Body scans help athletes improve performance -

Body scans may aid athletic performance

Your body fat, muscle, and overall body composition all play in role in athletics and how you play your game. Now a cutting-edge X-ray procedure is being used to help athletes, and professional and amateur golfers in particular are taking a swing at it.

On any given day you can find Jay Eskew on the greens practicing. He's part of Bishop England High School's golf team.

"You got to practice by yourself the whole day, got to give up some certain things, but in the end it's worth it. The main goal is to make it on the PGA tour and if you do you get to spend the rest of your life doing what you want to do," Eskew said.

Eskew says he'll do anything to improve his game.

Dr. Bright McConnell, III of Charleston Sports Medicine on Daniel Island says patients, particularly golfers, are interested in the DEXA scan technology to find out their body composition. He's even scanned PGA pros like Jim Furyk.

"It gives them a little bit better idea for their trainers where their lean body mass is, whether or not there is asymmetries of muscle mass on one side versus the other and does that help them with their performance overall," Dr. McConnell said.

"There's a lot of interest right now with swing coaches on does that make a difference in terms of the optimization of their swing."

The scan sends X-rays from head to toe to determine bone density, lean mass, and fat tissue. The doctor says the scan only takes about five or six minutes and the radiation is very low dose, about the equivalent of going outside for two hours in the sun.

Sue Truesdale enjoys working out and playing golf, and she went through the scan. She says the results were very informative.

"I was actually fairly symmetrical, but if you weren't, whether it was with your personal trainer or your personal training routine, you'd alter your training routine for that," Truesdale said.

High school student Jay Eskew says for now practice makes perfect, but a DEXA scan could help steer him in the direction to play in college and at a professional level some day.

"Anything you can do to help improve or figure out what you need to work on or even get stronger in certain areas would be a big plus," Eskew said.

Prior to body composition, the DEXA procedure was also helpful in measuring bone density for osteoporosis patients. The scan also helps doctors determine a patients overall metabolic health and whether a patient has cardio vascular risks or needs to be on a particular weight maintenance plan.

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