Eliminating Short Leg: Cycling Performance

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Eliminating Short Leg: Cycling Performance

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“I knew a lot about the negative effects leg-length differences have on cycling performance before I had my unequal leg-lengths corrected by Dr. Groover. Leg-length differences are a big bike-fitting challenge I’ve dealt with in my bike frame-building company since the early 1980’s. Naturally, a way to correct these length differences on a long-term basis appeals to me.

For me, working with Dr. Groover is fascinating, informative, and generally very useful. I have been to Dr. Groover after many injuries about which I’ve seen many health practitioners. In almost every case, the unique way Dr. Groover explained the problem, treated it, and the rehab exercises he gave me made more difference to my healing than anything else I had tried.

From having my leg lengths even, my back pain is reduced and my pedaling is smoother and more comfortable. Dr. Groover’s adjustments hold for a long time — until my next bike or ski crash. I did not previously know how correctable most leg-length differences are (for the long term). I recommend Boulder Chiropractic Clinic because Dr. Groover’s treatments are effective, and the beneficial effects are lasting. The benefits riders will appreciate the most are more comfort, especially on long rides – low back, shoulders, and neck, as well as a smoother and more powerful pedal stroke.

The quality of care at Groover Clinic is high. Its Physiological Short Leg Correction program gets your human frame aligned. The Groovers offer high quality advanced treatment programs for taking care of you completely.

To take care of your injuries, I recommend Boulder Clinic’s advanced Holistic Injury Prevention and Treatment Program. Also take advantage of Groover’s Holistic Neuro-Muscular-Skeletal Performance and Wellness Program as a way to fine tune the way your body functions. And for optimizing energy production, power and endurance, try the Metabolic Performance and Wellness Program.

I recommend Boulder Clinic to any cyclist experiencing back, neck, shoulder, or joint pain. But really, in my experience, almost anybody from their teen years on could benefit from it. That’s because due to injury, or to carrying a backpack or purse for years over one shoulder, or to other posture habits, almost everyone has their head carriage off and stands with more weight on one foot than the other. And, while I’ve been to many practitioners who would improve that temporarily, only Dr. Groover’s methods have ever made a lasting difference. My first correction from him held from two years!”

Lennard Zinn is founder and President of Zinn Cycles Inc., Senior Technical Writer for VeloNews, Author, Zinn and the Art of Road Bike Maintenance/Zinn and the Art of Mountain Bike Maintenance/Zinn’s Cycling Primer/ Zinn and the Art of Triathlon Bikes.

Race Across America World Champion Kami White

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“We’ve ridden exclusively on the tandem (for the past 27 years!) We take pride in pushing boundaries for what Tandems can achieve.  In 2013 we became the first tandem to complete the Colorado Triple Crown, the country’s hardest double century series, setting course records for tandem on all three courses. In 2014 we set a tandem course record on hoodoo 500. And in 2015 we were on the 4-tandem mixed RAAM team that shattered the course record that had stood for 19 years, for a 4-tandem mixed team under 50 (and the over 50 record while we were at it.) 3050 miles on 6 days 10 hours 37 minutes. We’re planning a Great Divide off pavement tandem expedition for 2017.” Andy White

Race Across America Finish Line Podium

Race Across America Finish Photo

Race Across America Racers and Crew

Bicycle Racing Association of Colorado Frostbite Time Trial

Climbing into sunrise in the Appalachian Mountains

Low Back Pain: Understanding, Correcting and Managing Healthy Lumbar Curvature and Pelvic Tilt

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Spinal curves are essential for balance, flexibility, and stress absorption and distribution.

Lumbar Curve and Pelvic Tilt Mythology

Of the 80% who have low back pain, an inordinate number seem to be getting, and worsening this condition from believing in some common low back pain-perpetuating myths. These myths surround misconceptions about the role played by the lumbar curve and the pelvic tilt. Their lumbar curve and pelvic tilt assumptions come from an uninformed aesthetic, structural and functional point of view.


Sitting in forward flexed “C-Shape” flattens your low back curve.

Flattening Your Lumbar Curve

Forward bending exercises and stretches, without objective assessment of lumbar curvature, may cause you to develop an abnormally flat low back.

Sitting in a “C- shape”, the shape forced upon us when we sit in a bucket seat, will flatten your low back too.

Ligament Injuries

Flattening your lumbar curve moves your spinal load forward, stretching open and spraining the posterior ligaments of your lumbar spine. Injured ligaments cause joints to become unstable — predisposing them to further misalignments and resulting nerve, inflammation, muscle and pain problems.

Disc Injuries

Chronic straightening and loading of your lumbar with spinal loading forces the intervertebral disc’s nucleus posterior, increasing your risk for nerve encroachment from disc herniation.

Flattening your lumbar curve overloads your front-side lumbar discs, increasing your risk for acute disc injury (bulging, herniation, rupture) and disc degeneration. Flattening your lumbar curve removes or decreases that curve’s spring-action, shock-absorbing function. Therefore, pounding forces traveling through your spine, previously absorbed by this spring, are focused upon your anterior lumbar discs.

Posterior Pelvis Rotation

Rotating your pelvis in the posterior direction additionally flattens your lumbar curve, adding to your already elevated risk for acute lumbar disc injuries and degenerative arthritis of the lumbar spine.

Also, by rotating your pelvis in the posterior direction, it is often believed that you activate your abdominal core muscles, stabilizing your pelvis, low back and rib cage. Unfortunately posterior pelvic rotation does not activate your abdominal core. By assuming that it does; and by using this maneuver during spinal loading activities like lifting, pushing and pulling; you exposes your unstable pelvis, low back and rib cage to joint misalignments and acute joint injuries.

Hyperlordosis (excessive lumbar curve) with accompanying anterior pelvic rotation loads your posterior spine.

Excessive Lumbar Curve

On the other hand, excessive lumbar curve and forward rotation of your pelvis shifts the loading down your posterior lumbar spine. Doing so stretches and sprains your lumbar spine’s anterior ligaments, resulting in associated ligament-injury problems.

Posterior loading of your lumbar spine takes the load off your intervertebral discs and shifts it upon your lumbar facet joints. Overloading of these joints causes compressive joint ligament injuries and joint surface wear and tear, bone deformation and arthritis.

Overloaded lumbar facet joints compress, jam, fixate, inflame and are painful.

Joint Pounding

Your lumbar discs cushion and absorb shocks passing along your spine. Shifting loading forces from your lumbar discs to your facet joints exposes these joints, and also joints throughout your entire body, to excessive pounding.

Abdominal core activation compresses abdominal contents, producing a “fluid-filled” column supporting up to 40% of your weight transferred between your thorax to your pelvis.

Bypassing Abdominal Core

Posterior lumbar load-shifting will bypasses the the critical weight-bearing/weight-transferring work performed by your abdominal core musculature.

Bypassing Lumbar “Leaf-Spring”

Furthermore, posterior loading of your lumbar spine diverts shock-producing forces from becoming dissipated through the leaf-spring action of the lumbar curve and into the posterior facet joints of your lumbar spine.


How’s Your Baseline Fitness?

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When performance of your activities of daily living are successful and within your ability to maintain good health, you have baseline fitness. Looking specifically at your joints, when you do your everyday lifting, bending, sitting, walking, running, pushing, pulling and throwing, do your joints remain stable? Are they already aligned or are they misaligned? If they are aligned, when you use them, do they remain aligned? How do you know if your joints are aligned in the first place? How do you know if you have healthy brain-to-nerve-to-muscle-to-joint feedback?

Of course you may come to see me and I’ll answer these questions for you. However, by using the following criteria, you should be able give yourself a fairly accurate assessment.

  1. Do you have joint aches or pains? When your joints miss-align, their state of abnormal mechanics cause them to grind and chafe, to become inflamed and they hurt.
  2. Do you have muscle aches or pains? When your joints miss-align, their associated nerve endings will report this to your brain. You brain will respond to this abnormal feedback by contracting certain muscles. Long-term muscle shortening strangles the muscular blood supply, cutting off the exchange of oxygen (anoxia) and nutrients with carbon dioxide and other waste products. Contracted, oxygen-deprived, waste-saturated muscles hurt.
  3. Are your joints stiff? Contracted muscles stiffen your joints.
  4. Are your muscles weak? Poor neuromuscular control of your joints weakens your muscles.

The stability your joints depends upon their ability to function with strength, flexibility and comfort. Your joint-mover and joint-stabilizer muscles must be reporting and receiving normal information to and from your brain. While your joint mover-muscles remain active, your joint stabilizer muscles must effectively oppose the actions of your joint-movers to keep your joints aligned and healthy. This is joint fitness in a nutshell.


Neuromuscular Education of Your Knee & Joints

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Neuromuscular re-education is an attempt to teach your body to move normally through analysis of your abnormal movement and then learning and practicing the normal movement. Theoretically, your normal movement patterns involve specific nerve signals transmitted through specific nerve tracts between your muscles and your brain. By practicing normal movement repeatedly over time, these nerve tracts become reinforced and these normal muscle movement patterns are learned and remembered. It is thought that normal muscle movement patterns are disrupted when nerves or muscles are injured, and normal movement may be regained through Neuromuscular re-education.

I find it is true that abnormal movement results from nerve and muscle injuries and may be relearned. However, it is my clinical experience that certain conditions must be in place for that to occur. Namely, movement-disrupting injuries are more extensive than those to nerves and muscles, and to restore normal movement, these injuries must be healed.

The traumas which injure muscles and nerves will most likely injure your joints too. In most of my cases, joint injury is the primary injury and the nerve and muscle injuries are secondary to (they are caused by) the joint injury. Joint injuries occur from both acute and repetitive stress traumas. Acute traumas abound in contact sports and motor vehicle collisions, where excessive forces sprain your ligaments, strain your muscles and bruise your nerves, and worse. Accompanying these sprains and strains are displacements of your bones from their healthy, neutral alignments within your joint capsules.

Your joints contain bone, cartilage and synovial fluid encapsulated by ligaments, muscles and membranes. Your joints contain nerve endings (mechanoreceptors) which deliver feedback such as information about the alignment of the bones within your joints, joint capsular pressure, ligament, tendon and muscle tension/tone and the position of your limbs in space. When your joints are injured, and therefore misaligned, feedback from these injured joints to your central nervous system becomes abnormal. You’ve heard the expression “garbage in — garbage out”. The control of the nerves associated with those injured  joints is disrupted or lost and abnormal motion of the joints ensues.

In this case, treating the abnormal muscles and nerves without realigning the joint and healing the ligament and other soft tissue injuries can only go so far. Based upon my clinical experience, I propose that the injured ligaments, tendons, muscles and nerves will not effectively heal until their associated joints are realigned and are moving normally in the first place.


Trauma Release, With Dr. Judd and Dr. Tom Groover

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Trauma, both big and small build up and shut us down. Obvious traumas from car crashes or contact sports produce physical pain. Do you know that less severe traumas may not produce obvious symptoms, but their cumulative affect contributes to your mental, emotional and physiological stress load and impairs your capacity for perception, thinking, feeling and physical functioning. Former CU Buffalo running-back and performance-psychologist Dr. Judson Johns joins Dr. Tom Groover to discuss this phenomenon and the best ways to release trauma, reduce your stress/performance-barrier load and achieve much better performance in sports and life.


Much Larger Hip Muscle Strength Increases Measured 60 Minutes Later, By Dr. Tom Groover

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At Boulder Chiropractic Clinic, we measured a new patient’s hip muscle strengths 60 minutes apart, first before and then after the patient’s first lumbar/pelvis specific chiropractic treatment. The average hip muscle strength increase was 233.8%. There was a 31.98% average decrease in strength disparity between the patient’s right and left sides. The greatest strength improvement occurred with the patient’s left hip adductors, 1215.1% increase, measured with the patient supine while the hips were flexed and knees were simultaneously bent upward.

Manual testing of the patient’s hip muscles was performed earlier during his initial global screening consultation, and his hip adductor musc were noted to be very weak. Hip adductors are core muscles primarily responsible for stabilizing your legs, pelvis and low back,  keeping them aligned within your frontal plane (side-to-side orientation when viewed front-to-back). Weakness of these muscles allows your legs to abduct (spread apart), disturbing the upright alignment of your body and exposing it to injuries. Weakness of the hip adductors while both hips and knees are flexed specifically indicates misalignment (subluxation) of the pubic symphysis, a joint subluxation (misalignment less than a dislocation) which contributes to subluxations of your sacroiliac joints, hip sockets, low back vertebra, knees, ankles and feet, and everywhere else in your body for that matter.

Joint subluxations cause loss of neuromuscular control, meaning your movement will be weaker and less coordinated. The subluxation’s associated mechanical problems cause acute joint injuries and chronic joint wear and tear leading to degenerative arthritis.

The huge increase in hip adductor strength seen in this study demonstrates that the patient’s pubic symphysis was subluxated, but also that this subluxation was severely impairing his latently immense hip adductor muscle strength. The patient is an advanced athlete and reported that jumping up into a standing position upon an exercise ball had been a challenge before he began his joint corrective care.

The second measurement taken 60 minutes after the first, was take after the patient’s pelvis was leveled, upper back aligned with his center-of-gravity and standing body weight balanced between the rights and left sides of his body, and pubic symphysis, sacroiliac joints and low back joints were aligned. On the patient’s next follow-up visit the patient reported that immediately after receiving this corrective care, he began jumping up on the ball and standing there without hesitation or instability, and was able to do his cable resistance training there without stumbling, wavering or losing his balance.


Helping A Snowboarder Avert Expensive Surgery, Ben Classen With Dr. Tom Groover

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As part of our ongoing YouTube interviews, Boulder holistic chiropractor Dr. Tom Groover recently caught up with one of his former patients, Ben Classen.

Ben  joined Colorado University’s snowboarding team as a manager six months prior to experiencing a severe shoulder injury. He dislocated his arm and fractured several bones from overshooting a jump, and received the news that he would need to spend over $20,000 on surgery to fix his shoulder and that he wouldn’t be snowboarding any time soon.

Luckily, he heard that Dr. Groover would not only help Ben heal without going into surgery, but that he’d be back to snowboarding in a couple of weeks!

Watch the whole interview below to learn how Dr. Groover healed the athlete.

A Boulder Chiropractor’s Winter Snow-Shoveling Tips

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Dr. Tom Groover of Boulder’s distinguished Groover Chiropractic Clinic is hoping to save a few backs this snowy season! Winter weather has blasted into town already…so be warned! If your body isn’t in proper condition, the oh-so-required (and oh-so-not-popular) winter chore of shoveling driveways and sidewalks presents potential for spasms, strains, sprains and all kinds of other unsavory health problems, according to Dr. Groover. This seemingly harmless task can quickly turn into a prolonged nightmare of pain and discomfort; the bending and twisting that’s oft-seen when tossing a shovelful of heavy snow can aggravate lower back discs. Plus, the overall physical exertion required may result in painful holiday injuries if your body is not properly conditioned.

Healthy Shoveling TipsDr. Groover advises Coloradoans to thus be prepared for the onslaught and to follow these tips for proper snow shoveling:

  1. Layer clothing to keep your muscles warm and flexible.
  2. Clear snow as soon as it stops falling. Freshly fallen snow is lighter.
  3. Take it slow! Pace yourself and take breaks. Keep a cell phone handy in case of emergency.
  4. Don’t pick up too much snow at once. Use a small shovel, or fill it only one-fourth to one-half if you use a large shovel. If necessary, just push the snow as you shovel. It’s easier on your back. Keep the load of snow as close to your body as possible.
  5. Avoid sudden twisting and turning motions, especially if you’re carrying a shovelful of heavy snow.
  6. Shoveling can stress “de-conditioned” muscles that rest in between shoulders, in your upper back, and in your lower back, buttocks and legs. Thus, it’s helpful to do some warm-up stretches before you grab that shovel.
  7. When you do shovel, push the snow straight ahead. DO NOT THROW IT. Walk it to the snow bank.
  8. Protect your back. Bend from the knees, not your back. Lift with your legs bent, stand with your feet about hip width for balance and keep the shovel close to your body. Try not to twist. If you move the snow to one side, move your feet to face the direction the snow will be going.
  9. Again, bend your knees to lift when shoveling. Let the muscles of your legs and arms do the work, not your back.
  10. Take frequent rest breaks to take the strain off your muscles. A fatigued body asks for injury.

After any of these activities, if you’re sore, apply ice to the affected area for 20 minutes, and then take it off for a couple of hours. Repeating this icing routine a couple times a day over the next few days should resolve your pain from normal muscle strain.

If you continue to feel any stiffness, soreness or pain after following these tips, more likely than not, you have misaligned your spine, pelvis, shoulders, etc., and it’s time for you to visit a Boulder chiropractor to properly diagnose and treat your condition and get to the root of the cause. Dr. Groover offers free global screening consultations; for more information, please visit his Boulder chiropractic clinic online or give us a call at (303) 442-7772.

Photo Credit: By Anna Reg (Own work) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC BY-SA 3.0 at (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/at/deed.en)], via Wikimedia Commons

Prevent High School Sports Injuries by Addressing the Root of the Problem

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The new school year in the fall brings with it a new season of high school sports and activities. For athletes and their families, this means excitement, achievement, and possible injuries. Students face increasing demands on their developing skeletons, which make them more vulnerable to internal damage and imbalance. In the offseason, athletes may not have spent time conditioning themselves and they jump into the preseason unfit, which leads to susceptibility to many injuries. Sports injuries, while painful, can also be discouraging for athletes and their families, affecting grades, motivation, and confidence. By focusing on the root of the problem and providing natural solutions to help heal the injury, the Groover Clinic holistic sports injury program helps athletes perform at their very best.

Sports injuries can be the culprit for shoulder misalignments, which can create pain in the shoulders, neck, upper arms, and back. What’s our secret to successful shoulder care and healing? Evaluation and treatment of ALL factors influencing your shoulders.


Joint and muscle pain could be caused by exceeding your skill level, or it could mean abnormal joint function and structure. Our Boulder chiropractic clinic will carefully match your current ability with your current level of participation by considering baseline fitness and the structural and functional health of your joints and the rest of your body. A comprehensive evaluation may reveal undiscovered injuries that cause pain, dampen performance and increase your risk for further acute injuries.

Working together we plan the best course of holistic treatment to help you be a stronger, more coordinated athlete, which will ultimately help to prevent injuries.





Special thanks to the following for use of photographs: Chuck, Ron, and K.M.