Stay Safe Playing a One-sided Game
Tennis is a good example of a one-sided sport as most of the work takes place on your dominant side. When you play tennis regularly, you naturally develop larger muscles on one side of your upper back, one shoulder and arm and the dominant side leg.
Granted, life is a one-sided game--we assign our everyday tasks to a dominant hand and are somewhat stronger on that side.
But for avid tennis players, the difference is pronounced, and building strength lopsidedly can lead to postural changes that affect leg function. One change you may experience is short leg syndrome, a condition where even though the legs are actually of equal length, one appears and performs as shorter.
Stiffened muscles, shorter leg This problem is caused by the tightening of muscles in the midback and shoulder, as well as rotation in the pelvis and hips. Together, these changes draw up the leg so that it’s functionally and visibly different than the other.
Take a look at the before photo above and the after shot to the right. You can see that a chiropractic adjustment makes a huge difference in rebalancing your body mechanics.
You aren’t likely to notice the difference in leg length yourself, but you’ll definitely feel it. This imbalance can bring on back, neck or shoulder pain. And injuries become more likely when you’re crisscrossing the court with impaired posture.
Chiropractic for active patients In active, health-oriented Marin, sports chiropractic is a big part of my practice. I work with athletes to fine-tune alignment and balance. During your first visit, I carefully check your posture for level shoulders, even leg length and proper spinal curvatures.
Our initial focus will be on correcting any imbalances. Then I’ll send you home with specific exercises to strengthen and stretch, as well as help prevent injury.
After we have you in good shape, I recommend coming in every month or two to maintain your optimal posture. That gives us a chance to catch any developing problems before they really take hold.
Don’t worry about perfection. Even when you follow a regular regimen of exercises and stretching on both sides of the body, you’ll still be stronger on your dominant side. In fact, the same is true for nonathletes. But by giving it some attention, you can nudge your posture back into line and be safer and more effective on the court.