Pro Golf Health - Dr Dale Richardson
Titleist Performance Institute Advisory Medical Board
PGH is a leading performance health services company which has been involved in
professional golf for the past 11 years and contracts with some of the finest professional
golfers in the world, such as Padraig Harrington, Henrik Stenson, Robert Karlsson, Ross
Fisher, Oliver Wilson, Graeme McDowell and many more. PGH practitioners are in
attendance at over 30 tournaments on the European Tour & also 30 tournaments on the
PGA Tour. This is what their founding Director & Sports Chiropractor, Dr Dale Richardson,
has to say about Nemidon Gels....
“ProGolf Health selected Nemidon Gels as the product of choice in treating the soft tissues
injuries typically involved in professional golf. All ProGolf Health Sports Chiropractors &
Sports Physiotherapists use Nemidon Gels on our professional golfers because we have
found it to be the most effective product in its field."
Nemidon Gels : Why and how we use them.
I began working in professional golf in 1990 and for the first 5 years I tried and trialled
a number of massage and soft tissue therapeutic gels looking for something that would
assist in the therapeutic process and accelerate healing of the types of conditions
I was discovering with professional golfers.
During this first 5 years of working with the players on the PGA Tour Australasia, it
became evident that with professional golfers there was a pattern of dysfunction.
The repetitive action, postural loading and neuromuscular imbalance pattern required
to play professional golf (and or for that matter, amateur golf over a number of years)
was creating an ongoing pathophysiological process of accumulative insult to the soft
tissues, to the joints and their capsules, ligaments & cartilages and to the neurological system.
The problem is that even though these stresses/insults are relatively small in the short
term, the cumulative affect is very damaging over the years that a professional golfer
has to practice & play to become successful at his/her trade.
These minor accumulating repetitive strains/sprains, neuromuscular postural loading
and patterns of movement were creating the foundation, if left untreated, for an
ongoing chronic injury cycle. Minor myofascial adhesions were being created and
affected the soft tissues, the joints (capsules, ligaments & cartilages) and the
neurological system (myofascial nerve entrapments). All of these soft tissue stresses
and neuromuscular dysfunctions build over time eventually leading to gross
dysfunction in the musculoskeletal system. In this state the professional golfer was
“an accident waiting to happen” as they might not have had any symptoms to this
stage. Typically they would present with low back, mid back, neck and or wrist
conditions which came on “out of the blue” or with very little stress involved.
Understanding the professional golfers pathophysiological process of decline is critical
to their care. This is why I am of the opinion that all professional golf injuries are
preventable. This comment obviously excludes any acute traumatic insult like being
hit by a golf ball, or spraining an ankle walking on an uneven surface etc. Critical also
in my process of discovery was to find a soft tissue gel or application that best worked
with the types of conditions that I was finding. What I mean by assisting the therapeutic
process” is that the product had to make the hands-on myofascial techniques, which I
was predominantly using, more effective or simply easier to do. Secondarily I wanted
to use something that, by my trials, proved to accelerate the healing of these conditions.
After trialing a significant number of products in my first 5 years, I discovered a
product made in New Zealand called “All Black ‘n Blue” by Sports Essentials
(the company is now named Nemidon Gels). There were a number of things that
impressed me about this product....
First, was its viscosity. It was perfect in assisting the myofascial techniques I employed
to deal with the soft tissue adhesions I was finding in the professional golfers, ie not
too oily or slippery, which would not allow enough traction, and not too thick, which in
turn would produce too much friction.
Secondly, what impressed me were the ingredients. All Black & Blue contained a
number of essential oils which I was familiar with and knew would accelerate the
healing process of the conditions I was treating.
Thirdly, I was impressed by the use of the Seaweed Colloids, a proven hydration
& delivery system for the ingredients deep into the dermal layers (for more
information on this point see http://www.nemidon.com/hydrating.php &
Finally, I was also impressed with its smell; a pleasant aroma, which remained so, both
to the players and myself, even when using it repeatedly during a tournament week.
So I began using the All Black ‘n Blue in 1995 and was then introduced to Nemidon
Gels’ other products: EZE, Ultra Hydration Gel, Footcare Gel & Chafe Block.
Immediately I began experimenting using a combination of All Black & Blue, Eze and
Ultra Hydration Gel on my professional golfers throughout their tournament weeks.
Over time I found that All Black ‘n Blue was best suited to the Tuesday and Wednesday
of the tournament week when I worked more deeply on the soft tissues and associated
structures in an attempt to get more long term changes.
Eze I found was best utilized post round on the Thursday, Friday & Saturday of the
tournament week, when my therapy was less demanding on the body and more
focused on the professional golfer’s cumulative chronic conditions that they had
developed over time from their sport. As for the pre-round musculoskeletal balancing
and warm up/stretch sessions (Thursday, Friday, Saturday & Sunday of the tournament
week), the Ultra Hydration Gel mixed with other Chinese Medicine products I use (to
increase blood flow & heat in the muscles) has proven to be ideal.Of the many other
benefits associated with these products, it is important to note that Nemidon Gels as
a company are committed to ongoing research, ie double blind studies into the
effectiveness of their products.
For further information on such studies, please contact Nemidon Gels at
Dr Dale Richardson
Director, ProGolf Health
Sometimes you have to be clever, even cunning,
when practising zoo vetinary medicine, in order
to treat your patients. A group of chimpanzees
(Pans Tryglodytes) was one challenge for
Wellington Zoo in New Zealand. The chimps had
developed painful cracks and fissures on their
feet and dry skin over their backs as a result of
sunburn. In the past the vets at the zoo had used
topical treatments with limited success because it
was difficult to administer them to untrained animals. However, they saw a marked
improvement when sunflower oil was added to the chimps’ diet. But, as summer
approached, the animals began to get unusually sunburned. One cause could have
been the sunflower oil coming out in their skin so the practice was stopped.
However, without it, the dryness and cracking returned.
Relief from seaweed!
Then the Zoo heard about a product from Nemidon Gels that greatly helped
humans with similar dry skin conditions. It was Ultra Hydration Gel manufactured
from natural ingredients including seaweed. It proved effective after only three
days’ use on the chimps. Not only could it be applied as a spray, but after the
initial treatment, application was only required twice daily. And that eventually
reduced to twice weekly. The chimpanzees found the applications so pleasant that
they willingly offered their feet for treatment without any other rewards. Part of
the appeal may have been the cooling effect of the spray. The Ultra Hydration Gel
is derived from seaweed and contains none of the chemicals such as alcohol,
parabens, grease or perfume that the chimps find noxious. The polysaccharide
structure of a seaweed-based gel exploits nature’s own design that prevents
beached seaweed from drying out too much. The large cavities between long
tubules of polysaccharide units are used by seaweeds to hold on to the chemicals
that are of value to them. Nemidon used this characteristic to manufacture a gel
that would store water and active ingredients. Because the chimpanzees licked
at their feet after treatment it was also important that the product was harmless
if ingested and this, of course, was another benefit this natural gel could offer.
How it works
The success of the treatment for the chimps is attributed to the regular applications
they received plus the features of the product itself. The gel actually forms a thin
film above the surface of the skin, trapping a layer of moist air that is just a few
nanometers thick. The vapour pressure in this layer is controlled by the gel. If the
skin is initially dry the gel provides water, and as the gel dries, it provides water at
a pressure that assists the skin to absorb it. The pressure comes from contraction
of the gel as it dries, squeezing liquids out from the enclosed cavities. Even when
the film is ‘dry’, it still contains approximately ten times its weight of water. Actives
dispersed in the cavities are delivered with the water flow. If the skin is moist and
provides too much fluid, which happens during sweating, the vapour will be taken
up by the gel and transferred to the atmosphere. Unlike some acrylic gels, this
seaweed-based product does not become tacky or break down with sweat. It
remains intact and allows the skin to ‘breathe’. And if the success with the chimp
isn’t enough the gel is currently being used for a similar condition in the Zoo’s
Malayan sunbears. They are now trained to present their feet on cue!