Jordan Spieth. Chiropractic & Going the Extra Yards

Jordan Spieth & his belief in chiropractic care.

Having found relief through chiropractic instead of drugs and the prospect of surgery, he wanted to learn more about chiropractic and eventually changed his career path. His desire to help others the way he’d been helped himself set his sights on a sports chiropractic practice to help athletes get rid of pain and injury, prolong their careers, and perform at a high level.

“I truly feel that a doctor going through what I did will become so passionate that it drives you to be the best. And I wanted to be the best at what I do.”

Making the connection

Van Biezen’s facilities in Dallas are known in the area as the go-to place for athletes. His integrated practice includes three associate chiropractors, a massage therapist, a strength coach, and administrative support staff under one roof. “The communication and continuity of care between specialists as they enter the different phases of the continuum is a powerful tool when treating athletes as they return to play.”

He has been traveling with the PGA Tour for 14 years, nearly nine of them on the PGA Tour medical staff, which means he was the chiropractor on-site during tournament season for all 140 players in the field. It’s only in the last four to five years that he has been traveling exclusively with a handful of the other players.

“Jordan had heard about me in the golf world, and he was having some back issues,” Van Biezen says. “So it just made sense when Jordan started to play on the PGA Tour that I would travel with him as well.”

The daily grind

Working as the attending DC to elite athletes conveys exceptional challenges. Van Biezen says one major difference this group presents are that pro athletes are impatient by nature, and if you can’t get them fixed up fairly quick they won’t stick around. “If you want to be a sports chiro, you’d better be on top of your game.”

During tournament season, Van Biezen works long hours. His week starts Monday and he’ll be on-site through Sunday, typically waking up around 4:30 a.m. to get his players treated and warmed up. He might not leave the course until 7 or 8 p.m.

“Last year I was on the road for 32 weeks. That makes for a long year; however, my players won 10 times, including three majors and a Players Championship,” Van Biezen says. He credits the tremendous support he receives from his practice staff and his family for making his schedule possible.

Whirlwind success After Spieth won the 2015 Masters, Van Biezen found himself at the center of a lot of attention. “My personal and clinical life has been crazy, but a good crazy,” Van Biezen says. “A lot of great people in the industry have reached out to me and have been very gracious in helping me spread the chiropractic message.”

He acknowledges that Spieth thanking him while accepting the green Masters jacket was pivotal both for his practice and for the profession.

Older Adults

Some of the challenges of getting older include memory loss and difficulty in carrying out tasks of daily living such as dressing, bathing, or cooking. Due to the decline in nervous system function that often accompanies ageing, many older people also experience an increased rate of falls.1 And although getting old may appear like an inevitable downward progression, there is actually something you can do about it – it’s called healthy ageing.

 What is healthy ageing?

Healthy ageing focuses on maintaining mental and physical health and avoiding disease so that you can maintain independence and quality of life. Healthy ageing can feel like a big investment in your health, but the returns are rewarding and can restore some control over your health and life. Chiropractic care can support older people with healthy ageing by helping them maintain and improve their overall function. So let’s review some of the chiropractic research that is particularly relevant to older adults.

Why try chiropractic?

Many research studies have shown that chiropractic care helps the brain become more accurately aware of what is going on inside your body and the world around you. This is probably why older adults who receive chiropractic care maintain their ability to carry out their activities of daily living, maintain their ability to live independently and look after themselves.

Chiropractic may help prevent falls in older people

A recent study focused on whether chiropractic care may help older adults improve their function in a way that could decrease their risk of falling. This randomised controlled trial compared 12 weeks of chiropractic care to a usual care control in 60 older adults. After 12 weeks the group who received chiropractic care had become better able to know where their ankle joint was when they closed their eyes. They were able to take a step much faster than the control group, they could simultaneously process visual and auditory information more accurately in their brains, and they also felt better than the control group after 12 weeks of chiropractic care. This means they were better able to control and move their bodies in response to potential hazards which may reduce their risk of falling. On top of that, they felt that their quality of life had improved after the chiropractic care as well.

 Functional Ability

Functional ability refers to a person’s ability to carry out basic tasks of everyday life.5 These can be divided into basic activities of daily living, which include bathing, dressing,

eating, grooming, transferring, and walking across the room; and instrumental activities of daily living, which include taking medications, using the phone, handling finances, housekeeping, cooking, shopping, and using transportation.1 Due to an age-related decline in physical and cognitive function for many people it can become difficult to carry out these tasks as they get older. Slowing the rate of functional decline in older adults preserves their autonomy and well-being and reduces the threat of institutionalisation. This is very important for older adults because a loss of independence and functional decline are often associated with frailty and ultimately hospitalisation and mortality.

Researchers have compared the effects of chiropractic care to standard medical care on health outcomes in over 1000 older adults with back conditions over a two year period. They measured their general health status and tracked their ability to carry out their activities of daily living like bathing, shopping, and cooking.

The people who received chiropractic care maintained their ability to carry out their activities of daily living and self-rated health status over a two year period compared to the people who received medical care.3 This means that the chiropractic group maintained their ability to live independently and maintained their health instead of it declining as it did in the medical group. So the chiropractic group were healthier and better able to look after themselves at the end of the study period. But keep in mind that it’s possible that the people who chose to see chiropractors were fundamentally different to those who didn’t and it’s also possible that other factors, besides the chiropractic care, influenced health outcomes between assessments.

Research also suggests that patients who are managed by chiropractors compared to those managed medically take fewer drugs, require less surgery, and are less likely to be hospitalised. In a study published in 20077 Researchers compared seven years of health claims from chiropractors to a similar group of health claims from medical doctors. What they found was a 60% decrease in hospital admissions, 62% decrease in outpatient surgery and procedures, and an 85% reduction in pharmaceutical costs for the patients managed by chiropractors compared to conventional medical management. This may mean that chiropractic care for older adults will result in fewer drugs and less medical intervention and its associated adverse effects.

The research reviewed in this article suggests that chiropractic care slows the decline in functional ability associated with ageing,3 which may reduce the need for potentially harmful medical interventions and drugs.7 It also suggests that chiropractic care enhances sensorimotor function associated with falls risk.2 Chiropractic care can help older people to be more active, more independent, more healthy, and to feel better. For some older people, chiropractic care can truly give them their life back!

Crying Babies

Aside from being stressful, tiring even heart-breaking for parents infant colic can cause both physical and psychological symptoms in parents and can lead to marital tension, social disruption and child abuse. The causes of infantile colic are still unknown and traditional medical intervention is often ineffective. The traditional medical management for colic involves prescribing drugs such as simethicone drops or proton pump inhibitors. However, systematic reviews have consistently shown that these interventions are no more effective than placebo.

What is colic?

When a baby cries inconsolably for more than three hours per day,  more than three days per week, for longer than three weeks this is known as ‘infantile colic’ Colic affects up to 40% of children worldwide.

Why try chiropractic?

Chiropractic is a safe and effective choice for even the smallest members of society.3-5  In one study researchers showed that babies who received chiropractic care cried significantly less than those who did not receive care.6 Because so many high-quality clinical trials have shown chiropractic care helps babies with colic cry less – up to 50% less – it’s well worth giving it a go!

Is it safe for kids?

Over recent years the safety of chiropractic care for children and infants has been investigated by many researchers.3-5 The results of their studies suggest that chiropractic care can be safely provided to even the youngest members of our society. Adverse events in children after chiropractic care are rare and usually don’t require further care.3-5 It’s every parent’s nightmare – your beautiful newborn is in obvious distress and you can’t figure out how to console your little monkey. The suffocating array of parental advice may be leaving you confused. So, what do you do when your baby has colic? In this issue, we have summarised some of the latest research on infants with colic. We hope to bust some myths and put your mind at ease.

As many as 40% of all babies suffer from colic.1,2 A study conducted in the UK looked at the effectiveness of chiropractic care in affected children.6 The researchers observed 104 babies who were randomised into three groups. The first group of babies were given chiropractic

As many as 40% of all babies suffer from colic1,2

care and their parents knew they were seeing a chiropractor. The second group also received chiropractic care, but their parents didn’t know whether their baby was receiving the care or the control intervention. And the third group didn’t get checked by the chiropractor; instead, they received the control intervention. These parents also didn’t know whether their baby was receiving care or the control.

Crying in babies receiving chiropractic care was reduced by around 50%.

Parents were asked to complete a 10-day ‘crying diary’. The findings from this study suggest that even without chiropractic care crying time is reduced. However, babies under chiropractic care cried up to 3 hours less compared to those who did not receive care.

Interestingly, the parent’s awareness of whether their baby was receiving chiropractic care, or the control did not matter. This confirms previous studies that have also shown babies with colic responding well to chiropractic care.4 It suggests that the child’s improvement is probably due to chiropractic and not parent bias or parent placebo effect.

Further, this study found that excessively crying babies were (at least!) 5 times less likely to cry if they received care, compared to not receiving care. So it’s very likely that chiropractic care really does help at least some babies who are suffering from colic.

Remember that the chiropractor isn’t directly trying to treat the colic. Instead, they’re trying to improve spinal function with the aim of improving your child’s brain’s ability to process what’s going on in their body. And for some kids, this seems to result in less crying time! This has to be a good thing for the whole family!

Chiropractors modify their techniques to suit the age, anatomy, and unique physiology of their young patients.