Celebrity Chiropractic
by Dr Warren van Zyl

Celebrity Chiropractic is not about the cult worship that we often witness today in the world. Many celebrities are just ordinary people with no illusions about themselves, and of course have the right to health care just like anyone else.

Celebrity Chiropractic by Dr Warren van Zyl

Many sports men and women use Chiropractic care to prevent injury and to enhance performance. Some are celebrities, most not. Tiger has his own chiropractor, for example. It comes as no surprise that many teams have demanded chiropractors to attend to them at the Olympic games in Beijing this summer.

Dr. Warren van Zyl is one such team chiropractor. JustBeingHolistic ...

He uses these celebrity examples and those he has personally been involved with to highlight the valuable role Chiropractic can play in a sportsman or woman's performance.

"This book not only explains chiropractic to everyone, but it is also about living life positively. It is truly inspirational and written in an easy to read style for every person to enjoy."

- Dr Kendrah Da Silva, President, Chiropractic Association of South Africa.

Springbok World Cup winning hero of 2007, J.P. Pietersen is a regularly receives preventative celebrity chiropractic care, asking for his 'alignment' to be checked. He is also a member of the Sharks Rugby Franchise based in Durban, South Africa, and my being the team chiropractor for the past three years the players have become educated in prevention and are very proactive in their approach to prevent injury by keeping their biomechanical alignment in balance. This has resulted in the Sharks Rugby team having a minimal amount of soft tissue injuries such as hamstring, groin and thigh strains. ( PUBIC BONE PAIN ) When Tiger Woods says, “I’ve been going to a chiropractor for as long as I can remember. It’s as important to my training as practising my swing” and seven time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong claims, “The most important man on the team may have been our Chiropractor” - then we should all take note.

Structure dictates function. In an athlete's quest for peak performance we must consider the stresses the body is continually under.

To illustrate how structure dictates function, let us look at a specific example. The normal foot flare for a runner should be between 0–15 degrees. As we move past 15 degrees, we begin to lose centimetres with every step. If a runner has a foot flare of 25 degrees in a 100 metre race, all other things being equal, he will lose up to three metres, which is a considerable amount. In a marathon, this distance would add up to as much as a kilometre.

As Sharks Medical Doctor Craig Roberts puts it, “As a Sports Physician the holistic care of an athlete is of paramount importance. A 0.5% improvement in performance can be the difference between not making the final and winning gold!”

This abnormal foot flare could arise from several sources, from the structural arches of the foot, ( FOOT PAIN ) to pelvic imbalances ( SACROILIAC JOINT ANATOMY ) all the way to the atlas or the cranium itself.

Chiropractors are trained to look for this and other structural imbalances and correct them. The correction helps to prevent injuries and other future problems, not only in celebrity chiropractic but in every single patient, as well as improving your performance.

Chiropractic treatment is not only concerned with ‘symptom care’. Chiropractors look to find the underlying cause of the problem and then correct and treat accordingly. Pain is a symptom. It comes and goes. It is very often the last thing to show up and the first thing to go. That is, very often there is an underlying problem which builds up and eventually presents as pain. When receiving treatment, the pain may reduce or disappear, but the whole problem may not yet be resolved.

Contact sports nearly always jar and misalign the joints and spinal column. More frequently, between games, stiff and fixated joints associated with muscle spasm are a common phenomenon. An increase in training, fixtures and travelling all contribute to this and the players must be assessed to prevent minor problems from becoming major injuries.

Drawing from my experience working and treating national, provincial, club and school teams and athletes, this is my recommendation if one wants to employ a professional approach to injury prevention, not only in celebrity chiropractic but in every single patient, enhancing your performance. Sports Celebrity Chiropractic must of necessity be proactive, and we endeavour to carry that over to every single patient in the practice. Although we treat many different types of injuries, there are two areas in sports celebrity chiropractic where we take a proactive step. The two novel approaches in professional sport today are to focus on:

1) Prevention of Injury

2) Enhancement of Performance

A large amount of money is invested in our athletes and it is therefore imperative to be proactive, by preventing injury and enhancing performance, and not reactive to the sports injury or sub-par performances.

  • Pre-game/race performance enhancement checks are a necessity after a strenuous week of training.
  • Post-game/race assessment of body mechanics, to prevent injury, and to inform the coach early in the week of conditioning.

One of the most valuable ergonomic aids for the athlete is proper chiropractic care. By restoring proper alignment to the spinal column and joints, the Doctor of Chiropractic can help the athlete operate at optimum biomechanical efficiency.



Physical Therapists providing a Chiropractic adjustment?

Many insurance companies now only pay for physical therapists to provide a chiropractic adjustment; that's in the face of powerful research proving that inclusion of DCs to perform their own technique would save them a good deal of money. One has to conclude that political medicine has gone off on another tack to contain our profession.

It's being successful with some doctors of chiropractic quitting. Others become involved in some dodgy practices, like demanding that patients sign up for a whole year of treatment in advance, in order to stay in business.

In recessionary times, the going is tough when the insurance won't pay.

Is the day approaching for a new Wilk versus the AMA and the insurance companies?

The chiropractic profession has tried hard to stay on the moral high ground; those who stoop to unscrupulous practices need to be exposed and disciplined if we are not to stoop to the low blows that medicine has often resorted to contain and eliminate us.

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