Golf, Exercise and Conditioning: A Cautionary Tale

I have a patient who came to me for help with his golf swing. We did a full functional analysis and then video taped his swing. All told, we spent about an hour evaluating him and then I spent another half hour going over his results.

When he came back, we talked about what was going on with his body and why he was having certain difficulties with his game. We spoke about balance and exercises. I told him about the program I had planned for him and how it would help to fix him physically so he could play better on the course.

He was more interested in the videos we shot and his swing evaluation. He went right out and started working on fixing his swing and the next time I saw him, he happily informed me that he had shaved more than 5 strokes off his last 3 rounds. We spoke a little more about the golf fitness exercises and conditioning program, but he was happy with his improvement and didn’t see the need to start putting in more time.

The next time I saw him was about a week later. He had called the office because he had hurt his upper back and shoulder in the middle of a round of golf. It turned out that he had a moderate tear in one of the muscles in his rotator cuff and injured the joint where one of his ribs met his spine.

It took us about three months to get him out of pain and back to playing. In my opinion, backed up by my Titleist Certified Golf Fitness Training, this was all avoidable if he had only followed through with my initial recommendations. The moral of the story is to make sure the golfer is in good shape before trying to fix his game.


The Back Care Center is located in Dumont, NJ and we see patients from our surrounding towns including Bergenfield, Bogota, Closter, Cresskill, Englewood, Harrington Park, New Milford, Ridgefield Park, Teaneck and Tenafly. Call us at 201-387-7463 to schedule an appointment today.

Fix the golfer first, then work on their game

Golf is a funny game: for many players, the harder they try, the poorer the results. A major reason is that amateur golfers are usually weekend warriors. They put little or no work into conditioning, and then they power swing every time they tee up the ball. Aches, pains and even serious injuries can be expected…and predicted.

Most amateur golfers hurt themselves not because they have a poor swing but because they have poor body mechanics. In other words, they simply can’t move their bodies into the positions required by the sport. Instead, they will seek out the help of a golf pro, taking countless lessons hoping to stop slicing into the woods or hooking into the water. Sometimes they’ll get better, but the majority of recreational players fail to take the basic steps necessary to really improve their game.

“Fix the player first, then work on their game.” All of my education and all of my Titleist Certified Golf Fitness training tells me this is the only way to make a good golfer out of an average weekend player. More importantly, we can help them to avoid hurting their back or shoulder or knee or wrist at the same time.

In my office, we run golfers through an exhaustive functional screening. We look at how they move and focus on the exact areas of their bodies that are causing issues. It can be a joint problem, a soft tissue injury or simply a coordination issue. Most of the time, the problems we find are not causing the golfer any pain but are significantly changing the way they swing the club.

By discovering where the problem is, we can help with appropriate therapies, stretching, massage therapy and golf exercises. Only then do we look at your golf swing, evaluate it and turn you over to Jon Manos, our PGA golf pro to help you correct the problems you might still have in your swing.

If you really want to fix your golf swing and you don’t want to sacrifice your health to the game, talk to The Back Care Center. First, we’ll fix you. Then we’ll take a swing at your swing.

60-Minute Massage and Exam for only $39 through Living Social

The Back Care Center of Dumont, NJ is running our first ever deal through Living Social, and we wanted to make sure everyone knows about it.

The deal is a 60-Minute Massage and Chiropractic Exam for only $39. Normally, this is an $80 value. And the deal is good whether you’re a current patient or a new patient, but you have to go through Living Social to get it. You can access the Living Social offer here, but because we’re so excited, we’re also reprinting the offer here:

Lately, your breakfast isn’t complete without a snap, crackle, and pop — the inevitable sounds from your back as you bend over your cereal bowl. Stifle the painful soundtrack with a 60-minute massage including a chiropractic exam from The Back Care Center in Dumont for $39 — an $80 value. Led by Dr. David Schwartz, this office boasts professionals well-versed in the interplay between physical fitness and sports therapy. With a chiropractic exam, you’ll learn how to address lingering pains like headaches, minor arthritis, and constant neck cricks. After identifying your trouble areas, your massage therapist will press, crack, and straighten for some welcome relief. It’s a deal so sweet, you might think it belongs in the pantry.

The one thing the ad didn’t mention is Alicia Brady, our amazing massage therapist some of you have already gotten to know. And if you haven’t had one of Alicia’s therapeutic massages, let me just say that you’re missing out on a truly great massage.

So head on over to Living Social and get yours today. It’s offered on the Bergen County Living Social, so if you’re in Dumont, Bergenfield, Closter, Cresskill, Englewood, New Milford and Harrington Park, you’re good to go

AARP: Think twice before going under the knife

I recently read an article in the recent issue of AARP The Magazine, 4 Surgeries to Avoid: Reasons to think twice before going under the knife, that talked about 4 surgeries that should be avoided. Personally, I think they were being kind by only listing 4, however one of them in particular caught my attention. Complex spinal fusions for Stenosis, where surgeons take a piece of bone and used it to fuse two other spinal bones together.

The most common reasons for spinal fusions are back pain, herniated discs and spinal stenosis (narrowing of the spinal canal due to degenerative changes in the spinal bones). Sadly, study after study has shown that surgery for back pain usually has poor long-term results.

Yet for some reason more surgeries are being done every year to address this very problem. Insurance companies willingly shell out tens of thousands of dollars for each procedure. Back pain sufferers think it’s a great deal because they only have to make a co-payment and the rest is covered. They must expect that the surgery will fix whatever the problem is instantly and they will never again be plagued by back pain of any type.

In fact, according to the AARP article:

Previous studies have also found that most fusion patients experience no more relief from their chronic back pain than those who had physical and behavioral therapy. “There is even some evidence that [complex fusion surgery] is worse than other surgeries,” says Floyd J. Fowler Jr., Ph.D., senior scientific advisor for the Foundation for Informed Medical Decision Making (FIMDM). “The vertebrae right above and below the fusion have to do a lot more bending, and it puts stress on your back above and below.”

I also have to question the motives of the doctors doing the procedures. After increasing evidence of failed back surgeries, I wonder if they just are hoping to make their money and run!

My advice is, even if you can get a back surgery at the bargain price of a $50 co-pay, don’t do it. There are multiple options to surgery and the studies all point to a better prognosis than if someone takes a knife to your back.

At The Back Care Center of Dumont, NJ, I use state-of-the-art non-surgical decompression for herniated and degenerated discs. I also use a combination of chiropractic adjustments, soft tissue work on the muscle, tendons and ligaments, and rehabilitative exercises. Our results are spectacular and have none of the risks associated with spinal surgery.

If I leave you with only one thought, I’d like it to be this: surgery is a permanent and life-altering process that you can’t undo. Consider trying non-surgical spinal decompression therapy and chiropractic care first. If it doesn’t work for you, there will be plenty of time to let somebody cut into your back and fuse your bones together later.

Are you stressed-out? Then join us for dinner and relax

We all get stressed. But we don’t have to surrender to it!

Join on Tuesday, June 14th at 7PM for a delicious dinner and interesting discussion about:

  • What stress is
  • How stress is affecting your health
  • What you can do about stress

Dinner will be at Spasso Italian Bistro at 172 Piermont Road, Cresskill, NJ.

IMPORTANT: This dinner is exclusively for new patients or existing patients of who bring a guest. Seating is limited to the first 20 people, so please contact The Back Care Center of Dumont, NJ to make your reservation right away.

RSVP at or call us at 201-387-7463.

And remember, if you’re feeling stressed and don’t want to wait that long, give us a call to make an appointment for massage therapy with Alicia.

Backpacks, correct posture and an exercise for your children

Backpack full of school supplies for Operation School Supplies at The Back Care Center

We at The Back Care Center of Dumont, NJ wanted to take a minute to talk to you about one of the most common causes of back pain and poor posture in students: backpacks. That’s right, backpacks.

Student backpacks frequently don’t fit well and are often overloaded with books, lunches, sports bottles and more. Carrying this type of load can lead to muscle fatigue and poor spinal posture, resulting in back pain, neck pain, shoulder problems and a host of other complaints.

So what can we do?

First make sure the backpack fits properly and your child is wearing it properly. The straps should be over both shoulders and should be cushioned to avoid digging into your child’s skin.

Second, here is a simple exercise you can have your children do correct poor postural habits:

Bruegger’s Exercise to correct poor postural habits

Perform this exercise for 30 to 60 seconds every hour or so. Sit on the edge of your chair with your feet flat on the floor and your hands by your sides. Lift your chest, arch your lower back slightly and point the crown of your head directly up at the ceiling — think tall. From this position, turn your palms outward, shrug your shoulders down and back and rotate your hips outward. Hold this position for the desired duration and then relax.

Thank You for Supporting Shelter Our Sisters at The Back Care Center

We wanted to thank all of you who made our “Shelter Our Sisters” fundraising week at The Back Care Center of Dumont, NJ a success. We especially wanted to say thanks to all the new patients who came in for adjustments, including the ladies from the Haworth Women’s Craft and Flea Market. We had new patients from Ridgefield Park, Bogota, New Milford, Teaneck, Dumont and, of course, Haworth.

It’s been a tough year for everyone, so it’s not surprising that we didn’t raise as much as we have in previous years. So even though our fundraising drive for Shelter Our Sisters is over, we wanted to take one last opportunity to remind you what a worthy cause they are.

Shelter Our Sisters is always there for women and children who have been the victims of domestic violence, and they never stop needing your help. They need donations, of course, but you can also help by donating your time, or goods like clothing, toys, disposable diapers and more.

You can find out more about “Shelter Our Sisters” by clicking on their name and visiting their website today.

Support Shelter Our Sisters May 9-14 at The Back Care Center of Dumont, NJ

Shelter Our Sisters, a Bergen County nonprofit providing safe housing, hotline counseling, and life-changing support services to women and children.Once again, as a member of Chiropractors Opposing Violence, The Back Care Center of Dumont, NJ will be providing services in exchange for donations to “Shelter Our Sisters.”

During the week of May 9-14, new and existing patients in Dumont, Bergenfield, Closter, Cresskill, Englewood, New Milford and Harrington Park will be able to save money and help an incredibly important cause.

The Back Care Center will provide:

  • Exams and X-Rays for a $30 donation
    (normally a $250 charge)
  • Adjustments for a $25 donation
    (one per patient, normally $65)

All money raised will be given to “Shelter Our Sisters” to help protect the victims of domestic violence. You can help stop the cycle of violence. Please call for an appointment today at 201-387-7463.

About Shelter Our Sisters

“Shelter Our Sisters” is a one of a kind organization here in Bergen County. According to their website:

Shelter Our Sisters assists women and children who are victims of domestic violence, including emotional, economic, sexual, and physical abuse. Available 24 hours, seven days a week, Shelter Our Sisters is Bergen County’s only nonprofit organization that provides safe housing, hotline counseling, and life-changing support services to hundreds of women and children each year.

You can find out more about “Shelter Our Sisters” by visiting their website today. They can always use in-kind donations, volunteers, and of course, financial assistance.

Chiropractors Opposing Violence

As a founderThe Back Care Center of Dumont, NJ is a member of Chiropractors Opposing Violence, dedicated to raising money to fight domestic violence. of Chiropractors Opposing Violence, Dr. David Schwartz has been raising money for “Shelter Our Sisters” for years. According to Dr. Schwartz, “Every 9 seconds someone is a victim of domestic violence. One of the most important ways we can help make a difference is by raising money to fight domestic violence. That’s why Chiropractors Opposing Violence” was formed.”

You can help stop the cycle of violence. Please call for an appointment today at 201-387-7463.

Meet The Back Care Center’s New PGA Golf Pro

We’re really happy at how our Golf Fitness program is shaping up at The Back Care Center of Dumont, NJ. We recently added Nick Manoy, our second Titleist Certified Golf Fitness Instructor. (Dr. David Schwartz was our first, of course!)

Jon Manos, the Golf Pro at The Back Care Center in Dumont NJAnd now, say hello to Jon Manos, our PGA Golf Pro and the back nine in our Golf Fitness program. After Dr. Dave and Nick get your body into shape for the greens, it’s Jon’s job to get your game into top form. He customizes his lessons according to your experience level, with special attention paid to muscle memory and correct body positioning.

Jon’s been a PGA teaching professional for 3 decades now, logging over 38,000 hours of instructional time at schools, universities and country clubs in the United States and in England. He’s been head golf instructor at Holy Angels Academy, and assistant coach at Columbia University, Fairleigh Dickinson University and Bergen Catholic High School.

In addition to being our house golf pro, Jon also runs the Jon Manos Golf Academy at the Closter Golf Center in Closter, NJ.

Call the office to get an initial Golf Fitness Assessment, or to make an appointment with Jon. You can also email us at

And please be sure to check out our latest golf fitness exercises and golf drill videos.

Free Tax Relief Day Massages Exceed Expectations

Tax Day 2011 has come and gone… and The Back Care Center did its part to reduce some of the stress thanks to Alicia, one of our two new massage therapists on staff.

Patients from Dumont, Bergenfield, Cresskill and Closter and even as far away as Harrington Park had their minds taken off their money, at least for a few minutes. Alicia was on her feet most of the day!

Thank you to all who participated. And remember, every year, if it’s Tax Day, it’s also Tax Relief Day here at The Back Care Center in Dumont, where you can grab a few moments of free relief amidst the sea of stress.

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