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Arthritis is inflammation of the joints. It can affect one or many joints. Arthritis mostly affects adults over 65, and more women than men, but it can impact anyone of any age, including children, teens and young adults. It also tends to be more common in people who are overweight.

massage-therapy-joint-pain-inflammationThere are more than 100 types of arthritis but most of us have heard of the two most common types: osteoarthritis (OA) and rheumatoid arthritis (RA).


We know that normal wear and tear causes OA (osteoarthritis), one of the most common forms of arthritis. An infection or injury to the joints can increase a natural breakdown of cartilage tissue. Your risk of developing OA may be higher if you have a family history of the disease.

Some of the common symptoms of OA are joint pain, stiffness, decrease in your range of motion, and redness of the skin around the joint. Many folks with arthritis have symptoms that feel worse in the morning.

Thankfully, Synergy can treat your OA with our Synergy Release Massage Therapy. Massage therapy is increasingly recognized as a legitimate, effective therapy for pain relief. The Massaging relaxes the muscles, tendons, and joints, and studies have shown it to affect long-standing pain issues. Massage therapy has been known to have a positive effect on conditions like neck pain, pain due to osteoarthritis of the knee, and lower-back pain. Massage also increases blood flow and lymph drainage to help flush inflammation out of the muscles and joints.

Rheumatoid Arthritis

Contrarily, RA (rheumatoid arthritis) is an autoimmune disorder. That means that your body’s immune system attacks the tissues of the body. These attacks affect the synovium, a soft tissue in your joints that produces a fluid that nourishes the cartilage and lubricates the joints. RA can invade and destroy a joint, which can eventually lead to the destruction of both bone and cartilage inside the joint.

Symptoms for RA includes:

  • Loss of appetite.
  • Anemia.
  • Slight fever.
  • Joint deformity (if left untreated with severe RA).

Synergy uses Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy to treat your RA. Synergy uses this modality to treat athletes and people with ADD, joint pain, headaches and more. We use 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.

Lessening the Effects of Arthritis

While there is no known cure for arthritis, you can make lifestyle changes to manage the condition.

  • Lose weight and keep a healthy diet. Eat fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts, fish and herbs to reduce inflammation.
  • Avoid or cut back eating a lot of meat, fried foods, processed foods, and dairy products.
  • Get more exercise. Regular exercise will keep your joints flexible. Swimming is often a good form of exercise for people with arthritis because it doesn’t put pressure on your joints in the same way that running, and walking do.
  • Get plenty of rest.

At Synergy Sports Wellness Institute™, our focus is on identifying the cause of your pain and treating the cause directly. To treat each cause with the most successful method available, we offer a number of treatments and therapies under one roof. Call Synergy Sports Wellness Institute™ today for an appointment or visit us online. Follow us on Instagram and Facebook for more daily Synergy updates.

spine, back pain, backpack safety, chiropractor, injuriesOnce your kids are back in school with those nice shiny new backpacks, you want to make sure that you keep their spines healthy and happy all year long.  You may want to get them the latest model but to make sure it is the right one, keep these tips in mind:

  • It is lightweight and fits snugly against their body
  • It’s made of vinyl or canvas
  • Its two straps are wide and padded

Now that you have picked a good quality backpack, you want to ensure you pack it correctly. When packing it with school things follow these tips:

  • Place the heaviest items as close to the back as possible so they are close to their body
  • Do not pack bumpy and odd-shaped items against the body
  • Be sure that the weight of their backpack is less than 10% of their body weight. So, if your child weighs 100 pounds, the backpack should weigh no more than 10 pounds

Now that you’ve made sure their backpack is of a good quality and packed correctly, we want to make sure they are sitting correctly as they spend those long hours and days in the classroom. You’ve probably told your child to sit up straight many, many times. Well, the same thing applies in the classroom.

Slumping over the desk can put too much strain on kids’ necks, upper spine, and backs. This especially applies to kids who spend a lot of time on their smart devices, hunching over in an unhealthy posture. When children use these devices, they tend to tilt their heads and move their shoulders forward into a rounded position, which can lead to neck, upper back, shoulder, and arm pain.

Here are some tips for good sitting posture:

  • Keep feet flat on the floor
  • Hold shoulders in a relaxed position
  • Sit with back up against the back of their chair
  •  Ears should be kept over their shoulders and chin just slightly tucked
  • Hold any books at eye level

Even young children can experience the effects of poor posture and back pain, so it’s never too early for young children to learn lessons of good posture.

Our experienced chiropractic team at Synergy Sports Wellness Institute™ is here to help your entire family maintain healthy spines. If you have any questions or concerns, call Synergy Sports Wellness Institute™ at 404-352-8900 to schedule an appointment. Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for more updates about maintaining peak health and wellness.

Low back pain (LBP) is more than a minor discomfort. On top of the pain itself, the common condition could limit your activity level and cause you to miss work. Although 90% of folks with LBP are back to their old selves within a few months, the remaining 10% are at a high risk for developing chronic pain and disability. How do you make sure you aren’t among them?

While most of us respond to pain by resting, staying active can actually keep your chronic lower back pain symptoms to a minimum. The question is: what type of exercise is best for people with lower back pain?

Walking vs. Strenuous Exercise

lower-back-painConsidering how common lower back pain is, this question has been studied time and time again. Most notably, several studies have examined patients with chronic lower back pain (CLBP) and compared walking to a rigorous exercise program. Short-term and long-term follow-ups all showed that a simple routine of walking regularly was just as effective as a more intensive program of other exercises. In fact, people who walked regularly experienced less pain along with fewer activity and movement limitations.

What You Can Do About Lower Back Pain

If you want to keep your back pain to a minimum the first thing you can do is strap on a pair of comfortable shoes and hit the sidewalks. As an added bonus, exercising by walking can improve your metabolism and help you control your weight while also boosting your mood. For those who aren’t frequent flyers at the gym, it’s also a less intimidating and less injury-prone workout program than lifting weights.

Along with a walking program, there are plenty of other ways you can improve your lower back pain. Start by adding specific stretches to your daily routine. One stretch that focuses on your lower back is laying on your back and pulling one knee toward your chest. Hold it there for 30 seconds before repeating with the other knee. Another option is to lay on your back with both your knees bent at your chest. There are many other stretches you can incorporate into your daily routine. One of our Synergy experts can assist you in finding ones that suit your needs.

Besides walking and stretching, you need to take a close look at the way you sit. Poor posture is a common cause of lower back pain, especially if you work at a desk. When you sit, your knees should be at a 90-degree angle and your back should be against the back of your chair. Also, you should not hunch over computer when you sit as this position will put additional strain on the lower back.

Most importantly, though, you need to find the reason your back is in pain. Our experienced chiropractic team at Synergy Sports Wellness Institute™ can examine your back, find the root of the problem, and help you explore your options for relief. If you are experiencing low back pain, call Synergy Sports Wellness Institute™ at 404-352-8900 to schedule an appointment. Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for more updates about maintaining peak health and wellness.

Is weightlifting safe for adolescents?

sports medicine, chiropractic care, spine injuries, weightlifting, sport injuries

No. Well, yes. Okay maybe…in the right situations. That is about as clear as it gets concerning the growing epidemic of adolescent injuries from weightlifting and competitive sports.

There is no disputing the facts that plague childhood athletics. A study published in the medical journal Pediatrics found that the more specialized an athlete is in one or two sports, the more likely they are to get an injury. However, few studies have linked injuries from any specific sport to progressive problems in the spine—until now.

Is adolescent weightlifting harmful?

Parents and coaches are always looking for a competitive edge, and strength gains can help fill that role. What are the risks and benefits of youth resistance training, though? Many studies highlight the risks of improper weight training. Incorrect lifting technique, lack of proper training, and advancing weights too quickly are commonplace. These mistakes coupled with the fact that kids’ and adolescents’ growth plates are still open and developing may lead to a higher rate of injury and long-term damage.

A new study in the journal PLOS ONE studied twelve adolescent powerlifters, and the conclusions were dramatic. At the start of the study, two of the adolescents had abnormalities in the lumbar bones of their back. Two years later, that number had jumped to eight. Finally, three years into the study, eleven of the twelve adolescents had lumbar abnormalities. The scariest part is that most of these teens wouldn’t have known about the problem because only three of them had lower back pain.

These findings leave very little room for dispute. Results confirm that competitive weightlifting as an adolescent, leads to long-term degeneration in the lumbar spine. Our team at Synergy Sports Wellness Institute sees similar scenarios daily.

Young athletes are affecting their long-term health with repetitive movements and a lack of rest. Baseball players with “little league elbow,” dancers with bunions, runners with shin splints, and basketball players with “jumper’s knee” are all too common.  Year-round, sport-specific competitive athletes live in a cycle that doesn’t give their bodies the opportunities for resting and rebuilding that they need.

How much activity is too much?

There is no clear answer to the question of how much activity is too much, and it probably depends on the sport. We do know that the 12 weightlifters in the study above trained extensively: about two hours per day for an average of five days per week, and 500 hours per year. Clearly, from the results of this study, that amount of weightlifting is too much for a developing spine.

Teens are getting more and more focused on the sports they’re most passionate about, and we may not be able to stop that. However, there is a way to keep the damage to a minimum: rest.

Sports participation and resistance training are designed to stress the body and rebuild the tissue in a therapeutic way. The body needs rest in order to do that rebuilding, though. Without rest, an athlete’s body is continually breaking down tissue without the ability to rebuild it.

As providers, we are only one piece of the puzzle. Our goal is to work with our patients to not only treat the conditions they already have but also to make the changes that prevent those problems from getting worse.

If you are concerned about the effects of weightlifting on your young athlete, call Synergy Sports Wellness Institute™ at 404-352-8900. Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for more updates about maintaining peak health and wellness.

Regardless if you’re an athlete or simply looking for a safe form of physical therapy, our Foam Rolling Therapy at Synergy Sports Wellness Institute is designed to provide a broad spectrum of health benefits. Our providers are firm believers in the capability of this treatment and our patients enjoy that it doesn’t require an extensive or invasive process to deliver immediate results. In the following, we’ll explain how Foam Rolling Therapy works and who can benefit from it.

sore muscle remediesThe importance of connective tissue health

The connective tissue that surrounds your muscles, bones, nerves and organs is largely responsible for holding you together. It’s one of the most important, but often neglected systems of the body. Much of the potential damage can occur unintentionally. Consistent stress and movement may cause pain, joint restriction, and prevent healthy muscle mechanics.

How Foam Rolling Therapy works

When the body is placed under consistent stress and strain, areas of knotted connective tissue or “trigger points” develop around muscles. They’re very painful and often affect other regions of the body that are connected by tissue. A common trigger point is the trapezius muscle that can cause neck or upper back discomfort and persistent headaches. Other types of muscle strain can occur during periods of physical exertion as well as bad posture.

Foam rolling is a type of myofascial release therapy that decreases this type of significant muscle tension. Before the therapy sessions begins, our licensed providers at Synergy Sports Wellness Institutewill complete a full diagnostic exam that will locate your specific trigger points and areas of concern.

The Benefits of Foam Rolling Therapy

Both athletes and nonathletes can enjoy the benefits of Foam Rolling Therapy. Even day-to-day stressors like prolonged sitting or standing can do damage to the body. People who undergo a treatment session can feel near-instant relief as their deep muscle tissue is loosened and smoothed. Foam Rolling can provide the following benefits:

  • Improved range of motion
  • Reduced muscle fatigue
  • Quicken recovery
  • Ease muscle tension

If you are experiencing muscular pain or stress, call Synergy Sports Wellness Institute™ at 404-352-8900 and we can identify the trigger points and help you find long-lasting pain relief. Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for more updates about maintaining peak health and wellness.

Due to injury or many years of wear and tear, knees are prone to significant discomfort during certain exercises. At Synergy Sports Wellness Institute™ we want each of our patients to be able to live an active and fit lifestyle without chronic pain getting in the way. That’s why we’re covering ways to strengthen and treat different parts of your knee.

chiropractor , sports injury, knee pain, exercise, sports medicine

Exercises to strengthen weak knees

Before any exercise, you should always warm up your body to avoid muscle strain or injury. The following is a list of activities that are high-impact and could make your knee issues worse. Make sure to take the process slowly and methodically to avoid further injury.

  • Stationary Bike (do not overextend leg while peddling)
  • Leg raises (no weight)
  • Leg Lifts (no weight)
  • Walking
  • Hamstring curls
  • Wall squatting
  • Band workouts
  • Leg press (no weight)

Never push yourself to the point of sharp pain or discomfort. It’s normal to have some soreness after exercises, but you should stop immediately if you experience any shooting pain.

Exercises to Avoid

If your knees aren’t in top shape, you should make sure to avoid high-impact exercises that can inflame muscle tissue and worsen pain symptoms. The following is a list of activities to avoid if your knees aren’t in good health.

  • •   Squats
  • •   Quick pivots
  • •   Soccer
  • •   Basketball
  • •   Skiing
  • •   Volleyball
  • •   Running


Exercising on hard surfaces can also be strenuous on the knees. So, if you are participating in high-intensity activity that involves knee movement, it’s better to do so on sand or grass.

Knee Conditions That Synergy Sports Wellness Institute™ Can Effectively Treat

At Synergy Sports Wellness Institute™, we are focused on providing effective injury prevention in addition to recovery treatment. Our Synergy Release Therapy is a multifaceted process designed to identify the root of your pain and then create a therapeutic solution to remedy the problem. Between our certified Synergy physicians, massage therapists and rehabilitation specialists, patients receive the best quality care at our facility.

For first time knee injuries we offer an array of techniques that are designed to help you heal faster and build up a defense against future damage. Seeking immediate treatment is crucial to a full recovery. If you wait too long, your body can build up scar tissue and make it more difficult to heal. Fortunately, Synergy Sports Wellness Institute™ is equipped to handle long-term injuries with our specialized procedures. The following is a list of various knee conditions that we can successfully treat.

  • Osgood-schlatter disease
  • Muscle strains/tears
  • Patellar tendon injuries
  • Chondromalacia patella
  • Patella tracking syndrome
  • Post-surgical knee recovery
  • Medial, lateral, or posterial knee pain
  • Cartilage/meniscus injuries

If you have any questions about your knee injury or you’d like to schedule an appointment, call us at 404.352.8900. Don’t forget to follow Synergy Sports Wellness Institute on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for more information about maintaining your peak health and wellness.

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.