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24 / How To Battle Chronic Injury Using The DNS Method w/ Dr. Brett Winchester

It’s a common misconception that elite athletes are always in perfect form and at the pinnacle of physical fitness. Many however are dealing with chronic injury. If you’ve listened to this podcast before you know I’m a huge fan of DNS (Dynamic Neuromuscular Stabilization). My guest, Dr. Brett Winchester knows what it likes to use DNS to help athletes operating at peak performance and how it can be applied to anyone seeking rehab.

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At his St. Louis area clinic Dr. Winchester helps athletes by combining functional movement and functional medicine. He’s worked as a trainer with the Cardinals and as an instructor at Logan University. In addition to treating athletes at home, he travels all over the world to teach DNS. His wealth of knowledge about integrating functional medicine into rehab has been inspiring to me as well as countless other practitioners.

Today, Dr. Winchester shares what it’s like to train elite professional athletes as well as more typical patients using DNS methods. DNS is based on neurodevelopmental levels, i.e. how we learned to move as babies. When working with athletes we often come across the dilemma of helping them train to perform at their maximum potential but also within the bounds of safety. Dr. Winchester explains the role that DNS plays in maintaining this tricky balance.

We also discuss what it’s like working as a clinician with its demanding and fast-paced lifestyle. Dr. Winchester shares his advice on challenging yourself to be the best you can every day while also maintaining a mindset necessary to avoid burnout.

Do you work with athletes? In your experience, what sets them apart (or doesn’t) from other patients? Tell me about it in the comments below!


In this episode:

  • The neurological and physiological differences that separate elite athletes from the rest of us
  • Combining stiffness with movement to achieve the maximum potential of an athletic action
  • The importance of getting to know your patients in order to truly understand the complicated issues behind their conditions
  • How to challenge yourself to be the best clinician possible
  • The mindset you need to prevent burning out as a practitioner
  • What sets DNS apart from other practices and how it is an incredibly powerful tool in rehabilitation



“I think we’re learning with neuroplasticity that there is a lot that’s possible for everyday people who don’t think they’re professional athletes.” [4:41]

“The goal is creating proximal stiffness and then be able to explode your muscles in the periphery off of this stiffness. That’s the name of the game for all athletics.” [8:16]

“The important thing is when a patient continues to come back to us and says ‘I’m no better’ and they should be better, we need to audit the body to know … the reason why.”  [21:09]

“Clinical intuition is clinical recognition.” [23:16]



Find Brett’s Practice at Winchester Spine and Sport

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