Dr. David Boynton: Riding The Ride
As far as chiropractors go, Dr. David Boynton talks the talk and rides the ride. At age 50, he is a stronger, fitter endurance athlete than he was at 25 years old. It’s common to meet up with him along the road to Ward, Colorado on weekends, passing abandoned cars and leaning up the hill on his bike. He’s just one of many bicyclists in multi-colored jerseys who use the mountain road as a training course for their sport.
At his clinic, Dr. Boynton offers the latest Tour Technology to his patients—technology that can help improve their performances—whether they are elite athletes or simply those who want to maintain a solid level of fitness and stay in good condition. Dr. Boynton has a toolkit of strategies to cover the spectrum of problems related to staying healthy and fit and preventing injury.
He employs the same equipment and approach as those used by Jeff Spencer, Lance Armstrong’s chiropractor. One such item is the Erchonia PL5000 Laser, a low level, non-invasive laser that speeds recovery, reduces pain and promotes healing. Another recent acquisition is the Pro-Adjustor, which specifically targets distortions in the spine, whether related to a change in alignment or a change in motion. These technologies are so new that Boynton is one of the few offering them in the greater Boulder area.
The Laser’s Edge
The Erchonia Laser is about as high tech as the new equipment comes and the first of its kind to be approved by the FDA. Called a “cold” laser due to the low level at which it operates, it is a noninvasive technique and there is no pain involved in the treatment. With a proven track record for healing, recovery and performance, Boynton explains how it has been put to use in the elite biking arena. “In the Tour de France, the U.S. Postal Team (now Team Discovery) used this laser in the first six straight tours, before and after every stage, and only one rider didn’t complete the tour. That record speaks for itself.”
Basically, the low energy laser is applied to the affected body part, which may be sore or stiff. The body absorbs energy from the laser, which, in turn, stimulates its cells to produce greater amounts of cellular energy known as ATP (adenosine triphosphate). This energy is available to the body for healing and repair.
Further evidence of its efficacy is a reduction in healing time—which may be less than one-third to one-half as long as treatment without the laser. In some ways, the laser treatment resembles a plant taking up sunlight during the photosynthesis process. Other benefits of the Erchonia Laser treatment include reduction in both swelling and the formation of scar tissue, as well as reduced pain. The laser is frequently used to treat burn victims, in which cases it assists with tissue healing and pain management. According to Dr. Boynton: “This has direct applications for treating “road rash” with great results.”
The Erchonia Laser is specifically designed to address those disruptions in the information flow, or intelligence, in the body. Boynton uses the analogy of a fuse panel. “Your kitchen lights might be out, and there isn’t a problem with the light itself. It’s the fuse panel—where a fuse is blown. There’s no communication, energy or information. The same situation could occur in the body where there could be interference in the flow of intelligence from the brain to points in the body that cause problems like numb hands, a tight lower back and knee pain.”
By resetting the communications flow, the laser is a viable treatment for problems that range from the acute--like “road rash”, inflamed tendons or household burns—to those that revolve around streamlining body performance. Boynton gives another example, relaying how a neighbor child fell off his bike and skinned his knee. After Boynton applied the laser, the child asked, “How come it’s not hurting anymore?”
Benefits: Performance point of view
In a location like Boulder, performance technique is critical both for the elite athlete and the weekend hiker. The body recruits groups of muscles to operate in a specific manner that is efficient and streamlined. When there is an intelligence issue, multiple muscles may be affected, as some compensate for the one that is not able to perform efficiently.
The ideal performance involves energy efficient, strain-free motion. Too frequently, no matter the level of patient fitness, Boynton finds that faulty muscle recruitment patterns lead to a chain of compensatory reactions. In other words, if you can’t turn on the gluteus medius muscle in your hip, your body will compensate by turning on or recruiting other muscles, in this case tensor fasciae latae or ilopsoa.
“Now we’re using two muscles to do the work of one,” explains Boynton. “And we are placing undue strain on the pelvis and knee. To me, this represents a hidden time bomb in the body.”
“I call it a time bomb because it will, literally, blow up your performance and your health,” he said, noting that these dormant situations are often asymptomatic and lead to a slow decline before an injury sets in. Boynton can find and address the time bomb--thereby avoiding injury--and send the patient down the path to more efficient performance. For an elite athlete, that efficiency can mean the difference between standing on the podium and riding in the broom wagon.
The quest to become a chiropractor is not a hasty one. After Boynton received a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Guelph in Ontario he headed off to study at Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College—a four-year program, with the same amount of hours of education and training as that required of a medical doctor. Chiropractic and medical students share nearly identical curriculums for the first two years which encompass anatomy, physiology, neurology and other sciences. Where they differ is a concentration on pharmacology for medical students while chiropractic places a greater emphasis on nutrition and natural alternatives to drugs.
Today Dr. Boynton continually updates his skills with ongoing continuing education requirements that include nutrition, adjusting techniques and new technologies. After graduation, Boynton went to work on a temporary basis in a small town located an hour away from Toronto. His two-week stint turned into two months, then two years, and ultimately 13 years.
Recently, the opportunity to relocate came up and provided Boynton and his wife a chance to decide on the ideal place to work and to enjoy an active lifestyle. After a scouting trip, they chose Boulder due to its proximity to the mountains and a hub airport that would easily accommodate the travel schedule of his wife, also a chiropractor. Boynton explains, “We always wanted to live near the mountains; they make you feel good. And, the opportunity to work—and to make a real difference-- in the lives of high caliber athletes and their families is challenging and rewarding.”
Boynton is interested in working with his patients to identify the big picture in terms of performance and setting goals that are tailored to the individual. His patients range over the spectrum—from weekend warriors to leading athletes. He believes that chiropractic treatment is an important part of a person’s total wellness program, no matter the skill and fitness level. Boulder, with its active population, is the perfect fit for a chiropractor with his skills and focus on new technology. He explains, “Those people who are 35 and older want to continue exercising. I can help them to age gracefully and remain competitive.”
Having connected with an individual’s goals, Boynton puts a roadmap--a treatment plan--into place for each of his patients so that, together, they can achieve their core values. One person may require three visits, while another may need 20 to reach the same level of peak performance. He is confident with his approach, his evaluations and techniques, and his use of cutting-edge technology to heal his clients.
“With the technology I have, my skills and my personal focus on performance, I can help my patients to be as healthy and strong as they can possibly be,” concludes Boynton. He’s as confident about that as he is about riding up to Ward on a Saturday afternoon.
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