I truly enjoy the game of golf, which has taught me a lot about life. I began swinging a club when I was a child even though cerebral palsy made learning to play more difficult. Golf is a great way to reduce stress and the beauty about the game is anyone can play no matter the skill level. In 2009 I was experiencing pain in my shoulder and didn’t know if I could play much longer. The pain had been going on for a while, but there had been no specific injury. I wondered if the pain was simply biomechanical with nothing I could do to heal, because cerebral palsy causes my left shoulder to be pulled forward. I had seen a doctor and done physical therapy, but nothing was totally helping. After trying physical therapy unsuccessfully I began working with a trainer. We found strengthening the rear of my left shoulder was easing the pain, by pulling it back into place. My shoulder felt better, I could play golf with an aspirin and mild pain, but the discomfort always came back, keeping me off the course. The pain had reached a threshold by this point and I really struggled to play.
My trainer suggested a chiropractor might help. I was nervous about giving the suggestion a try, because when someone forces movement in my body I fear further damage. The physical life I experience today is difficult enough with the restrictions I face. I asked myself could a chiropractic adjustment worsen my neuromuscular deficit? After some contemplation and research, I found the risk of further damage to be minimal. The chiropractor walked me through the workings of an adjustment before we got started. I was so anxious about the appointment my mother came along.
When I finally laid face down on the table, my left arm was quivering with anxious energy. There was no way to predict the reaction I would feel. The first crack was along the spine and I immediately felt tension in my body release. Then he had me lay on each side with my knee pulled toward my chest. Cracking each side was more difficult, as my body fought against the foreign feeling. He also had difficulty snapping my shoulder back into place, because it would spasm. My muscles were so tight from cerebral palsy they couldn’t be adjusted properly the first time.
I knew something positive had happened after the first adjustment. When I got up from the adjustment table the tension in my body had been reduced. I almost felt euphoric with positive chemicals flowing throughout my body uninhibited. The tension on my body from cerebral palsy meant I was living life all bent out of shape, causing a great deal of pain. I agreed to come for adjustments each week and refrain from swinging the golf club for the time being. It would take a couple months of adjustments attempting to get my shoulder back into shape before I could attempt to hit a golf ball.
The chiropractic adjustments moved my shoulder back into a more productive position. The pain from swinging a golf club subsided and I began playing again with comfort. While working on my shoulder once a week, we found other aspects of my cerebral palsy improving throughout my body. With my shoulder healed up and my golf swing fully functioning, I continued to get adjusted once a week, working on different affected areas. I have found many benefits to my cerebral palsy from the adjustments.