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How a pitcher from the 30’s relates to your shoulder

Dizzy Dean was a pitcher in the MLB. He had immaculate form. I’m not a huge baseball fan, but I am a huge biomechanics fan. Dizzy’s form was fantastic; open hips, upright posture, shoulder open. This turned him into a slingshot. If you’ve been in my treatment room you’ve seen the photo on the wall.

One game, Dizzy took a line drive to the toe and broke it. He had to rest and rehab it but always complained that his toe didn’t bend as much as it used to. When he came back into the game his immaculate form was slightly off.

Because his toe didn’t fully flex, he had to find range of motion somewhere. He found it in his shoulder. The compensatory pattern turned into shoulder pain, shoulder pain turned into injury, and Dizzy had to retire from pitching.

If Dizzy had gone to see someone who just tried to fix his shoulder where the pain was. He would have never fixed it. Because the shoulder wasn’t the actual cause of why his shoulder hurts in the first place. This is what we call the “root cause”.

By fixing that root cause at a functional level Dizzy’s shoulder pain would have gone away and he might not have ended his career. This would have meant fixing his toe to fix his shoulder.

This is why when someone comes into the office we’re working on their hips and giving them foot exercises for their low back pain. Everyone’s different.

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