What Did Masters Favorite Dustin Johnson Do to His Back?

On Thursday, Masters favorite Dustin Johnson withdrew himself from play. Johnson slipped down a set of stairs the previous day injuring his back. After a few practice swings Thursday, Johnson could not go any further. He is the world’s number one golfer.

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A Major Fall at the Masters

Johnson landed on his side and bruised his elbow. As a result, he is experiencing muscular inflammation and spasms. For treatment, he alternated with ice and heat to improve his condition. After the inflammation decreases, I’m sure Johnson will be “ok.” Muscular inflammation aside, Johnson likely suffered a Structural Shift of the spine which, is the major concern.

What are Structural Shifts?

Normal body temperature is 98.6 degrees. If your body temperature shifts from 98.6 to 100 degrees, you’ll feel sick right? Just like normal body temperature, there is a normal spinal structure. Falls no matter your age can cause a Structural Shift or deviation from normal spinal structure. Consequently, Structural Shifts can cause muscle spasm, numbness/tingling, and headaches to name a few symptoms. In Johnson’s case, his symptoms are muscular spasm and inflammation.

How Do Structural Shifts Happen?

I often talk to patients who say their symptoms were insidious or “came out of the blue.” In the majority of cases, this is not true. Rather, there is some sort of trauma or repetitive movement or position that causes a Structural Shift of spinal segments. Furthermore, can weight lifting, a car wreck, or any form of sport be a source of trauma? Yes. Can a sedentary desk job, a dentist, a hair stylist, an optometrist, or a CPA have exposure to repetitive movements or positions that shift the spine to an abnormal position? Yes. It can happen to anyone.

What Happens If Structural Shifts Exist?

If Structural Shifts of spinal segments exist, chances of re-injury, symptoms, and spinal degeneration or destruction greatly increase. It is often not a question of “if” but “when.”  If Structural Shifts are corrected, all of the structures surrounding the spine increase in function. It’s similar to getting your car serviced. When the tires are aligned, the car’s performance will improve as a result.

I’m not sure what Jonson will do to return to the golf course, but a thorough examination with spinal imaging should occur. If Structural Shifts of the spine are present, a Structural Chiropractor will analyze all exam information and construct a comprehensive plan. A plan that will direct the spine to its optimal position. This will improve the function of structures surrounding the area of concern.