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Running is one of the preferred methods of exercise for a large community of athletes. Some people take things a step further and run long distance routes—pushing their bodies to the absolute peak.  At Synergy Sports Wellness Institute, we help athletes of all different calibers operate at their full potential, but safety is always a primary concern. We aim to help long-distance runners continue to do what they love—without causing unnecessary bodily damage.

How to Minimize the Physical Toll of Routinely RunningHow long-distance running is different than other exercises

Although running is a fantastic way to maintain good cardiovascular health and weight control, it can take a toll on several areas of the body over time. The repetitive, high-impact movement can damage or cause inflammation in joints and muscle tissue. Runners repeatedly make contact with pavement or other hard surfaces on a regular basis, so frequent health concerns can occur in the knees, ankles, and shins. Injuries vary from acute damage to chronic pain. Long-distance running offers many benefits, but participants should be aware of the potential for unintended negative consequences because of its physically intensive nature.

Ways to minimize physical damage when long-distance running

Running enthusiasts don’t have to abandon their passion to be safe from physical damage. There are many easy ways to minimize risks while running through simple precautions.

  • Equipment. One of the most important concerns for a long-distance runner is their equipment. Safety should be the paramount focus when selecting running shoes and clothing. While shopping for a quality pair of shoes, you should look for a sole shape that fits comfortably to the contours of your feet and a heel design that allows for comfortable ankle movement. As for clothing, most runners select breathable material that lessens that likelihood of overheating.
  • Diet. Proper nutrition is of vital importance to any long-distance runner. The amount of energy that it takes to run consecutive miles requires a special diet. The recommended caloric intake is specific to each person’s typical distance and body type. However, nutrient-rich food like berries, nuts, sweet potatoes, and lean meat are good for keep your energy up.
  • Post-run recovery. Even though preparing before your run with diet and top-notch equipment is important, your recovery process can help prevent a large portion of potential bodily damage. Staying hydrated and proper breathing are easy ways to avoid muscle cramps. Stretching and icing areas that experience strain on the run will also create a faster recovery and reduce the build-up of lactic acid.


At Synergy Sports Wellness Institute™, we want to make sure that all athletes can safely enjoy their passions. For more information about injury prevention, contact our office at 404.352.8900. Don’t forget to follow us on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter for more information about how to improve your health and wellness.

Chiropractic treatment has been around for over a century, but it is still met with skepticism by some people. At Synergy Sports Wellness Institute™, we have been able to help patients reach their full physical potential and wellness with chiropractic techniques. Therefore, we would like to dispel some of the common myths about chiropractic treatment.

back pain, chiropractor, treatment for joint pain, chiropractic benefits, chiropractic adjustmentsChiropractors don’t have medical training

To be a chiropractor, you must complete a science-focused undergraduate course load, earn a Doctor of Chiropractic degree, complete a residency, and then pass a state certification exam. All certified chiropractors have an extensive background in studying human anatomy & physiology, rehabilitation and other health systems. There is also a heavy emphasis on clinical training that creates the opportunity to perfect the delivery of quality patient-care.

Chiropractic techniques are just temporary fixes

The chiropractic techniques that we perform at Synergy Sports Wellness Institute are designed to help patients make physical improvements in as few sessions as possible. Some patients have injuries or conditions that are more significant, so relief can understandably take more than one appointment to accomplish.

One of the greatest benefits of Chiropractic medicine is that it doesn’t require medicine or surgical procedures. This allows patients to improve their health and wellness in a more natural way.

Only people with back pain can benefit from chiropractic treatment

A large quantity of people may need chiropractic treatment because of a back injury, but this only scratches the surface on its potential benefits. Since nerves pass from the spinal cord when delivering electrical signals to other areas of the body, proper spinal alignment is of vital importance. Therefore, if patients want to operate at their peak performance, specialized attention should be given to this area of the body.

The spine influences other bodily systems, so chiropractic treatment can solve much more than back pain. Our experienced team of chiropractors can help reduce the symptoms associated with pinched nerves, arthritis, joint pain, muscle strains, headaches, concussions and more.

Chiropractic medicine is dangerous

Patient-safety is the primary concern during any type of treatment. Our chiropractors at Synergy Sports Wellness Institute™ are experienced with safely helping people eliminate pain or prevent future injury through customized techniques and cutting-edge technology. Additionally, chiropractic medicine is a much safer pain management alternative than opioids or other chemical methods. The notion that it’s dangerous has become an outdated-myth because of the incredible results that have been safely attained by millions of patients each year.

Our whole team at Synergy Sports Wellness Institute is proud to have helped many patients with our chiropractic treatment over the years. If you have any questions about our treatment options, call our office at 404.352.8900. Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for updates on sports health and wellness

Using Six Step Speed Prep Before Your Next EventTraining requires dedication, sacrifice and massive amounts of effort. Whether it’s a game, camp or competition, months of hard work can be defined in a matter of minutes. This is why Dr. Hatrak and his experienced team at Synergy Sports Wellness Institute offer Six Step Speed Prep for athletes who want to reach their peak ability in time for an important event.

Who can benefit from Six Step Speed Prep?

The Six Step Speed Prep technique can be utilized by both professional athletes and amateurs. It’s a comprehensive approach that readies the body for explosive performance up to 24 hours before an athletic event. Dr. Hatrak developed this versatile treatment for all types of athletes. Therefore, if your event requires you to exert any type of high-intensity physical energy, you can benefit from the Six Step Speed Prep.

Relationship between muscles and performance

Taking care of your muscle health is a significant part of proper training and preparation. During moments of intense physical exertion, your skeletal muscles make a rapid series of contractions with each movement. To better ensure safety and a better performance, your muscles need to be activated beforehand.

The Six Step Speed Prep prepares your body before a competition by helping you achieve full contraction of all muscle groups. In just one 30-minute session, you can achieve an optimal state for competition. The result of this process is an increased speed and agility while reducing the likelihood of an unintended injury.

Game-winning state of mind

Successful athletes have achieved a state of mind that helps them focus on accomplishing incredible athletic feats. A major part of the Six Step Speed Prep includes a process that develops a patient’s proprioceptive picture. Proprioception is the scientific term for a person’s ability to move and position themselves within their environment. For an athlete, this is a crucial factor in their success when the stakes are high. The proprioceptive picture is formed when a patient is balanced along three plane lines that deliver the message of advanced perception and awareness to the brain.

Making performance gains with Six Step Speed Prep

The Six Step Speed Prep process has enhanced game-time performances for high school, college and pro athletes. After treatment, you may accomplish the following:

  • Take 10ths off of your 40-yard dash
  • Increase your vertical jump
  • Accomplish faster cone drill times
  • Improve your agility and coordination

If you have any questions about the Six Step Speed Prep, contact Synergy Sports Wellness Institute™ by calling 404.352.8900. Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for updates and tips on health and wellness.

You might have recently seen strands of thick tape on your favorite professional athlete and wondered why it was being used. Most likely, they were wearing kinesiology tape to either provide muscle stability or aid in their body’s healing process. Synergy Sports Wellness Institute uses RockTape® for both athletic performance and injury management. The effects of this technique are still widely unknown to many people so we’re providing helpful information for our readers to understand the benefits of kinesiology tape.

Understanding the Benefits of Kinesiology Tape

What is kinesiology tape used for?

Kinesiology tape works as a safe adhesive that is attached to targeted areas of the body such as shoulders, knees, upper back, etc. It’s effective during both the recovery process as well as moments of physical exertion. During a treatment session, an experienced specialist at Synergy Sports Wellness Institute will place a strip of tape on the site of concern to slightly lift the skin thus increasing movement in the affected area.  This movement serves as a pumping action to increase blood flow for a shortened recovery time. The RockTape® treatment process will help with:

  • Inflammation
  • Pain
  • Lymphatic drainage
  • Circulation
  • Injury rehabilitation
  • Athletic performance
  • Injury prevention

How does the kinesiology taping process work?

Our providers begin the process with a thorough evaluation that specifically identifies your areas of concern. Once the treatment locations on your body are established, one of our Synergy Sports Wellness Institute® providers will apply the tape in a way that best serves your needs. The placement of the kinesiology tape directly relates to its effectiveness. The material can’t work efficiently if it’s haphazardly placed around the body.

There are several patterns that are used to manage pain. One of the best aspects of this technique is that it can be administered to any major muscle group. If the kinesiology tape is correctly positioned, it won’t affect your range of motion or athletic performance.

When a patient uses the RockTape® taping method, their muscles are decompressed and primed for a faster healing process. Many people feel a significant decrease in pain as soon as they wear the tape. By creating a microscopic lifting action, it safely raises the layers of tissue between the skin and muscle to relieve inflammation. In addition, athletes may experience an easier time combating muscle fatigue and stress during prolonged exercise.

If you have any questions about kinesiology tape or would like to schedule an appointment at Synergy Sports Wellness Institute, please call our office at 404.352.8900. Don’t forget to follow us on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter for more updates and information about sports health and wellness.

As essential as exercise is for your body, sometimes high impact activity can cause unintended damage to the body. One of the most common injuries caused by repeated movement is shin splints. It’s a painful and persistent condition that can make staying fit more difficult than it should be. At Synergy Sports Wellness Institute™, our primary goal is to safely optimize your health and performance, so we’re sharing how you can prevent shin splints.

How to Prevent Shin SplintsWhat are shin splints?

As the name signifies, shin splints occur alongside your shin bone—between your knee cap and ankle. When you repeatedly place stress on your legs during exercise, significant inflammation and swelling in your tendons and muscle tissue can occur. If not treated or rested, this can last for a long period of time without relief.  Shin splints are a repetitive stress injury that only worsens if efforts aren’t taken to correct the issue.

Ways to prevent shin splints

With shin splints, it’s important to be strategic and intentional about the ways that you exercise. Knowing what to avoid in terms of physical activity can drastically decrease your symptoms. The following conditions put you at a higher risk of developing shin splints.

  • Long distance running on a hard surface
  • Incorrect form
  • Exercising on an uneven surface
  • Inadequate running shoes
  • Not stretching
  • Over-exercising
  • Consistent activity without proper rest in between sessions

If you start to experience noticeable pain in your shins after exercise, then you might be committing one of these common errors. To minimize your susceptibility to shin splints, make sure that you’re frequently stretching, taking rest days and using proper athletic equipment on surfaces that don’t cause high impact such as concrete and asphalt.

Treatment for shin splints

Our expert staff at Synergy Sports Wellness Institute™ can help you create an exercise regimen that is considerate of your shin splints, so you can greatly reduce your risk of injury. We value patient education because your wellness is only enhanced if good habits are routinely practiced outside of our office. During your session at our practice, we will show you the proper stretches and techniques, so you can sustain healthy exercise.

Furthermore, we provide Trigger Point Therapy, Kinesiology Taping and Rapid Release Therapy to decrease inflammation and scar tissue while also creating more efficient blood circulation. Our providers have worked with everyone from professional football players to just the occasional exercisers to help them reach their own peak physical performance.

If you would like schedule an appointment or ask any questions about our treatments call our office at 044.352.8900 today. Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for more information on sports health and wellness!

Many people think of a massage therapy session as a luxury—a rare indulgence you save up for and only get while on vacation. However, the truth is that massage therapy has many potential medical benefits. At Synergy Sports Wellness Institute™, our massage therapists offer much more than a relaxing afternoon. They use their specialized training, as well as Synergy’s unique techniques, to address a range of issues, from chronic pain to limited range-of-motion to acute soreness. Here are some of the reasons a Synergy massage might be just what you need:

massage-therapyStress relief:

The topic of stress relief’s potential health benefits is a big one. Relieving stress can help with issues closely tied to one’s mental state, like headaches and insomnia, and many people attest that stress correlates to overall physical health. Our knowledge of exactly how stress impacts health is evolving, but we know that physical relaxation (like that which a massage can bring) can measurably affect heart rate and blood pressure. The immediate effects of regulating one’s heart rate and blood pressure are clear; high blood pressure can cause a number of heart problems, increase the risk of stroke, and damage the kidneys, among other health issues.

Pain and soreness Relief:

Massage therapy is increasingly recognized as a legitimate, effective therapy for pain relief. Anyone who’s gotten a decent massage when his or her muscles were sore can attest to massage therapy’s ability to soothe pain in the moment, but you may not realize that it can also be therapeutically healing in the long term.

Massage relaxes the muscles, tendons, and joints, and studies have shown it to affect long-standing pain issues. Over the past decade, several National Center for Complementary & Integrative Health (NCCIH)-funded studies have lent scientific credence to the pain-relieving power of massage therapy. Massage therapy has been shown to have an effect on conditions like chronic neck pain, pain due to osteoarthritis of the knee, chronic lower-back pain, and even pain caused by childbirth.

What makes a Synergy massage different?

A standard massage can help with mental stress relief, as well as pain and soreness in a localized area. However, a massage using the Synergy Release Treatment can accomplish more lasting physical results. Ordinary massagetherapy treats only the symptoms of acute injuries, repetitive stress issues, etc., whereas Synergy’s methods treat the root causes.

A Synergy Release Massage Therapist (SRMT) will first perform a Synergy Release Treatment evaluation to assess the foundational problems that ultimately manifest in whatever discomfort you may be experiencing. Once the root cause of your problem is treated, the SRMT will treat the symptoms, bringing in-the-moment relief as well as long-term correction. Perhaps most importantly, this process of structural correction and treatment reduces the likelihood of reinjury, allowing you to get back to your active lifestyle. We have used this process to remarkable success with athletes across the United States.

Whether you’re looking for long-term relief from a sports injury or simply want to experience the healing stress relief that a massage can bring, you’ll find solutions at Synergy. Our certified doctors, trainers, and massage therapists work with patients of all ages to optimize the body’s performance and maintain peak health standards. If you have additional questions about our treatment options, contact Synergy Sports Wellness Institute™ to schedule a consultation. To receive more tips and information about how to maximize your health and wellness, follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Although Hyperbaric Oxygen Chamber Therapy sounds like something out of a science fiction movie, it’s manifold benefits are very much a reality for patients. Synergy Sports Wellness Institute™ has frequently used this modality to treat athletes and people with ADD, joint pain, headaches and more. To provide an accurate source of information about this therapy, we’ve compiled some of the many benefits of a Hyperbaric Oxygen Chamber.

The Benefits of Hyperbaric Oxygen Chamber TherapyHow does Hyperbaric Oxygen Chamber Therapy work?

At Synergy Sports Wellness Institute™, we utilize a tube-shaped Hyperbaric Oxygen Chamber that patients lie down in during each therapy session. Once the session starts, the patient will begin to safely breath in a higher concentration of oxygen. Since the air pressure in the chamber is also more concentrated than normal, their lungs will retain more oxygen. The bloodstream then caries the increased oxygen throughout your body to aid various conditions.

Depending on the needs of the patient, the number of successive treatments can vary. Forms of this practice have been used since the year 1662 because of its many benefits. To best treat patients, our providers utilize the most cutting-edge technology that has been improved upon for decades.

What does the Hyperbaric Oxygen Chamber Improve?

One of the most common applications of the Hyperbaric Oxygen Chamber treatment is accelerated recovery time. Whether or not you’re an athlete, you shouldn’t have to be physically limited because of an injury. This recovery process increases ATP, the molecule that human’s use for energy, which can help eliminate fatigue and soreness.

Since there are many different benefits to an increased amount of consumed oxygen, this process improves a wide variety of conditions. The following are some of the conditions that can be healed or improved by Hyperbaric Oxygen Chamber Therapy at Synergy Sport Wellness Institute™.

Joint pain
Sports injury
Sleeping disorders
Skin disorders
Body detoxification
Chronic fatigue
Many more!

Our mission is to help people realize their true physical potential and hyperbaric oxygen therapy has been an excellent tool for making recovery easier. If you would like to speed up your recovery time or ask any questions about this treatment, call our office at 404.352.8900 today. Don’t forget to follow Synergy on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for more information about sports health and wellness.

Do you stretch when you work out? If not, then you should. Stretching before and/or after exercise can offer many benefits including increasing your flexibility and decreasing your risk of potential injury. Stretching deliberately lengthens the muscles in order to increase muscle flexibility and overall range of motion. However, proper stretching requires knowledge and discipline. To help the uninitiated get the most out of their stretching routine, here are a few simple tips we recommend:

Pre-Workout Stretching A Few Tips to Keep in MindBe Patient & Stay Positive

Often times, the biggest hurdle can be getting started. Staying positive and patient in the early stages of stretching can pay major dividends down the road. Patience is vital when learning new stretches and putting together the right regimen for your needs. So, how can you keep your mood positive while learning to stretch the right way? Try verbally encouraging yourself and stay realistic about the inevitable ebb and flow with your progress. Remember that flexibility training is a marathon, not a sprint!

Establish a Schedule & Routine That Makes Sense for Your Body

People often wonder if it is better to stretch intensely a couple times a week or perform less intense stretches daily. The truth is that it depends on your goals and the physical demands your body can handle. Generally speaking, a combination approach can be the most beneficial. Try alternating more intense stretching days with lighter ones. Stretching daily can help improve your flexibility, but don’t forget to listen to your body to make sure you’re not doing too much too soon.

Remember to Keep a Whole-Body Perspective

Our bodies are interconnected systems. This means that what we do for one part of our body will affect the whole system! This is why you must think about stretching and flexibility from a whole-body perspective. Develop a stretching program that will help develop equal mobility in your shoulders, back, hips, legs, and other areas of the body instead of focusing on one specific location.

Remember that everyone’s body is different and finding the “right” stretching regimen will depend on your specific fitness goals and athletic capability. For more information on stretching and flexibility or to schedule an in-person consultation, please contact Synergy™ Sports Wellness Institute today. And follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for additional tips, news, and more.

Welcome to the Official Synergy Sports Wellness Institute™ BlogNo one wants to go through life experiencing chronic pain or a limited range of motion. At Synergy Sports Wellness Institute™, we do everything we can to provide the best chiropractic care and wellness treatments to every patient we treat. Whether we are working with a world-class athlete or someone dealing with job-related pain, we offer a wide range of diagnostic and chiropractic treatments to help our patients feel better than ever before. To help demonstrate the impact Synergy can have on the lives of our patients, check out these firsthand testimonials from those we have worked with in the past:

Injuries are an unfortunate, but sometimes unavoidable, part of playing any sport. Thankfully, the team at Synergy has what it takes to treat a number of the most common sports injuries. Take it from patient, Nate R:

I have gone to see Dr. Hatrak and the team at Synergy several times for sports injuries, ranging from concussions and hip problems to broken and sprained ankles. Each time the team has been able to help greatly speed up the recovery process through several different sports wellness therapies. When Dr. Hatrak and his team perform adjustments, they are always able to fix the problem. The hyperbaric chamber and MicroCurrent therapies that they use are incredible in speeding up the recovery process. Thank you, Synergy!

When our patient Ben S injured his back, even the most minor physical activities became nearly impossible. Thankfully, we were able to find the root cause of his pain get him back on his feet and feeling his best:

Last year I started a new fitness program. After a few weeks I found myself with severe lower back pain that was so bad that I could no longer exercise. I even had trouble picking up my newborn daughter. I limped in to see Dr. Hatrak for my first visit but walked out feeling great! After three more visits my back was completely better and I was able to get back to normal living. Dr. Hatrak and his team utilized a very unique treatment called Synergy Release Therapy, as well as MicroCurrent therapy. They were able to solve my back issues by focusing on the areas of my body that were really causing this issue: my hips, hamstrings, and glutes. I highly recommend Synergy Sports Wellness Institute™ if you have chronic pain, injury, or just want to improve your performance. They got me back in the game quickly!

Here at Synergy, we put a premium on patient communication. Even patients who have had bad experiences with other chiropractic practices will tell you that Synergy is simply a cut above the rest. Take it from our patient, Paul B:

I had an appointment with Dr. Rice and it could not have gone any better. I confessed to him that I have had some very bad prior experiences with chiropractors. He assured me he and the team at Synergy would be different. He was not kidding. Dr. Rice was very friendly and professional. He took the time to explain everything that he was going to do and show me the equipment that would be used. He communicated with me throughout the whole process and seemed genuinely interested in my wellness. I was very comfortable throughout my time at Synergy. I can’t recommend them enough!

If you have a Synergy story of your own, we would love to hear it. Leave us a review on Google, Facebook, Google, or Yelp. If you’re experiencing pain and would like to know more about our available treatments, contact Synergy Sports Wellness Institute™ today to schedule your consultation appointment. You can follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Google+, for more testimonials, tips, videos, and more.

Many people start the day off with a fresh crack of the neck, back, or knuckles. It’s an action that may provide a sense of temporary relief or just a way to offset tension. Cracking joints has been the subject of much debate in the past, but in recent years there has been a lot of clinical study on the potential effects. Synergy Sports Wellness Institute™ values the importance of safety in our patients and community. This topic has been very common among our patients, so we decided to answer the question: is cracking my joints bad for you?

Is Cracking My Joints Bad for You

What makes the cracking sound?

The cracking sound is a result of joints being pulled apart, which relieves pressure between them and creates a bubble of synovial fluid. The swift change in pressure in a joint resizes the bubble and creates an audible sound.

Accidental vs. intentional joint cracking

There needs to be a distinction between accidental and intentional joint cracking. Many individuals accidentally experience cracking sounds when they are either repeating a movement or quickly changing position. There is very common and typically little cause for concern. We recommend that you thoroughly stretch before repetitive activity to ease the joint pressure and surrounding muscles. However, if cracking occurs in the same spot or there are signs of swelling, tenderness and pain, then there could be a real medical issue that deserves attention.

Through extensive studies over decades, many research groups have arrived at the conclusion that intentionally cracking joints is relatively benign. Nevertheless, self-administered joint cracking may result in unintentional injury if not done correctly with chiropractic techniques. If joints are forcedly cracked, it’s possible pinch nerves and strain may occur in the surrounding muscles.

Does cracking joints give people arthritis?

There has been a long-standing belief that cracking joints increases a person’s chance for developing arthritis. Studies have yet to show a correlation between the two, despite this commonly held thought.

So, is it safe to crack my body?

There isn’t a simple answer to this question. As mentioned earlier, cracking joints is relatively harmless, but there is always a risk of injury. If you’re insistent upon cracking your body, take caution with the amount of force that you apply to your joints, nerves and muscles. Over time, you may create overstretching of the ligaments and cause laxity to the surrounding areas. If you feel the need to constantly crack or pop your joints, it may be in your best interest to get evaluated so you don’t create instability.

Synergy Sports Wellness Institute™ can provide expert treatment solutions for areas where joints are sore or rigid. Our certified doctors and trainers work with patients of all ages to optimize the body’s performance and maintain peak health standards. If you have additional questions about cracking joints or our treatment options, contact us at 404.352.8900. To receive more tips and information about how to maximize your health and wellness, follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Google+.