Sports Injuries — Podcast Interview with Dr. Gregg Rubinstein

Listen or Read Dr. Rubinstein’s Monthly Podcast Interview!

Topic: Sports Injuries

Below you will find an easy to read transcript of Dr. Gregg Rubinstein’s interview on the razorcast™ monthly podcast.  You can either watch the video to listen to the podcast or simply read the easy to follow transcript below.  Enjoy!

Podcast Interview:

RC: Hello everyone, this is Liz Harvey coming to you from our razorcast™  studios in New York City where we are dedicated to bringing you top quality advice from many of the leading expert professionals across the United States.

In today’s episode we are speaking with chiropractor, Dr. Gregg Rubinstein.  Dr. Rubinstein is the founder of 57th Street Chiropractic located in the heart of midtown Manhattan where he has been practicing since 1993. He specializes in pediatric & family care and Dr. Rubinstein is a long standing member of the International Pediatrics Chiropractic Association. He also serves as a board member of Friends of Fresh and Green Academy, a non-profit organization that does extensive charity work in education in Ethiopia.

Dr. Rubinstein is widely considered to be one of the top chiropractors in the U.S. and is also a contributing member of our national network of  razorcast™ professionals.

Today we are going to talk about a very important topic: Sports Injuries.

RC: Hi Dr. Rubinstein how are you today?

Dr. Gregg Rubinstein: I’m doing just great Liz. Thanks for having me on again.

RC: Well thanks for being here!

Question 1: What are some examples of sports injuries that you treat with chiropractic care?

RC: So can you tell us, what are some examples of sports injuries that you treat with chiropractic care?

Dr. Gregg Rubinstein: Okay Liz, that’s a good question. What I want to do is I want to just address your question a little bit if I may. I want to take the liberty of getting a little bit more understanding because chiropractic doesn’t treat specific injuries.  Chiropractors treat people. Remember that chiropractic is holistic healthcare and understand that we treat a lot of athletes that have sports injuries, but sometimes we’re not treating the specific injuries.

To answer your question in the most basic sense, most people think a chiropractor is a back doctor. So many people come to my office whether they were injured playing tennis, dancing, volleyball, etc.  I see athletes from all over coming to chiropractors to treat their back injuries.

Now, it’s no surprise that when we get the spine in better alignment and get the pressure off the nerves, these people respond well and usually can get back into the game pretty quickly. There have been many famous athletes who have used chiropractors to treat specific injuries but also just to keep them at their best.

Lleyton Hewitt was a very popular tennis player. I know that Tiger Woods uses a chiropractor regularly although his game has been a little off lately (maybe, he’s not the best example to use) and many other professional sports teams all have chiropractors.

When you understand the major premise, the big picture behind chiropractic, it’s about realigning the vertebrae. Now, if someone is a football player and they jump up to catch a pass and the linebacker comes and creams that person, there is probably a good chance that his back might be out of alignment and causing them some discomfort.

That person should definitely be seeing a chiropractor because their chosen profession leads to a lot of bumps and bruises and a higher probability for what we call a vertebral subluxation or the misalignments of the spine that put pressure on the delicate spinal nerves.

So we treat athletes of all kinds but mostly to keep them at their best and help them to heal better. The big picture is when your nerve system is working better, it will help your body’s immune system heal more properly because your nerve system tells your immune system exactly what to do at all times.

So a clear spine without pressure on it is going to function better and allow your nerve system to direct your immune system to heal the body faster and more succinctly.

Question 2: Can you describe the chiropractic treatments that you use to help heal sports injuries?

RC: So if various athletes come to you for chiropractic care, can you describe some of the treatments they might expect to get when they come to your office?

Dr. Gregg Rubinstein: Sure and I want to make one other additional distinction as well. I see athletes from all walks of life. I see more commonly the athletes that participate in the same sports that I play in. I play volleyball very regularly in the city so I see a lot of volleyball players but I also see a lot of student athletes as well – kids who are in high school that are playing hockey, football, soccer. They are all common to these bumps and bruises from collisions and contact sports. So when those things happen, the bones will get out of alignment.

So the most common stuff that I see are the bumps and bruises. In my office, certain times, when people have say an ankle injury or an arm injury, I’ll refer that out because that might not be best served in my office primarily. Though not to say that these people won’t be off without pressure built up in their spine, but ultimately my goal as a chiropractor is to work with the spine to improve function of the nerve system to allow their body’s natural recuperative powers to do what it needs to do to heal.

When I ask someone on the street, if I just walked up to someone and I said, “Hey Bob, how does the body heal?” Most people will pause and think about it but eventually they get to the notion that the body heals itself. It’s self-healing.

So if I have a bruise, my body’s immune system is going to heal that.  It doesn’t need a doctor to heal it. But the body will function better and heal faster without pressure or irritation to the nerve system. So no matter what type of sport you play, whether it be ping-pong to Muay Thai Karate full contact fighting, your body is going to function better when it is in proper alignment and there is less pressure on the nerve system. So that’s the major premise.

But granted people will come with back aches and neck aches and sprains and strains and when the body is in better alignment, the body is just going to heal better when there is pressure removed from the nerve system and allowing that body to function the way it’s supposed to.

RC: Right.

Question 3: What do you see as the leading cause of sports injuries?

RC: That kind of answers one of my next questions and after listening to you describe taking take care of your spine the way you have, this question I have seems sort of silly now. But I was going to ask you, what do you see as the leading cause of sports injuries? That’s kind of silly. Obviously, if you take a hit in hockey or you get knocked over. But, is there anything else you can say?

Dr. Gregg Rubinstein: Yeah there is because it’s not really a silly question. You know preventing injury is really about the resilience of the body.

Now if someone’s spine is in good alignment and they take a hit, that spine is going to be much more resilient. But if that spine is already misaligned and weakened, it’s going to be way more susceptible to the damages of taking a hit in hockey or being slide tackled in soccer and falling down or going up for a rebound and having someone coming down with their elbow on top of the head.

Again, the spine has three curves and when those curves are in proper alignment, your spine works like a shock absorbing spring and it’s the resilience of spine that will make it more resistant to injury.

So that’s really what we talk about with injury prevention. It’s about maintaining the spine in its most flexible, strongest state because a spine that is straight and strong is going to be way more less likely to get injured than a spine that’s not in good condition.

Just like if I have an old broken down fragile car that gets into an accident, that thing is going to fall apart quickly but a new strong car that has shock absorption in the bumpers and things are going to be much more resilient and not take as much damage and also the passenger is going to be safer as well.

So really looking at it that way, knowing that the better condition your spine and your body is in, the stronger it is and the better aligned it is, the more resilient it will be in the long run and be able to take more punishment and still function better.

Question 4: What do you think people should do to prevent injury?

RC: Okay and all that being said is there anything else you think athletes should do to help strengthen their spine to help prevent injuries?

Dr. Gregg Rubinstein: Absolutely and that just doesn’t come from chiropractic. You know, chiropractic isn’t going to cure everything that ills you. But what’s great is… look, I’m an athlete as well. I work out, I get massages, I do palates, I do yoga.  So there are many different things that you can do to enhance the performance of your body. Chiropractic alone is not going to do it. It’s a great tool to have in your toolbox and be part of the healthcare regime that you go through.

Specifically there are so many things that you can do. You look at athletes and they train for strength; they train for their cardio ability; they train for flexibility.  You need to maintain flexibility.

Also a big part of it is that mind-body connection and situational awareness will also help you prevent injuries. Knowing what’s going on in the game and keeping your ‘head in the game’ so to speak and not being distracted. So there are many things that help prevent injury and keep people functioning at a higher level. But it’s not just one thing. There are so many pieces to that puzzle so it is a difficult question to answer but a very good one to ask.

RC: Right and you mentioned things that maybe some athletes would not consider like pilates, yoga and those types of things. That definitely would help them.

Question 5: Can you describe how you work with patients to get them “back on their feet” so to speak and resume their normal sports activities? What can they do at home?

RC: Lastly, can you describe how you personally work with patients to “get them back on their feet” and resume their normal sports activities.

Dr. Gregg Rubinstein: Absolutely, so those are the real important things. I’ve touched on a few things already but look, keeping your spine and nerve system healthy is going to give your body the best chance to heal and battle back from whatever injuries because that entire healing process is 100% dependent on proper nerve system communication and function.

So as a chiropractor, my job, again, to keep the spine clear from interference in the best alignment so that the nerve system can communicate within the body and get the body to do what it needs to do to repair and heal itself.

So there are other things, giving people advice. Because look, I’m a competitive athlete and if someone says, “Hey Gregg, you’re hurt. You shouldn’t go back into the game.” What’s my natural instinct, Liz? Get back in the game, right? I’ve got to continue!

So sometimes my job is just to be a sounding board and say, “Look, if you have tennis elbow and you keep going out there hitting the ball with a lot of top spin, that tennis elbow is just going to get worse.” And sometimes, people need to hear it from someone else and sometimes being a doctor and all of that elevates you so your opinion matters more. So that’s an important part of it. Advising them when to rest, what type of rehab and also part of being a good chiropractor is knowing when to refer that patient out for maybe some physical therapy.

Maybe I may not be the best person to rehab that specific knee injury. Maybe I should send that person out to someone who specializes in that. Knowing when to refer them to an orthopedist also makes me a valuable tool. So people can understand that it’s not just about one thing and it’s not about me being the only guy or trying to be the hero. It’s really about making sure the patients get what they need so they can get back on their feet.

Understanding when they can start to exercise again, when they can resume full contact. All those things, we are very well trained in but sometimes people don’t fully realize that “Hey, maybe I need to sit down for a couple of weeks and allow this to heal.”

So all those different facets of what a chiropractor does will help people get back to their normal level of performance.

RC: Right, that’s really helpful! Thank you so much Dr. Rubinstein.

Dr. Gregg Rubinstein: My pleasure to be here, Liz.

RC: Well, this has been great information and for our listeners across the country, if you are interested in speaking with Dr. Gregg Rubinstein, you can either go online at  or call (917) 534-6484 to schedule an appointment.

On behalf of our entire team at razorcast™, we want to thank you for listening and we look forward to bringing you more top quality content from our country’s leading experts.

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