulder, which is estimated to be 2-5 percent of the population. It is referred to as “Fifties Shoulder” in Japan. Schedule an appointment with our chiropractic office in Metairie if you have the symptoms of Frozen Shoulder.

Frozen shoulder can take up to 30 months to fully resolve if left untreated. In most cases, treatment with the Niel-Asher Technique (NAT) will speed up recovery by about 10 times. NAT focuses on trigger point therapy to the long head of the biceps and in the muscles that make up the rotator cuff. Along with the trigger point therapy, adjustments to the upper cervical spine and mild physical therapy have been proven to speed up the process of this condition. NAT is a “hands-on” method that utilizes the body’s natural healing mechanisms.

Patients may call our office in Metairie to set up an appointment with Dr. LeBourgeois and he can treat your Frozen Shoulder with chiropractic remedies. Our office provides chiropractic services and a convenient location adjacent to East Jeff Hospital in Doctor’s Row.  Please feel free to call our office at (504) 372-4062 or send us a message from our contact page.

Sciatica Is A Real Pain In The Butt!

Sciatica Nerve Pain and Sciatica Treatment - Metairie Louisiana


Sciatica refers to pain that radiates along the path of the sciatic nerve, which branches from your lower back through your hips and buttocks and down each leg. The sciatic nerve is the longest and widest nerve in the body, which causes it to be easily irritated. The symptoms of sciatica are pain, tingling, or weakness in the lower extremity that starts from the lumbar or pelvic region and radiates down the back of the leg to the foot.

There are many causes of sciatic nerve irritation or compression:

  • Herniated or bulging disc compressing the sciatic nerve
  • Spinal stenosis (narrowing of the spinal cord or exiting nerve roots between each vertebrae) as a result of a disc herniation or degenerative disc disease
  • Piriformis Syndrome which is a condition in which the piriformis muscle, located deep in the buttock region, spasms and pinches the sciatic nerve
  • Pregnancy due to the extra weight and stress put on the spine, in addition of altered pelvic biomechanics which occurs as the baby grows

Although the pain associated with sciatica can be severe, the majority of cases resolve with conservative treatment within a few weeks. The most common treatment protocols for sciatica include:

  • Chiropractic adjustments to realign and mobilize the spine to take pressure off of the nerve
  • Decompression therapy to rehydrate and removed the increased pressure on the intervertebral disc
  • Myofascial release to the piriformis muscle
  • Rehabilitation to the core and pelvic muscles

The Benefits of Chiropractic Care To Pregnant Patients


Chiropractic Care - Pain Relief -Metairie - Louisiana - Pregnancy Care

Chiropractic care throughout pregnancy is becoming a more accepted and more common practice utilized by expecting mothers; in fact, many Obstetricians are now encouraging and referring their patients to chiropractors. A properly aligned spine and hips can help make pregnancy and delivery more comfortable. The old way of thinking was, “pregnancy is supposed to be uncomfortable and sometimes painful”, or “well, it’s only for a few months”. By getting regular adjustments throughout pregnancy, this process can be much more pleasant than women think.

The most common complaint throughout pregnancy is low back pain. This is due to spinal dysfunction related to changing load distributions within the motion segments of the lumbar spine and sacroiliac joints. As the fetus develops during gestation, this weight is projected forward and the lumbar lordosis is increased, placing extra stress on the intervertebral disks and facet joints. Also, as the baby grows, the body is required to make room for the baby; it does this by expanding the pelvic ring. However, if the pelvis is not moving properly, this altered motion can stress the muscles and compress spinal nerves resulting in symptoms such as muscle spasm, sciatica, leg pain, and sharp pains in the low back area. Other common symptoms during pregnancy are headaches, carpal tunnel, rib pain, and nausea; and yes, chiropractic care can help with all of these symptoms listed!

Pain relief is not the only reason chiropractic care is beneficial to pregnant women. Proper spinal and pelvic alignment allows room for the baby to grow, develop, and move. This reduces the risk of having a breeched baby. If an expected mother discovers that her unborn child is in the breeched position, a Doctor of Chiropractic skilled in the Webster In-Utero Technique can naturally correct the baby’s position.

Most women who receive chiropractic care throughout their pregnancy experience a faster delivery which is much safer for both mom and baby; a properly aligned pelvis allows more room for the baby to enter the world with little resistance, and greatly reduces the risk of the Ob to have to resort to suctions, fracturing the child’s clavicle, or performing an emergency C-section.

Chiropractic adjustments are completely safe to both mother and baby; there are no known contraindications to chiropractic care during pregnancy. The ligamentous laxity brought on by pregnancy often makes adjusting comparatively easy using the gentlest of movements. The equipment used when adjusting pregnant patients is specifically tailored for both safety and comfort.