The AlignMed Posture Shirt Helps Golfers get to the Core

AlignMedWhether I’m staging a golf clinic or working with players one-on-one I’ve always taken extra time to stress the importance of having good overall posture to all my students. It’s an important component that is often overlooked and it’s critical to the success of having a solid repeatable golf swing that will hold up round after round. I can help any golfer to have the correct stance, posture and alignment based upon their body type; however, after I leave them I can only hope that the players maintain those proper positions and they don’t drift back into bad habits. As a golf professional who’s had his share of injuries over the years, I know that when the body starts breaking down it will affect your golf swing. So I can’t tell you how excited I was when I was introduced to Mr. Bill Schultz, President and Founder of AlignMed, Inc. based in Southern California. Bill is such a great guy that he actually gave me the shirt off his back, and this was no ordinary shirt I promise. The AlignMed’s Posture Shirt™ technology is the use of specific elastic touch and tensions mounted in a garment as a therapy system to facilitate muscle balance and joint alignment and to reduce pain. The garment simultaneously augments movement bio-mechanics and provides biofeedback, which can dynamically assist whole body posture. Schultz is a true visionary; anyone who performs athletics, labors at a desk or warehouse, uses a computer, or simply wishes to get their form back and lessen pain can benefit from his breakthrough garments.

“If my career and issues with my own back have taught me anything, it’s that walking upright on two legs should not be taken for granted. Mobility is precious and we need to nurture and care for it in all stages of life. A simple solution for preserving one’s physical alignment throughout life has never been presented before. My goal is to have a big, positive impact on the way posture is viewed by youth and the aging. I want to create the awareness that poor posture should not be looked upon as an acceptable inconvenience to the aging. We can help you correct and maintain good body alignment. Finally, we have a prescription for healing that you don’t have to swallow,” said Schultz.

Recently, I spoke with Bill Schultz to give him an update about my experience wearing the Posture Shirt™ over the past 2 months. I told him that I found wearing the Posture Shirt™ immediately made me aware when I started to hunch forward after a long day out on the course or the driving range. It was the ultimate wake up call, helping me to snap back into good posture. The shirt helped me maintain great posture throughout the day, allowing me to stand taller than I have in the past. This seemed to help me maintain a greater energy level. As a golf professional who does a lot of teaching, I know I can make a difference in a player’s game with hands on instruction, correcting any swing flaw that may be affecting them and getting them back on track quickly. Having such a valuable tool like the AlignMed Posture Shirt™ in my arsenal is like having an extra club in my bag and it’s the ultimate support guidance system in helping golfers maintain better posture. Like I told Bill, it gave me immediate feedback when I started to slouch and it awakened my senses, allowing me to re-adjust my body posture, thus giving me better overall balance immediately.  Plus, no one knows that I’m wearing this special garment under my golf shirt unless I show them and I like that it’s so lightweight.

“The use of the Posture Shirt™ as a support system and awareness tool for practicing good posture should be considered as important as practicing good nutrition,” stated Schultz. “Unfortunately, the awkward and repetitive movements of sports, work and devices of modern technology create micro-trauma that the musculoskeletal systems can’t hold up against. The burden of musculoskeletal disease and chronic pain is pandemic and it’s time to help the body fight back.” He continued, “With athletes and trainers I have to preface this one. They always say, ‘Great I’ll get it to the guy (athlete) when he works out or in the game when he’s playing.’ I tell them that I could care less if you do that because quite frankly it’s the body before and after the game that we are concerned about because that’s when the injuries take place. The game is what it is. What did the body look like before and after?”

After my most recent golf event earlier this week, I put the shirt back on after I showered because I knew that I would be very sore. I found that it helped to curtail the normal pain I would usually be feeling, especially in my lower back region. “I believe there is potential to use what we know at AlignMed about stimulating muscles and nerves with elasticity in garments that can really make a difference with how you teach people to play golf. Posture is a life lesson and the Posture Shirt™ can help,” Schultz said.

During my discussion with Bill I asked him to tell me how he came up with the idea of the Posture Shirt™.  “The idea came from watching people get skin-taped,” he said. “I got myself skin-taped and low and behold it took a lot of pressure off my spine. I started scratching my head thinking, ‘Can it be this easy?’ So I went and rounded up a couple of my egg-head professors and we sat there saying, ‘You know, maybe we could stimulate the muscles with just a simple garment’ and that’s where it was born. We started looking at it very seriously and I remember our first breakthrough at the University of Kentucky with a big-time physician from Lexington. We started shooting X-rays of people where we would put on various strapping of bands. We shot X-rays looking at the shoulders, neck and scapula. We started calling it the ‘fly on the hand’ effect. The slightest touch creates a physiological change. If a fly lands on your hand which weighs a fraction of an ounce you’ll still feel it and this will cause you to make a movement. If you can apply the proper tension on the muscles it can make a huge difference. If you get the muscles firing correctly your cognizant thought process opens up. We’re on the forefront of this movement we call ‘Touch Tension’. We call our taping technique ‘NeuroBands’ which adapt to your body’s form and improve muscle activity and provide biofeedback that helps correct and maintain good posture alignment. Unlike braces that restrict natural movement or compression garments that use tight-fitting fabrics to compress skin, AlignMed multi-functional innovation is a construction matrix of strategic fabric panels called ‘NeuroBands’ shown to fire muscles and align joints. Also, our shirt is approved by the FDA as a medical device and it’s a one of kind.” I think their company mission statement says it all: “To actively promote posture, body alignment, minimize pain and increase quality of life.”  

Bill is a dreamer, but when it comes to the make-up of the human body, he’s a very nuts-and-bolts guy,” says in-house attorney Jim Daily, the person in charge of protecting the intellectual property behind AlignMed’s apparel. All I know is I’m a believer in how this incredible 21st century technology has helped me both on and off the golf course. You heard it first from me that I think in the next few years golfers will be flocking to the AlignMed Posture Shirt™. That’s because I can tell a golfer to stay bent over from their waist to have the proper spinal tilt in their setup and to stop slouching over the ball, but when you’re wearing the AlignMed Posture Shirt™ it will make you do it automatically and it strengthens your core at the same time. That’s a pretty potent combination,creating some dynamic and powerful energy. 

To learn more about a company that is becoming a real game-changer to improve the quality of people’s lives, checkout their comprehensive website at www.

By Tom Ward for AlignMed

Hockey Training Tip: Off-Ice Balance Training

Lower extremity strength training is a priority when considering a comprehensive training program for youth hockey players. Most coaches consider dynamic stretching, functional strengthening and plyometric training to be enough. However in a sport where agility and balance are essential it is important to consider how players can improve these components off the ice.

hockeyIn the hockey community the term “bender” is often used to describe a player that has ankles falling inward which is known as rearfoot or hindfoot valgus.2  From a coaching and overall performance perspective, it is obvious that this is not an ideal foot position when performing a hockey stride. Power from each stride will be reduced as the player transfers his/her kinetic energy through the trunk, hips and knees into the ice effecting both the player’s speed and agility. This may have a significant impact on the player’s overall skill development when practicing edge work and stopping drills.3 With a lack in development, the athlete may ultimately have limited confidence pursing pucks along the boards or in congested areas of the ice. This can foster the development of a timid player who may be less likely to compete in these areas, thus further stunting his/her development and ultimately his/her long-term participation in the sport.

From a biomechanical and injury prevention perspective, a chronic weakness and malposition of the ankle may also place added stressors on the knee and lead to an increase risk for knee pain limiting his/her participation throughout the season.4,5 One can argue that the support from the boot of the skate should counter the athlete’s lack of strength, but it must be understood that the stiffness of the boot will break down over time and potentially expose the athlete’s strength deficits over time.

With 25 different muscles in the lower leg and foot one may wonder, “How can I strengthen my ankles to better myself on the ice?”  Simple single leg balance activities on the ground are a great place to start. When standing on one leg it is important to focus on keep 3 points of contact with the foot: (1) the big toe, (2) the little toe and (3) the heel. The athlete is expected to be able to hold this position for 30 seconds, 4 times, prior to adding tasks or changing the surface (couch cushion, pillow). Common tasks such as turning one’s head, closing one’s eyes, stickhandeling, juggling balls, and squatting can be incorporated into the individual’s single leg stance training to improve his/her coordination.

If a specific individual is unable to maintain a neutral foot position while balancing barefoot on a flat surface, a towel can be placed under the middle half of the foot to improve the overall ankle control. It is important to note that pain during any type of balance training activity is not acceptable and should be assessed by a physician or licensed physical therapist. These conditions may require formal therapy to address specific deficits within the hips, knees and ankles to restore good balance and control.1

Simple Progressions

1) Stand on one leg, eyes open on a firm surface –> progress to a couch cushion or other unstable surface

2) Stand on one leg, eyes closed on a firm surface –> progress to a couch cushion or other unstable surface.

3) Other activities you can attempt to master

  • Single leg stance while passing around a ball around in the locker room
  • Single leg jumps forward and backward/side to side over a line (3 sets of 10 jumps in each direction)

By Steve Chmielewski for Athletico

Thanksgiving Message

Thanksgiving-Greeting-Message-09Far from the thanksgiving of childhood. We find ourselves this day not at the family table enjoying the turkey, companionship and thoughts of yesteryear; but at a new table, with other friends and different thoughts.

The more mature thanksgiving that this year has brought us has found us in a place we had not expected, facing an exacting challenge. We have found ourselves in a world that does not measure up to our childhood standards; a world in which a basic ideological conflict requires of us many sacrifices and strenuous endeavors.

Can we not find, however, in this situation the real meaning of thanksgiving? The reality of a hard won and hard kept peace for ourselves, our families and our nation. Can we not thank God this day with a true realization of the value of our several blessings? Have we not learned to be truly thankful?

The Women’s Sports Medicine Program at Rush

The Women’s Sports Medicine Program at Rush provides a comprehensive approach to evaluating and treating recreational and competitive female athletes. The approach is not limited to athletes, but is dedicated to all females at any level of activity. We believe that an active lifestyle is essential for achieving and maintaining optimal health. Through this ideal, we provide services to help women at all levels to achieve optimal health and exercise performance.

The goal of the Women’s Sports Medicine Program is to prevent injuries, optimize performance, and in the event of illness or injury, provide state-of-the-art diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation to return the individual to full function. Midwest Orthopaedics’ staff of sports medicine physicians is fellowship trained.

Why a Women’s Program?

WSM Why a Women's Program

Female participation in competitive sports has increased dramatically over the past 30 years. With the increasing number of female athletes, there has been a commensurate increase in the number of injuries. Women athletes are experiencing not only an increase in the frequency of injuries, but in the type and severity of the injuries as well. Today, it is not uncommon for the women athlete to experience stress fractures, non-contact ACL damage, and overuse injuries as well.

Although a traditional orthopaedic practice is certainly capable of treating these injuries, only a Women’s Sports Medicine Program can truly understand the unique needs of the female athlete.

About Dr. Weber

Dr. Weber

Dr. Weber, the Director of Women’s Sports Medicine, is board certified in both sports medicine and internal medicine. She has been involved in athletics as a team physician, an exercise physiologist, and an avid athlete. Her expertise in women’s musculoskeletal issues adds to our ability to meet the growing needs of the active female.

Dr. Weber, Director of the Women’s Sports Medicine Program at Rush, received her M.D. from Rush Medical College in 1996 and subsequently completed her internship and residency in internal medicine at Rush University Medical Center. After completing her residency, Dr. Weber was asked to remain at Rush for an additional year to assume the prestigious position of Chief Resident of Internal Medicine, and she then completed a fellowship in sports medicine at the University of California Medical Center in San Diego. In addition to holding a Master of Science degree in Exercise Physiology and being the recipient of numerous awards for excellence in patient care and teaching, Dr. Weber has contributed several chapters to a recently published sports medicine book, and is involved in numerous women-related research projects. Dr. Weber is a former college athlete, and her special interest in women’s sports issues is enhanced by her current activity in a variety of sports.