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Why Dizzy Dean's toe matters for your shoulder pain

Dizzy Dean was a baseball pitcher in the 1930's who was inducted into the hall of fame in 1958. He was known for his phenomenal pitching form. So when biomechanical nerds (like myself) look back at his technique it is fantastic! Imagine throwing in the major leagues while simultaneously in a front split, with perfect trunk rotation, and a packed shoulder?! Okay, so you're not as excited as I am, it's cool. I'm not a baseball player but I can see functional movement when I see it and Dizzy was a spectacle. So why does some old guys toe matter to my shoulder pain?


Well, Dizzy took a line drive from a baseball right to his big toe (ouch!). This broke his toe and forced him to take time off to let it recover. After "recovering" he always complained about not being able to fully flex his toe. But it's his toe... who cares? Throw the freaking ball! Well who cared was his shoulder. Because he was lacking range of motion in his toe, when he went to pitch he had to find range of motion in another joint. It just so happens that his shoulder was the joint that took up the slack. Well the abnormal biomechanics in the shoulder lead to a rotator cuff tear and ended his career as a pitcher.


So when you come in for treatment at Hybrid Spine and Sport we make sure to check the entire system. You might not be a hall of famer pitcher, but if you've sprained an ankle that didn't heal right and you enjoy running. Chances are your knees are going to start to give you problems. The ankle is the primary condition in this example and the knee is the secondary condition. We can throw treatments at a secondary condition until the cows come home but chances are it won't help and the knee won't get better. So we try to focus on finding those primary conditions and fixing the function of the body. By fixing the ankle we can fix the knee.


This is also a huge advantage on coming to see us regularly to address these primary conditions before they come painful secondary ones. Obviously, if you take a line drive to the big toe and the bone breaks there's not a lot of preventative care that can stop that from happening. Most conditions are ones of microtrauma and poor function which leads to pain. These are the conditions that we can try to prevent or slow down by coming in regularly. Plus, it just feels good to get adjusted and have some soft tissue work done.


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