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Posted on 10-18-2011

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How Chiropractic Can Benefit Surfers
Surfing has always been regarded as a spiritual and naturally raw sport.  Chiropractic is an excellent health care system to help optimize a surfer's mental and physical health.  Surfers tend to take natural approaches to maintaining and achieving better health.  They are greatly concerned about their wave riding performance and strive to be able to surf longer through improved paddling endurance, increased wave count, and increased maneuverability while riding waves.
Some of the most common complaints among surfers include and lower back and shoulder problems.  If you think about it this should not come as a surprise.  The muscles and other structures in these areas have severe and sustained demands on them.  The repetition of paddling combined with the twisting and compressive forces on the lower back when performing a turn on a wave.  
Even small postural and muscle imbalances throughout the body can be revealed through surfing.  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 cuffs 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.  
Many Encinitas surfers have long known the benefits of chiropractic and many of the professional surfing organizations require chiropractic care as part of their health services.  Chiropractic 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.  
Chiropractic helps educate surfers on how to be in tune with their bodies and take an active role in their own health in and outside of the water.  Addressing a few simple things such as spinal alignment, muscular balance, flexibility, and aerobic fitness will drastically improve overall surfing ability and performance. -  Thoughts by Jeremy Sontag, Surfer and future Doctor of Chiropractic
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