The elbow is one of our most frequently used joints. Our elbows allow us to lift, throw, reach, and perform countless other routine actions we tend to take for granted. However, this constant daily use can eventually lead to painful wear and tear on our elbows. This is especially true for athletes and those of us who perform repeated arm motions as part of our jobs. Elbows are complex joints, which means there are many ways that they can be affected by stress and overuse.
To understand how elbow injuries happen, you need to first understand the basic anatomy of these joints. Elbow joints form at the intersection of the upper arm bone (known as the humerus) and the two bones that make up your forearm (the ulna and the radius). The end of each bone is covered in protective cartilage, which helps them slide against each other and absorb shocks. These three bones are held in place thanks to durable tissues called ligaments. Your elbow also includes tendons that connect the bones to muscles, allowing for various movements and functions. If any of these parts of the elbow (as well as any surrounding nerves or blood vessels) are compromised, the result can be seriously painful.
Elbow pain can result from a one-time injury like a sprain, or dislocation or from a repetitive stress injury caused by overuse through the years. If you have never experienced a serious elbow injury but still suffer from elbow pain, one of these conditions could be the reason:
Bursitis is a condition that affects the small fluid-filled sacs (known as bursas) that help cushion the bones, tendons, and muscles. Bursitis occurs when the bursas in your elbow become swollen and painful. It is typically caused by repeating the same motion over and over, however, it can also result from an accident or infection.
Tennis Elbow or Golfer’s Elbow
Tennis elbow and golfer’s elbow are forms of tendinitis that cause swelling in the tendons around the elbow. Although they are commonly associated with their respective sports, these injuries can affect anyone who performs a repetitive motion or act with their elbows such as lifting or pulling. The main difference between these two conditions is that tennis elbow affects the outside of the elbow, whereas golfer’s elbow affects the inside.
Unlike a standard fracture that results from a specific incident, a stress fracture is a small crack in the bone that forms due to overuse. Although they are more likely to occur in the lower extremities, athletes who throw a lot (like baseball pitchers) can experience stress fractures in the elbow as well.
You’ve probably heard of carpal tunnel syndrome, in which a nerve that passes through the wrist gets squeezed and causes pain and inflammation. The nerves in your elbow can have similar issues. Cubital tunnel syndrome is a condition where the ulnar nerve in the arm gets squeezed as it runs along the inside of your elbow. Radial tunnel syndrome is a similar issue that affects the radial nerve as it passes through the radial tunnel near the outside of your elbow. Both issues can lead to pain, burning, or numbness around the elbow.
Here at Synergy Sports Wellness Institute™, we are able to treat several of the most common elbow injuries. We can effectively reduce pain and inflammation in the elbow using a variety of therapies including such as hyperbaric oxygen therapy, kinesiology taping, or trigger point therapy. However, before we treat any injury, we will use our signature Synergy Release Therapy to diagnose the root cause of your pain. For more information or if you would like to schedule an appointment, please contact Synergy Sports Wellness Institute™ today. Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ for additional tips, news, and updates.
At Synergy Sports Wellness Institute™ we regularly treat men and women of all ages and ability levels for a variety of different concerns. Many of those patients need help recovering after a specific injury, and our experienced Synergy™ trained chiropractors and massage therapists take pride in being able to help them return to a healthy, active lifestyle as quickly as possible. However, many don’t realize that we can actually do even more. Our unique Synergy™ approach allows us to look beyond the obvious symptoms of a patient’s injury and address essential issues, giving us insight that can help optimize athletic performance. In fact, our founder Dr. Michael Hatrak was recently honored with a Super Bowl ring for his long association with the Philadelphia Eagles and his role in treating the team during Super Bowl LII. Those same techniques can be used to help healthy athletes of all ability levels improve their own athletic performance as well. Here are just two of the advanced techniques that we have used to help athletes perform their best.
Advanced Muscle Integration Technique (AMIT)
When a muscle is overloaded beyond its capacity, it can sometimes shut down to avoid being damaged further. This causes pain in the affected area, and other nearby muscles must take on additional work in order to compensate. This places additional stress on ligaments, joints, and connective tissues which can lead to serious injury. The Advanced Muscle Integration Technique (AMIT) works by identifying specific muscles that have become deactivated and then using seven reflux points to restore normal, pain-free motion. After AMIT, patients usually notice that their training sessions are easier and more effective, because healthy muscles no longer need to compensate for dormant ones.
Proprietary Six Step Speed Prep
Athletes of all levels, high school, college, or professional, sometimes need an extra boost before an important event or competition. Six Step Speed Prep is a proprietary, one-of-a-kind physical treatment technique developed by Dr. Hatrak that helps prepare an athlete to perform at their optimum level. One 30-minute session, conducted up to 24 hours before a camp or competition, achieves full contraction of all the muscle groups while balancing the body in three planes. This process creates a balanced “proprioceptive picture” in the brain that allows the neuromuscular system to deliver increased balance, stability, and power.
The Synergy™ trained chiropractors and massage therapists are experts at helping athletes overcome injury and perform their best, but sports medicine can help non-athletes as well. If you are interested in learning more about the various services we offer or would like to schedule an appointment, contact Synergy Sports Wellness Institute today at (404) 352-8900. Don’t forget to follow us on Instagram, Facebook, and other social media platforms for the latest news and information about sports medicine and chiropractic care in Atlanta.
For many people, summertime is all about outdoor sports. However, some of the most popular summer athletic activities, like swimming, tennis, and baseball, involve repetitive, overhead motion that can lead to serious shoulder pain. Unfortunately, the shoulder is a very complicated area of the body with many “moving parts.” It can become damaged in several different ways, so finding an effective treatment for persistent shoulder pain can sometimes be difficult. Dr. Michael Hatrak and the team of chiropractors and massage therapists at Synergy Sports Wellness Institute™ have extensive experience with all kinds of sports injuries, and believe treating the problem begins with understanding the underlying issues that caused it. Answering the most common patient questions, like what is a rotator cuff and how can it become injured, are the first steps to relieving chronic shoulder pain.
What is the Rotator Cuff?
What most people think of as the shoulder is actually an interconnected group of joints, tendons, and muscles that all work together, allowing the arm to move freely in a wide range of motion. The rotator cuff is made up of a group of four muscles (along with the accompanying tendons and ligaments) that surround the shoulder joint and hold the bones together. These muscles lift and rotate the arm and provide stability for the ball of the shoulder at the heart of the joint, so when they are injured the entire arm can be affected.
How Can the Rotator Cuff Become Injured?
Because the muscles and tendons that make up the rotator cuff are so large and versatile, they can be subject to injury in a variety of different ways:
- Inflammation: Strenuous overhead motions cause microscopic tears in the fabric of the muscle. If these are repeated without giving the body sufficient time to recover, the damage accumulates, resulting in a condition called overuse syndrome. The affected muscles and tissues become inflamed, making them stiff and sore.
- Impingement: Improper form or posture during exercise or physical activity can allow the shoulder blade to put pressure, or “impinge,” on the underlying soft tissues when the arm is lifted away from the body. This pressure irritates the area, causing inflammation, pain and limiting movement.
- Instability: Shoulder instability (commonly called a dislocated shoulder) occurs when the head of the upper arm bone is forced out of the shoulder socket. This can happen as a result of a sudden injury or from overuse. Once the ligaments, tendons, and muscles around the shoulder become loose or torn, dislocations can occur repeatedly.
- Tendon Tears: A sudden trauma can cause a tear in one or more of the tendons in the rotator cuff, resulting in sudden pain and immobility. Tendon tears are often difficult to treat and may require Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy to accelerate the healing process.
Treatments for problems with the rotator cuff can vary, depending on the severity of the injury to the tendons and the underlying condition of the patient. Mild issues resulting from overuse can usually be treated with ice, rest, and therapies that reduce inflammation, such as Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy, Kinesiology Taping, or Trigger Point Therapy. Patients with more severe and persistent pain or motion limitation may often benefit from other, more advanced treatment options. The certified chiropractors and massage therapists at Synergy Sports Wellness Institute™ use sophisticated diagnostic methods, like the Advanced Muscle Integration Technique (AMIT) to specifically diagnose the muscles involved so that they can get you back to what you love to do quickly. If you would like more information about shoulder injuries, or about any of the other ways that our expert chiropractors and massage therapists may be able to help you, please contact the Synergy Sports Wellness Institute™ today. Don’t forget to follow us on social media for the latest news and information about sports medicine and chiropractic care in Atlanta.
July 9th, 2018 by Synergy Admin
Dr. Michael Hatrak, owner and operator of Synergy Sports Wellness Institute™ and Synergy Release Sports, was honored with a Super Bowl ring for his long association with the Philadelphia Eagles and his role in treating the team during Super Bowl LII.
This February, Atlanta physician Dr. Michael Hatrak was privileged to serve as a biomechanical specialist and injury consultant for the Philadelphia Eagles during Super Bowl LII. On June 14th, 2018, his dedication and excellence was recognized at a ring ceremony where he received a Super Bowl ring alongside the team and other key personnel. “The Eagles are a great team to work with,” says Dr. Hatrak, “and it’s an incredible honor to help them win their first Super Bowl.”
Dr. Hatrak and his colleague Dr. Andrew Potter worked with the team during Super Bowl week as biomechanical specialists and injury consultants. The game was a tightknit, back-and-forth affair decided by a Brandon Graham strip sack of Patriots quarterback Tom Brady that occurred late in the fourth quarter. “As a lifelong Eagles fan, it meant a tremendous amount to be able to witness the Eagles claim their first Super Bowl title and their first league championship since 1960,” said Dr. Hatrak. “It’s an incredible honor to be a part of such a special moment in Eagles history.”
At Synergy Sports Wellness Institute™ and Synergy Release Sports, a team of certified chiropractors and massage therapists help patients of all ages and activity levels by relieving pain after injuries and enhancing their overall athletic performance. Dr. Hatrak’s technique is a multi-step process that begins by using the most advanced diagnostic technology to look beyond the superficial symptoms of an injury and diagnose the underlying biomechanical causes. Dr. Hatrak then develops a treatment plan that is customized to each patient’s individual needs. The Synergy-trained specialists employ a variety of advanced therapeutic techniques, including hyperbaric therapy, kinesiology taping, frequency specific microcurrent therapy, and the Advanced Muscle Integration Technique. The certified Synergy therapists follow up with rehabilitative soft tissue techniques to promote healing and long-term improvement. The team Synergy Sports Wellness Institute™ and Synergy Release Sports does more than just treat the symptoms of an injury or mask the pain with drugs. They work directly on the specific source or cause of a patient’s discomfort and correct the underlying issues to provide real, long-term relief.
Dr. Hatrak has a long history of working with professional athletes as well as people from all walks of life. At the Atlanta and Alpharetta locations of his practice, he and his exceptional team put their expertise to work for our local athletes along with other Atlanta residents who want to reduce long-term pain or repair injuries. Prospective patients can learn more about their therapies and treatment approach at synergysportswellness.com where they can also request a consultation.
ABOUT SYNERGY SPORTS WELLNESS INSTITUTE™
Synergy Sports Wellness Institute™ and Synergy Release Sports are chiropractic and sports wellness clinics that are constantly advancing in innovative pain relief, injury prevention, and optimized athletic performance. The esteemed Dr. Michael Hatrak founded the practices to treat a wide range of patients, from healthy lifestyle seekers and weekend warriors to some of the world’s most elite athletes, including over 2,500 professional athletes and Olympians. They focus on three distinct areas: reducing pain, preventing injury, and maximizing athletic performance. Synergy Sports Wellness Institute™ and Synergy Release Sports offer a variety of specialized treatments and therapies, combining and customizing them for each patient designed to minimize injury risk and aid in healing and rehabilitation.
Regardless of whether you are going through a strenuous, multifaceted exercise routine or just a quick trip to the gym, your workout doesn’t end the moment you finish your last set or run your last mile. The post-workout cool down is the most frequently neglected aspect of the workout experience. Many people don’t realize that what you do after your workout ends can be just as important as the workout itself.
After any sustained physical activity, your muscles can begin to break down due to exhaustion. That’s what makes the period immediately after your workout (known as the cool down period) so essential to muscle and tissue repair. It is also a crucial time for strength building and recovery. Effectively cooling down after exercising can help maximize the benefits of your activity and help prevent potential injuries. To help our readers get the most out of their post-workout cool downs, we have provided a few helpful steps to try out.
Ease Yourself Out of Your Workout
Just like we recommend to warm-up by gradually increasing your core body temperature and heart rate, it’s important to slowly decrease the intensity of your exercise during the cool down period. Your heart and body need time to safely transition back to a more normal, resting state. Try walking or light jogging for a few minutes at the end of your workout instead of stopping on a dime.
Don’t Forget to Stretch
After a workout, when your muscles are warmed up, is the perfect time to stretch. This is when you are at your most flexible, since the muscles are more elastic and pliable and less susceptible to injury. Post-workout stretching can also minimize the tension built up during the workout, expedite muscle healing, and reduce next-day soreness all over the body while keeping you healthy and flexible. PNF stretching or ballistic stretches that utilizes deeper stretches can help increase your range of motion and muscular strength.
Hydration is always essential, but especially after intense physical activity. When you workout, your body loses water. After a strenuous workout, it’s important to replenish your body’s water supply. This will help decrease muscle soreness and increase your overall strength and flexibility.
We hope you found these tips helpful. No matter how you choose to exercise, taking the time to properly cool down afterwards can go a long way towards feeling great and staying healthy long after your workout is complete. For more workout tips or to schedule an in-person consultation with our experts, please contact Synergy Sports Wellness Institute™ today. Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Google+ for more tips, news, and more.
Exercise is a foundational part of maintaining good physical and mental health. Regular physical activity can effectively slow down the aging process by enhancing muscle and joint function, keeping our bones strong, and decreasing the risk of serious health conditions like cardiovascular disease. However, as we age the risk of exercise-related injuries increases. Changes that occur in our musculoskeletal system as we age can make us vulnerable to some of the most common injuries related to exercise. To help keep you on your feet and feeling good, here are a few tips for baby boomers trying to avoid injury-related ailments.
Warming up before your exercise is crucial. Cold muscles are naturally more prone to injuries like pulls, tears, and strains. Light cardio activities like leg lifts, toe taps, stationary cycling, and jogging or walking in place can be a great way to ease your body into your workout. While stretching is important, remember not to stretch until your muscles are warmed up, as this can also lead to potential injury.
Cooling down after your exercise is just as important as warming up. Performing some light stretching after exercising can help improve your flexibility and better prepare your body for the next time you exercise. Cooling down can also help your body recover from your workout.
Spread Out Your Weekly Exercise
You are far better off getting a smaller amount of exercise every day than compressing a week’s worth of exercise into a weekend. We recommend getting at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise daily. If you can’t squeeze this into your schedule, try breaking your activity into 10-minute blocks. This activity can take the form of everyday tasks like walking the dog, working outdoors, playing with your kids, and more.
Don’t Push Yourself Too Hard
As we age, it’s normal for our bodies to lose some flexibility. This means some physical activities or sports can be harder on our bodies than they were years ago. It’s important to listen to your body and not push yourself beyond your physical limitations to prevent potential injuries.
It’s great to stay active as you age, but it’s important to be smart about your exercise regimen and adjust it as need be. Following these tips can’t guarantee that you’ll stay injury-free. They can however reduce your chances of getting hurt before or after your workout. Taking the necessary precautions and being mindful of our body’s needs can go a long way towards remaining active for many more years to come. To see how we can help at your peak performance level, contact Synergy Sports Wellness Institute™ today. Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ for more tips, news, and more.
At some point or another, we have all experienced that familiar “pins-and-needles” feeling that signals a hand or a foot is “falling asleep.” Few people, however, take the time to ask themselves what this really means. In most cases, this feeling is the result of a “pinched nerve.” Although a pinched nerve is usually only a mild annoyance that can be massaged away, it can sometimes be a symptom of a more serious problem. If you are experiencing the numbness, pain, or weakness that can result from a pinched nerve it may be a good idea to come in to the Synergy Sports Wellness Institute™ so we can assess the cause of your discomfort. Our Certified Synergy doctors will be able to give you a complete diagnosis and perform therapeutic techniques that can prevent further damage and may even help keep the issue from recurring in the future.
Most of the pinched nerves that we deal with at the Synergy Sports Wellness Institute™ are the result of repetitive stress injuries. When we repeat even small motions over and over again, the repeated stress can cause microscopic tears in muscles, tendons, and ligaments, causing the affected tissues to become swollen. This inflammation effectively squeezes the nerves against nearby bones, resulting in conditions like tennis elbow or carpal tunnel syndrome. Pinched nerves are also very common in the neck and back, where spinal nerves travel through narrow spaces between the individual vertebrae. Flat, round “cushions” called intervertebral discs act as shock absorbers between each vertebra in your spine. As we age and these disks wear out, the distance between the vertebrae shrinks, pinching the nerves between them. This condition, called a herniated disk, may cause neck or low back pain, depending upon where the nerves are being compressed. In some cases it may even cause pain that radiates from the neck into the shoulder and arm (cervical radiculopathy) or pain that radiates into the leg and foot (lumbar radiculopathy or sciatic nerve pain).
Regardless of the location involved, compressed nerves are typically best dealt with using massage and chiropractic adjustment. In many cases, our Synergy trained chiropractors and massage therapists will use specifically targeted techniques, like trigger point therapy or foam rolling, depending on the needs of the patient. These therapies not only help improve circulation while reducing inflammation, but also help bring the muscles and bones into proper alignment, potentially relieving the pressure on the nerves.
If left untreated, the damage from a pinched nerve may cause long-lasting problems, and the earlier you get a diagnosis and treatment for nerve compression, the more quickly you’ll find relief. If you are concerned that you may have a pinched nerve, or if you are interested in discussing any of the other conditions that we can treat, please contact us today at (404) 352-8900. When you come in for a consultation, our Synergy™ trained chiropractors and massage therapists can work with you to find the ideal treatment approach for your injury. Don’t forget to follow us on social media for the latest news and information about sports medicine and chiropractic care in Atlanta.
May 12th, 2018 by Synergy Admin
When most people hear our name, Synergy Sports Wellness Institute™, they assume we primarily treat athletes to help them heal from sports injuries and optimize their performance. Based on this, the average person assumes that a sports medicine practice wouldn’t be helpful for them. While that might be true at some practices, Dr. Michael Hatrak and the rest of our team at Synergy offers therapies and treatments that can help anyone from a senior citizen to a professional athlete, from an active child to an adult with a desk job.
Whether they’re a Doctor of Chiropractic, a massage therapist, or another type of medical professional, someone who practices sports medicine needs to have a thorough understanding of the body’s mechanics. They have in-depth knowledge of muscles, ligaments, tendons, nerves, and everything in between, and they know how all these tissues work together as your body moves. Irritation and injury in these types of soft tissue don’t just affect athletes – they’re an extremely common cause of pain (like chronic back pain and neck pain). Many people also have pain or limited mobility due to old injuries that never healed properly, just like athletes do. Whether they’re helping an athlete knock down his/her 40-meter time or relieving a chronically stiff lower back, the knowledge base is the same.
What therapies are most common for non-athletes?
Sports medicine is actually a collection of various techniques that are used to address mechanical issues in the body. Our approach at Synergy Sports Wellness Institute™ is based on Dr. Hatrak’s innovative techniques. We begin by investigating the root cause of each patient’s issues, then treating the cause rather than just the symptoms. For that reason, every patient’s course of treatment is unique, but here’s a look at some of the most common ones we use for non-athletes:
- Synergy Release Therapy
Our signature treatment is called Synergy Release Therapy, or SRT. SRT looks at the seemingly small misalignments and dysfunctions in our body that put too much strain on certain tissues or areas, eventually causing an injury. The specialized therapy identifies these issues and resolves them before treating the symptoms or injuries they’ve caused, so patients get long-term relief and are less likely to re-injure the area.
Microcurrent therapy sends tiny electrical currents into targeted tissue. While the treatments aren’t painful because they’re acting on a cellular level, they aid in healing and allow your cells to accept nutrients more readily, among other benefits. Our experienced providers can customize your treatments specifically for the type of tissue and the concern you’re trying to treat, like inflammation or scar tissue.
- Trigger Point Therapy
The human body is a fascinatingly connected maze, and trigger points are a perfect representation of this. When certain areas of muscles are overworked or injured, they can form “trigger points” in the connective tissue that can cause pain or stiffness in a wholly different area of the body. In these cases, the area where you have symptoms might not actually be the area that needs treatment. Trigger Point Therapy uses this knowledge to massage and repair specific trigger points in your body based on your particular issues.
Seemingly small imbalances in the way your foot is structured can cause damage to other areas of your body over time, especially if you’re very active. Orthotics are customized sole inserts that compensate for these imbalances and stabilize your foot and ankle. This can prevent re-injury (or initial injury if you find the problem early enough).
- Rapid Release Therapy (RRT)
Rapid Release Therapy aims to break up internal scar tissue that forms from old injuries (even injuries you didn’t notice at the time). But instead of using manual massage, RRT breaks up the scar tissue with a non-invasive device that sends waves of vibration into the area. Because the scar tissue is brittle and the healthy tissue is flexible, RRT breaks down scar tissue without affecting your muscles, ligaments, and other soft tissues in the area.
- Chiropractic Care
For many patients, an unnoticed misalignment can put unnecessary stress on the body and lead to long-term pain issues and injuries. Our Doctors of Chiropractic have a strong track record of giving patients faster, longer-lasting results.
- Advanced Muscle Integration Technique (AMIT)
Dr. Hatrak has been performing this innovative therapy for over ten years. The advanced technique involves assessing individual muscles to identify injury-causing and stress-causing dysfunctions. Dr. Hatrak then treats these specific issues to relieve patients’ existing pain while reducing their risk of future injury.
As honored as our experienced, highly-trained providers have been to work with many professional athletes over the years, we put our skills to use far beyond stadiums and arenas as well. Pain, limited movement, or poor posture affects nearly all of us at some point in our lives, but there are countless proven treatments at your disposal and the list above includes just a few. To find out what we can do to help you feel better and move better, schedule a diagnostic exam at Synergy Sports Wellness Institute™. For more sports wellness tips, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.
April 12th, 2018 by Synergy Admin
A hamstring strain, also known as pulled hamstring, is one of the most common injuries associated with athletic activity. Although they often occur in athletes, a hamstring strain can happen to anyone who is physically active. A hamstring is a grouping of three muscles that run along the back of your thigh. They allow the legs to bend at the knee. During a hamstring strain, one or more of these muscles are stretched beyond their capacity or are challenged with a sudden burst of movement.
Hamstring strains occur frequently during sports and activities that require sprinting like track, soccer, football, and water sports. They can also result from awkward or incorrect stretching. Depending on their severity, a hamstring strain can be a pull, a partial tear, or a complete tear. A grade 1 hamstring strain is the mildest and can usually be healed simply. A grade 3 hamstring strain is a full thickness tear, which can be complete or half the muscle, that will require significant time for recovery. In the most severe cases, the tendon can tear completely away from the bone.
The symptoms you experience during a hamstring strain will depend on the severity of your strain. Grade 1 hamstring strains may not hurt too much, whereas grade 3 strains can be agonizing, making walking or standing nearly impossible. Other notable hamstring strain symptoms include a snapping or popping sensation in the hamstring area, pain in the thigh or lower buttock area when walking or bending, as well as tenderness or bruising around the hamstrings.
Preventing a hamstring strain can be easier than fully healing from one. We recommend following these tips to help reduce your chances of developing a hamstring strain:
- • Always warm up properly before any intense athletic activity like running or playing sports.
- • Perform static stretching after (instead of before) your workout to avoid overextending the hamstring muscles.
- • Gradually increase the intensity of your physical activity to prevent potentially harmful overexertion.
- • Stop exercising immediately if you begin to feel pain in your hamstring area.
If you do experience a hamstring strain, the professionals at Synergy Sports Wellness Institute™ can help. We will begin with a full diagnostic exam to find the root cause of your pain and then help develop a personalized treatment plan for your specific needs that will help get you back on your feet and feeling better than ever. For more information or to schedule an in-person consultation, please contact Synergy Sports Wellness Institute™ today or follow us on social media.
At Synergy Sports Wellness Institute™ our certified chiropractors and massage therapists understand that many different conditions can cause pain and discomfort or impair your daily activities. While the causes of conditions like ankle sprains, ACL tears, or lower back pain are usually obvious, other injuries may be much more difficult to identify. Some of the most common of these “hard-to-diagnose” issues are repetitive stress injuries. Although patients often dismiss them as minor annoyances, these injuries are actually America’s most common and costly occupational health problem. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), repetitive stress injuries affect hundreds of thousands of workers and cost more than $20 billion a year in workers’ compensation claims and lost productivity.
Most forms of injury result from a single traumatic event, but repetitive stress injuries are different because they develop gradually over time. When muscles, tendons, and ligaments are subjected to stress, they suffer damage on a microscopic level. Normally, this damage heals and the cells grow back even stronger, which is why “feeling the burn” is a sign that your workout is working. However, if the muscles are forced to repeat the same motions over the course of several days or weeks, the damage that they suffer never has a chance to fully heal. If the rate of injury is greater than the rate of recovery, the damage slowly compounds over time, leading to pain, stiffness, and diminished strength.
Repetitive stress often leads to injuries to the extremities, such as the wrists and elbows or the ankles and knees. However they can actually affect nearly any part of the body. Depending on the areas that are being overused, some of the more common repetitive stress injuries can include:
- • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (wrists)
- • Golfer’s or Tennis Elbow (elbows)
- • Rotator Cuff Tendonitis (shoulders)
- • Hip Bursitis (hips/lower back)
- • Shin Splints (shins/lower legs)
- • Achilles Tendonitis (ankles or calves)
Treatment for repetitive stress injuries generally involves therapies that reduce inflammation, such as Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy, Kinesiology Taping, or Trigger Point Therapy. However, the exact course of treatment will always depend on the specific area involved and the patient’s individual medical needs. Our certified Synergy Massage Therapists and Rehabilitation Specialists can also recommend simple corrections in posture and grip that will give the tissues an opportunity to rest and heal naturally.
Overuse Syndrome is extremely common, but it doesn’t have to stand in the way of an active and pain-free life. If you would like more information about repetitive stress injuries, or about any of the ways that our expert chiropractors and massage therapists can help you, please contact the Synergy Sports Wellness Institute™ today at (404) 352-8900. Don’t forget to follow us on social media for the latest news and information about sports medicine and chiropractic care in Atlanta.