U.S. Open Golfers Benefit from Chiropractic
Thursday, September 18, 2014 04:43 PM

WHEN SOME OF THE WORLD’S BEST GOLFERS hit the links at Pinehurst Country Club in Pinehurst, N.C. for the U.S. Open Golf Tournament in June 2014, some of the world’s best chiropractic physicians were there to care for them.

Dr. Jeffrey Poplarski, who runs Sports and Family Chiropractic in Amityville, N.Y., has served as chairman of the Open’s wellness team since it was created in 2002. Every year, he recruits a team of volunteer healthcare professionals to tend to the aches and strains that inevitably accompany a golf tournament.

This year, the 125-member wellness team included massage therapists, athletic trainers, hyperbaric chamber technicians and some 30 chiropractors, assembled in two different locations to provide care to players, support staff and volunteers.

“We did about 1,800 visits during the tournament, so it kept us busy,” said Dr. Poplarski. “We’d see anyone from players to caddies to swing coaches. A lot of the players come in and they just love to get a massage and then go right in to a chiropractic adjustment. What we present is pretty unique, and they’re thankful for the services.”

The No. 1 injury seen by wellnessteam providers at the tournament was lower back pain, an ailment most likely to strike caddies. “Remember, they carry around an 80-pound bag for seven or eight miles,” Dr. Poplarski says. “They need more work than the actual players.”

Keith Overland, DC, of Norwalk, Conn., ACA immediate past president, was one of the U.S. Open wellness team volunteers. He treated half a dozen people during the two five-hour shifts he worked, and what he saw differed very little from what he sees during a typical workday.

“There were strained muscles and headaches and chronic tendinitis and lower back pain,” Dr. Overland said. “The only difference is, when you treat athletes, they’re interested in an aggressive treatment that gets them back to their sport as soon as possible.”

Dr. Overland says he didn’t treat any of the golfers who went on to do well in the tournament, but he did treat one player’s mother, who had injured herself walking the course.

ACA President Tony Hamm, DC, who lives in nearby Goldsboro, N.C., also worked a couple of shifts in the wellness trailer. While he’s treated many golfers in his career, he had never before experienced working in such a collaborative way with other disciplines. “I learned some things about taping from athletic trainers that I wasn’t proficient in before,” Dr. Hamm says. “It was quite an experience.”

An avid golfer himself, Dr. Hamm said he also picked up a good putting tip from a caddie. “Now I’ve just got to go implement it,” he said. “I haven’t had time to play.”

Dr. Overland has treated many professional athletes and Olympians, and he left the golf tournament once again marveling at how well suited chiropractic is for assisting athletes, regardless of their sport.

“The most interesting aspect of this tournament, to me, was that these golfers are rarely at home. They go from tournament to tournament, so they have very limited opportunities for regular care such as chiropractic and massage,” Dr. Hamm said. “What strikes me is the deep interest these highest-level players have in seeking out the benefits of chiropractic services for their game, for their health and for their performance. Even if they don’t know the doctors, they have enough confidence in the profession as a whole to allow perfect strangers to treat them – when, in fact, their whole career may be on the line based on the success or failure of the treatment.”

Dr. Poplarski has already begun recruiting for next year’s U.S. Open, which will be held June 18-21, 2015 at Chambers Bay in University Place, Wash., a suburb of Tacoma. He’s especially looking for Washington doctors who would like to participate.

“I like to bring in new health care providers every year,” he said. “I expect about 25 percent of our team will be people who’ve worked on the team in the past, and 75 percent will be from that area.”

Positions on the wellness team are coveted. This year, Poplarski had about 450 applications for 125 positions. He’s specifically looking for people with sports experience, especially those who have worked with golfers and who understand the sport.

Recruiting will move into high gear Sept. 15 to Oct. 15, 2014 and the team will be put together sometime in October.

If you’re interested in applying for the 2015 team, contact Dr. Poplarski at [email protected], or call him, 631-598-7034.

Source:  http://mydigimag.rrd.com/display_article.php?id=1785588&id_issue=221336