It seems like this year’s Major League Baseball season has been riddled with injuries. Unfortunately, you can add another big name to that list. It was announced at the end of last week that Alex Rodriguez of the New York Yankees would miss 4-6 weeks of action after an MRI revealed a torn meniscus in his right knee. What’s interesting is that A-Rod missed time two years ago with a torn labrum in his right hip and again last year with tendonitis in his right hip. Is it simply coincidental that these injuries are all “right-sided”? I don’t think so.
Last week I wrote a post about Boston’s Jon Lester and why he suffered a shoulder injury in his last start. Although, as a Yankee fan, it pained me to offer help to the rival Red Sox, I had to do it. These multi-million-dollar athletes are expected to perform at the highest level, night in and night out, and their bodies just aren’t letting them do it. As with any client we have walk through our doors, my job is to figure out why they hurt. I did it with Lester’s injury last week, and I’ll do it again today with A-Rod’s. As usual, we are looking at posture and dysfunction, so let’s take a look…
In this first picture, I probably don’t even have to say it, but his left shoulder is essentially in his ear! Just look at how much higher it is than his right shoulder. I could stop the postural analysis right there, knowing that if Alex doesn’t get his upper body working properly, his lower body has ZERO chance to work properly, but I’ll dig a little deeper.
Remember earlier I mentioned that all of A-Rod’s injuries are right-sided? Take a look at this next photo. You think he’s over-loading his right side just a little bit?
Think about it this way: A-Rod has a history of right-side pain–Right hip (tendonitis and a torn labrum) and right knee (torn meniscus)–yet he’s standing directly on that side. Doesn’t common knowledge say that when something hurts we come away from the pain? Alex standing on his right side is the equivalent of me and you having lengthy conversation while I rest my hand on a hot burner. If you think I’m going to do that, you can think again! A-Rod’s left shoulder and left hip are both elevated, and his right knee is hyperextended. Not really the ideal picture of function.
If you’re struggling with pain that is generally one-sided, I want you to do something for me. Slip your shoes off, stand up, and close your eyes. I want you to think about where you feel the weight in your feet. Which foot is heavier into the floor? Take your time. Turn off anything that might be distracting you–TV, iPod, etc.–and really tune in to your body. Now that you’ve determined where your weight is, how does that correlate to your pain? I’m going to guess that 85% or more of you are weight-bearing on your pain side. Instead of coming away from your pain, you’re going toward your pain. Seems backward, doesn’t it?
A-Rod is simply out of balance. I don’t think his left side is functioning properly and until he gets it functional, he’s essentially playing a game of roulette with his body. He’s taking chances, very expensive chances if you’re in the front office of the Yankees, that will catch up with him again and again. To this point his athletic ability has trumped his lack of function, but the clock is ticking. Alex, you can’t keep treating the site of the right-side injury when the cause is on the left side of your body. Get your left hip and shoulder in the right position and you’ll be fine. Not only can I help get you functional, but I will also elongate your career. Do I have your attention yet?
QUESTION: What injury has the star player on your favorite team suffered? Comment below, or email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org, and I’ll write a post about why I believe it happened.