Doctor with anatomical spine in clinic.

(Photo by 123RF)

Navy Vet’s Golf Game Interrupted

A Navy veteran came in after suffering from back pain for three weeks. This patient is an avid golfer and played a vigorous game three days before the visit. Unfortunately, this further aggravated his back pain, which he now rated at “6” on a 10-point scale, where “10” is the worst pain imaginable. Clearly, he needed to find substantial relief before golf could resume.

Feet Not Firmly on the Ground

Misalignments in the lower back that cause pain often also cause disturbed sensation in the feet. Examination with a tuning fork indicated the right foot was less sensitive to vibration than the left foot. The same nerve circuitry that enables us to feel vibration also enables us to sense pressure. Disturbed pressure sense in the feet could affect balance.

The patient was asked to stand on one leg for as long as possible. The test was then repeated on the other leg. His single leg balance was extremely poor – three seconds on each leg. Both doctor and patient now understood that pain was not his only problem; the veteran’s poor balance placed him at risk for future injury due to falls. Going forward, it was going to be difficult returning to golf with his feet not firmly on the ground.

Four Days Later

Chiropractic adjustments were administered to correct misalignments (aka subluxations) in the lower back. Four days later, the patient returned for follow-up. Sensitivity to vibration in the feet was not totally normal yet, but much improved. Single leg balance was now thirty seconds on each leg. He rated his pain at “3” and felt he would soon be able to return to the sport he enjoyed.

It’s Not Just Amateurs

Amateurs such as our Navy veteran are not alone in using chiropractic care to get back on the fairway. Professional golfers frequently make use of chiropractic care. For example, consider this quote attributed to Tiger Woods:

“I’ve been going to chiropractors for as long as I can remember. It’s as important to my training as practicing my swing.”

Woods’ use of chiropractic care is consistent with a 2009 Brazilian study that found stretching exercises plus chiropractic adjustments to improve golf swing to a greater extent than stretching alone.

Archer’s Aim Thrown Off

A 30-year-old cable technician was experiencing the sensation of the room spinning around her. This vertigo had been going on for approximately one week and was often triggered by going up or down in an elevator. Not only was this disturbing symptom threatening her performance at work, but it was also problematic during recreation – she enjoyed target sports such as archery.

The “Leaky Vibe”

With a vibrating tuning fork placed on the center of her head, the patient was asked whether the vibration sense was centered on the tuning fork. She replied that the vibration seemed to “leak” to the right of the fork. A 2023 paper in a chiropractic journal described this innovative use of tuning fork testing. The “leaky vibe” result has often been found to be related to problems in the skull and/or vertebrae. In this case, chiropractic adjustments were delivered to the jaw, upper back, and one of the subtly movable joints (called “sutures”) at the back of the skull.

The Elevator Test

Following the adjustment, the “leaky vibe” test was repeated. The patient stated the vibration was now “centered”. She was asked to take a ride down and back up in the building’s elevator. She stated there was a slight vertigo sensation, but much less severe and distressing than before the adjustment.

It’s Not Just Sports

Although many people seek chiropractic care to overcome injuries and/or improve performance in golf, target sports, baseball, football, judo, and other sports, the misalignments (subluxations) assessed by chiropractic examination affect activities of daily living as well. Imagine pulling weeds in your garden while experiencing vertigo. Consider the increased risk of falling on an icy sidewalk or wet floor when your balance is off. Overcoming injury and improving neurological fitness in everyday life as well as sports is the reason for the Doctor of Chiropractic to practice.

Sources for this Article

Case of the Archer with Vertigo: Masarsky CS. Alternate Uses for the Tuning Fork. Asia-Pac Chiropr J,2023; 4-2: Masarsky CS. Alternate uses for the Tuning Fork: Doctor, test thyself [The wide-angle lens]. Asia-Pac Chiropr J. 2023;4.1 - Page 2 (

Chiropractic and Golf: Costa SMV, Chibana YET, Giavarotti L, Compagnoni DS, Shiono AH, Satie J. Bracher ESB. Effect of Spinal Manipulative Therapy with Stretching Compared with Stretching Alone on Full-Swing Performance of Golf Players: A Randomized Pilot Trial. J Chiropr Med, 2009; 8(4): 165-170. 10.1016/j.jcm.2009.06.002

Chiropractic and Judo: Botelho MB, Andrade BB. Effect of Cervical Spine Manipulative Therapy on Judo Athletes’ Grip Strength. J Manipulative Physiol Ther, 2012; 35(1): 38-44:

Chiropractic and Baseball: Dintenfass J. Dr. Erie Painter, Pioneer Sports Chiropractor, Presents His Experiences with Boston Braves and New York Yankees. Chiropr Sports Med, 1987; 1(3): 114-115.

Chiropractic and Football: Redwood D, Stump JL. The Use and Role of Sport Chiropractors in the National Football League: A Short Report. J Manipulative Physiol Ther, 2002; 25(3):


While serving as a medical specialist (MOS 91-B) in the U.S. Army Reserve, Dr. Masarsky earned his Doctor of Chiropractic degree from New York Chiropractic College (now Northeast College of Health Sciences) in 1981. He is in the private practice of chiropractic in the Virginia suburbs of Washington DC with his wife and partner, Dr. Marion Todres-Masarsky. For further information or appointments, contact Dr. Masarsky at 703-938-6441 or His practice’s newsletters, doctors’ biographies, published clinical papers, and You Tube channel can be accessed at this website:

The best stories from the Pacific, in your inbox

Sign up for our weekly newsletter of articles from Japan, Korea, Guam, and Okinawa with travel tips, restaurant reviews, recipes, community and event news, and more.

Sign Up Now