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Archive for the ‘Latest News’ Category

Cupping is a popular treatment among elite athletes because it increases blood flow to the muscles—relieving pain, soreness, and helping to bring healing to an area. However, this old Eastern medicine treatment can bring relief to your muscles and other ailments, regardless of whether you’re an athlete or not. Now that we are offering cupping services to our patients, Synergy Sports Wellness Institute™ would like to take the time to answer some of your commonly asked questions about cupping.

cupping, dry needling, pain relief, pain management, acneAm I a good candidate for cupping?
If you are a generally healthy adult with good skin, you are likely a good candidate for cupping. You should not attempt a cupping treatment if you are on blood thinners, are pregnant, have fragile skin, are under four years of age, have a sunburn, wound, skin ulcer, trauma in the intended treatment area, are on certain medications, or have other preexisting conditions. To know if you are a good candidate for cupping, please schedule a consultation with one of our certified Synergy providers with a cupping expert.

Is cupping dangerous?
Although cupping may seem dangerous because it is sometimes performed with a flame and often leaves temporary marks, it is not dangerous when performed by a skilled professional. It is important to find someone certified and trustworthy to perform this treatment.

Are there any side effects for cupping?
Side effects for cupping include mild discomfort during the session, skin irritation, and hematoma marks. All of these side effects should resolve in a few days.

Is cupping or dry needling better?
Both cupping and dry needling are used to relieve muscle pain and soreness. Cupping does this through pulling blood to the surface of the skin, while dry needling does this by penetrating trigger points. The treatment that works best for your body may come down to preference or your Synergy provider’s recommendation. Cupping and dry needling are often combined for maximum pain relief.

For more information about our cupping services or to book an appointment with Synergy Sports Wellness Institute™’s certified cupping provider, Cheryl Allison, please contact us at (404) 352-8900. Don’t forget to follow us on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook for more information about pain management.

The primary goal of dry needling is to relieve pain in the muscles, as well as muscle soreness and cramping. The treatment is great for athletes needing relief from muscle soreness, those experiencing chronic muscle pain, and those experiencing pain from migraines. This trigger point therapy uses small, thin needles known as filiform needles to resolve pain and soreness. Dry needling treatments increase blood flow, muscle relief, flexibility, and allow athletes quicker recovery. Synergy Sports Wellness Institute™ would like to debunk a few myths on behalf of this innovative trigger point therapy that is dry needling:

dry needling, pain relief, muscle relief, trigger point therapy, chiropractic careDry needling is the same as acupuncture

This myth is probably the most popular one—many people believe that dry needling and acupuncture are virtually the same thing. However, the only similarity between the two are the needles involved. Acupuncture is an old Eastern medicine tradition used to relieve pain, discomfort, and restore chi or a person’s energy flow. Dry needling is a newer Western medicine treatment. The objective of dry needling is to resolve muscle pain and discomfort through the identification and treatment of trigger points.

Dry needling is extremely painful

Many seeking pain relief may dismiss dry needling because the image of being poked and prodded by needles can seem more pain inducing than relieving. However, the filiform needles used in dry needling treatments are rarely felt during the session. You can trust that our providers are certified and well-trained. The amount of relief you will feel will far outweigh the discomfort that you experience.

Dry needling is only for athletes

It is true that dry needling is often used to relieve muscle tension and increase flexibility in athletes. However, dry needling can relieve a host of aches and pains in the average person as well. This treatment not only relieves muscle tension and inflammation—additionally, it helps improve conditions such as osteoarthritis, migraines, and fibromyalgia. 

You can’t exercise after a dry needling treatment

It is usually safe to exercise after a dry needling treatment. However, if you are experiencing minor soreness or discomfort, you may need to wait. Every person responds to treatments differently. You will need to communicate with your provider to learn exactly when it is best to exercise after your treatment.

If you are looking for relief from pain or muscle soreness, dry needling may be able to help. Feel free to contact us at Synergy Sports Wellness Institute™ at 404.352.8900 to schedule a consultation. Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.


preventing injuriesSpring is on the horizon and so are spring marathons. Are you ready to spring into action or are you letting injury hold you back? Whether you are an experienced ultramarathon runner or a novice, it is important that you know the injuries and risks associated with running and how to prevent and properly recover from them. Common injuries for runners include:

  • Tendonitis and tendonosis

These two conditions are similar—they both deal with tendon discomfort. Tendonitis is when the tendon becomes inflamed, whereas tendonosis is the more extensive damaging of the tendon. The neglect of this injury could result in a stress fracture.

  • Stress fractures

A stress fracture is a hairline crack in the bone that causes pain and discomfort. In runners, it usually happens in the shin or foot.

  • Pulled muscle

Also known as a muscle strain, a pulled muscle is often caused by overstretching. One of the best ways to alleviate a pulled muscle is through proper stretching when the muscles are warm. Another way to care for your pulled muscle is through the implementation of RICE which stands for rest, ice, compression, and elevation.

  • Shin splint

Shin splint pain occurs in the lower leg along the front of the shin bone or tibia. This condition usually occurs after changing or increasing your workout. Rest and stretching are effective practices that help heal shin splints.

  • Ankle sprain

This injury occurs when ligaments become torn or severely stretched around the ankle, usually from rolling or twisting the ankle in an unusual way. RICE is not only a great way to relieve a pulled muscle, it’s also great for improving an ankle sprain.

  • Runner’s knee

Runner’s knee, or patellofemoral pain syndrome, occurs when your kneecap hits your thigh bone, making it agitated. Stretching and mixing up your running routine may help this condition.

  • Illiotibial band syndrome (IT band)

This injury occurs when the ligament that runs along the outside of the thigh thickens and rubs on the knee bone. This friction often causes inflammation. This injury is caused by overuse. Rest and regular stretching may improve your condition.

  • Plantar fasciitis

This injury is caused by inflammation of the thick band of tissue that connects your heel to your toes. Stretching tends to help this condition. Although this condition is irritated by activity, plantar fasciitis can occur without activity. Getting fitted for proper shoes may also make a positive improvement.

  • Thick or black toenails

Many runners can experience thickened or discolored toenails. To avoid this, wear proper fitting shoes. See a podiatrist in severe cases.

  • Blisters

This condition occurs from friction between shoes or socks and often occurs when using new or ill-fitting shoes. This friction causes the skin to protect itself with fluid-filled sacks. To remedy blisters, make sure your socks are thick and your shoes fit properly.

These common injuries don’t have to keep you from running the course. With the right injury management and prevention plan, you can put these injuries behind you and keep working toward your running goals. Keep the big picture in mind. Gently ease into warmups and stretches. Rushing into your run without stretching or running too frequently can have adverse effects.

How to prevent injury:

  • Stretch

Stretching should be a part of your regular exercise regimen. However, there is not exact stretching timeline that you need to follow. Some people do better with stretching intensely a few times per week while others prefer to do less rigorous stretching more often. What’s important is that you find a routine that works for you and remain consistent.

  • Roll your muscles

Foam Rolling Therapy at Synergy Sports Wellness Institute™ can help improve your range of motion, reduce your muscle fatigue, quicken your recovery, and ease your muscle tension. Foam Rolling Therapy provides nearly muscle relief.

Whether you are new to running or are a bonafide expert, you deserve to run with confidence and comfort. You don’t have to let current or previous injury keep you from the finish line. If you are new to running or preparing for a marathon and need advice about how you can improve your performance, give us a call at Synergy Sports Wellness Institute™ at (404) 352-8900. Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

It has happened to all of us at one time or another. You get too ambitious with your workout or you lift something the wrong way. The burst of pain instantly tells you that you have strained a muscle. While most people rely on time and rest to heal their muscle strains, strains do not always heal smoothly on their own. To get back on your feet and prevent re-injuries, use these tips from our providers at Synergy Sports Wellness Institute™.

muscle strain, pulled muscle, sports injuries, athletic injuries, strained muscleGet a Professional Assessment

Muscle strains are common injuries, and doctors primarily instruct patients to simply rest and use home pain relief measures to let the strain heal. Unfortunately, people often assume this means that they do not need to see a doctor for a strained muscle.

The fact is that some muscle strains are severe enough to need treatment. Muscle strains can also feel similar to other injuries that require treatment. The only way to know for sure if you have a muscle strain or something else is to see a medical professional like one of our providers at Synergy Sports Wellness Institute™.

In addition, a medical professional can give you more detailed instructions about how long to rest the muscle, how to best ease the pain, and other insights. If you handle the healing period incorrectly, you could re-injure the muscle or do further damage. We will be able to keep an eye on your healing and offer therapies like our Synergy Release Technique or a combination of several other non-invasive treatments like the hyperbaric chamber and frequency-specific microcurrent therapy to help you get back to your active self.

Avoid Heat in the Early Stages

If you ask several random people whether to use ice or heat for a muscle strain, half will likely say one and half will say the other. The truth is that both of these can be helpful, but at different points in the process.

When you first strain your muscle, start with ice. This will reduce the swelling in the muscle and any bleeding from torn blood vessels. After the swelling has gone down, you can apply heat to lower the remaining pain. If you apply heat too soon in the healing process, it could make the pain and swelling worse.

As you do this, remember to never apply ice or heat directly to your skin. Wrap the ice or the heat source in a towel to protect your skin from the extreme temperatures.

Take It Slow

When your strained muscle finally starts to feel better, you may be tempted to jump back into your workout routine to make up for lost time. Unfortunately, this is when many severe re-injuries occur.

No matter how impatient you may be, take it slow when you are ready to get back to the gym. Use lighter weights on the muscle than you did before the injury and slowly work your way up. If you ever feel strain-like pain in that muscle, ease off and scale back your workout. One good practice to take after a severe strain is to perform body weight exercises in a controlled range of motion. Do not push yourself past the point of tightness or pain.

In the best scenarios, a strained muscle is an annoyance that makes life more challenging and painful for a few days. In the worst scenarios, it can be a serious impairment to your career or your daily routine. No matter what your situation is, your health is not worth the gamble. If you strain a muscle, call Synergy Sports Wellness Institute™ to schedule an appointment. For additional tips, be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Every athlete knows the basics of how to improve their performance: practice and discipline. As important as those elements are, you may be overlooking therapeutic treatments that give your performance an extra boost. In our last blog, we explained two of our most instrumental treatments for athletes: our Six-Step Speed Prep and our Synergy Release Technique. However, that was simply the tip of the iceberg. Check out these additional procedures and techniques we use to help athletes stay at the top of their game.

muscles, hyperbaric oxygen therapy, dry needling, AMIT therapy, ChiropractorDry Needling

Dry needling is a technique that is highly effective for reducing sore muscles. Ultra-thin needles are administered to access specific pressure points depending on where your soreness lies. This empowers you to keep up with an aggressive training regimen without letting sore muscles slow you down. In addition to soothing muscles, dry needling can also help improve the range of motion in your joints.

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy

It may sound futuristic, but hyperbaric oxygen therapy has long been a tool that athletes have used to maximize their performance. During hyperbaric oxygen therapy, you breathe in a more concentrated oxygen. That extra oxygen helps to reduce your levels of lactic acid: the natural substance that builds up in your muscles and makes them sore. In addition to revitalizing your muscles the hyperbaric oxygen therapy accelerates your healing process so that you can overcome injuries more quickly and get back to your sport of choice.

Class IV Laser Therapy

A class IV laser is a unique medical tool that has helped countless athletes perform better. It isn’t the traditional “destructive” laser you may envision. It uses infrared radiation and red light to activate certain processes within your body. Most notably, this laser therapy helps your body produce a natural chemical called ATP. ATP gives your muscles the energy they need in order function powerfully. In addition to boosting your ATP, the class IV laser promotes healing so you can recover from any injuries more quickly.

Advanced Muscle Integration Technique (AMIT)

While it is one of the newer techniques we offer, AMIT is already gaining a reputation for its success. With the advanced muscle integration technique, we use specialized strategies to identify seemingly small dysfunctions within specific muscles in your body. Correcting those dysfunctions allows us to help your body function better overall as a cohesive team of muscles and joints. With the impressive results we have seen, our providers at Synergy Sports Wellness Institute are proud to be among the few practitioners who are licensed to perform this technique.

Whether athletics is your career or your hobby, one factor unites all athletes: the spirit of competition. Our experienced team will customize a treatment plan specifically for your needs with the techniques above, along with our Six-Step Speed Prep and our Synergy Release Technique, can allow you to reap the rewards of all your training and hard work. To get started, schedule an appointment at Synergy Sports Wellness Institute today. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for more athletic and sports wellness tips.

In the life of an athlete, everything makes a difference in your performance. A slight difference in your diet can weigh you down or upset your digestion in a way that throws you off your game. A minor injury can turn into a major one quickly because you’re pushing your body to its limits.

synergy release technique, six-step speed prep, injuries, athletic performance, chiropractorAt the same time, many athletes forget about one practice that can make a far more powerful difference in their performance: visiting a specialized chiropractor and sports medicine practitioner. At Synergy Sports Wellness Institute, our experienced, specialized providers can help your athletic performance in several ways.

Speed Prep

Training and getting yourself into optimal physical shape takes time. However, there are also things you can do to give yourself a last-minute performance boost before your next game or competition. This is the focus of the Six-Step Speed Prep our Synergy providers have developed. Within a 30-minute session, we use several strategies to put your muscles into peak performance mode. This will help to establish more balance and stability throughout your body so you can maintain control and perform at the top of your game.

Injury Prevention and Healing

Few factors will affect your athletic performance the way an injury will. Even a minor injury can lead to long-term damage if it doesn’t heal correctly. This is why our Synergy team developed our unique Synergy Release Technique. During this therapy, we assess your body for the types of small misalignments and irregularities that put you at risk for injuries.

In addition to lowering your risk for injuries by correcting those issues, we can also help your body heal from injuries more smoothly and more quickly. Our well-rounded providers have expertise in Synergy Release Therapy as well as chiropractic care, kinesiology taping, hyperbaric therapy, and other treatments. We use a customized combination of these techniques for each patient to get you back on your feet more quickly.

Synergy Sports Wellness Institute has a deep bench when it comes to giving you a leg up on the competition. Our Synergy Release Technique and our Six-Step Speed Prep have proven effective for professional athletes around the country. However, they’re merely the tip of the iceberg.

Stay tuned for the second part of our blog series about how Synergy Sports Wellness Center can help athletes like you perform at your best. In the meantime, schedule your sports wellness appointment today to get a thorough assessment and treatment plan. Remember to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for more sports wellness tips.


Valued Patients,

Big changes are coming to Synergy, and we’re excited to share them with all of you, our valued community! We value transparency with our patients, so we want to keep you in the loop as we move forward.

As our two current locations continue to thrive, we are thrilled to announce that Synergy is in talks to open a new location as well in Marietta. In our 40+ years of practicing, we are proud of the advanced therapies that we offer, and we look forward to bringing access to these services to patients in the Marietta area.

In the meantime, our Buckhead and Alpharetta offices will stay on course with business as usual. You’ll still be able to receive the treatments you rely on from the team who knows you and your health through-and-though. We will continue to treat our growing family of patients in all of our focused areas:


  • Exemplary chiropractic and sports wellness care with new innovative and proven techniques
  • Advanced performance methods initially designed for professional athletes now made available to all patients
  • New cutting-edge strategies to treat TBI (Traumatic Brain Injuries) and Concussions


We appreciate your enduring loyalty over the years. We could never continue our growth if it were not for our wonderful patients. Your healthcare is at the heart of all we do. We look forward to serving you in the future in Alpharetta, Buckhead, and soon, in Marietta.



Dr. Michael Hatrak, Dr. Andrew Potter, Dr. Michael Roura & the rest of the Synergy team!


Alpharetta, GA                                                                        Buckhead, GA                            

What is Fibromyalgia?

How Can Synergy Treat the Pain of Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia is a medical disorder in which you can experience musculoskeletal pain along with fatigue, sleeplessness and mood swings. This condition can appear after surgery, stressful situations or for no reason at all and is more common in women than men. Pain from fibromyalgia can result in tender points on the body. The most common points are the upper chest, the top of the hand, the elbow, kneecaps, hips and upper part of the shoulders.

What causes Fibromyalgia?

Research shows that some of the common causes are thought to be:

  • Psychological stress.
  • The condition can run in families.
  • Some infections and bacteria appear to increase the risk of getting fibromyalgia.
  • Physical or emotional trauma. Accidents, incidents such as the loss of a loved one and divorce can also trigger this condition.


However, your doctor will have to make a definitive diagnosis through a careful examination. Researchers have been unable to make a positive diagnosis using X-rays, laboratory tests or biological markers.

How can Synergy Sports Wellness Institute help treat my fibromyalgia?

We can use our Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy along with other customized chiropractic treatments to treat fibromyalgia. Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy is a noninvasive therapy which enhances the body’s healing process by breathing oxygen in a moderately pressurized chamber. When oxygen is given under pressure, it dissolves easier into the plasma (blood), making oxygen more readily available for our body’s use.

How can Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy and other customized chiropractic treatments help?

When the body experiences trauma or an injury, the body responds by becoming inflamed at the injury site and decreasing oxygen flow to the site. This can slow down the healing process. Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy will increase oxygen flow to the inflammation sites. Other therapies such as Micro-Current Therapy and Synergy Release Massage Therapy can also help inflammation.

How does Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy and other customized chiropractic treatments work?

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy uses a tube-shaped 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 carries the increased oxygen throughout the body to aid various conditions.

Micro-Current is a regenerative therapy that applies a small electric current to injured tissues. This current supports the natural current flow in the tissue, decreases inflammation and allows the cells in the traumatized area to regain their capacitance (ability to accept nutrients). Micro-Current has the ability to relieve pain and promote healing by increasing ATP (energy in cells) production.

Synergy Release Massage Therapy treats the soft tissue imbalances and asymmetries that are the root cause of the pain. Structural and muscular balance is the first step to regaining health. Once the balance has been established, then it’s time to treat the symptoms. The specific complaint is normally treated last after the primary cause is addressed.

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

Hip Pain can be due to a number of causes.  Hip pain on the inside of your hip or groin can be caused by a problem with the hip joint itself. However hip pain on the outer part of the hip is mostly likely caused by issues with the soft tissues, i.e. ligaments, tendons and muscles around the joint.

what can you do for hip pain, hip arthritis, hip pain treatment, chiropractor near me, sports medicine atlanta ga  There are a number of things that can cause hip pain, including bursitis, tendonitis, arthritis and injuries.

Bursitis is an inflammation of the bursas or the fluid filled sacs that surround the joints and provide a cushion between the soft tissues and the bones. Recent trauma to the joint and overuse can lead to bursitis.

Tendonitis is an inflammation of the cords or tendons that connect your bones to your muscles. Long term wear and tear of the outer hip muscle can lead to tendonitis.

Injuries can include hip dislocation, hip fracture, strains and sprains. Arthritis can include rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis.

Synergy Sports Wellness Institute™ can treat your hip pain by using a number of customized treatments. We discuss a couple here, which are Synergy Release Technique and AMIT.

We’ve seen first-hand how many common injuries start with hip misalignment. Correcting this dysfunction helps balance the entire body and prevents many non-contact injuries from re-occurring. That’s the crux of the specialized Synergy Release Technique we use – identifying misalignments and irregularities that put extra stress on the body, resulting in pain and injuries over time, and then designing a treatment plan for each patient’s specific needs.

Synergy can also treat your hip pain using the Advanced Muscle Integration Technique-AMIT.  AMIT is a revolutionary treatment used to help relieve and treat common joint and muscle problems. Using AMIT, we identify the muscles that have become overloaded causing the body to shut down the muscles. This condition in turn can place additional stress on ligaments and joints, leading to more serious injury. Identifying these muscles, working to reactivate them, and then using strengthening exercises, can restore them to normal motion and relieve the stress on joints and ligaments.

Only a handful of doctors across the United States know the Synergy Release Technique and the Advanced Muscle Integration Technique, specifically designed to balance the hips, take pressure off the back, and balance the rest of the body. Both techniques are often combined with other treatments that we use.

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. Call Synergy Sports Wellness Institute™ today for an appointment or visit us online. Follow us on Instagram and Facebook for more daily Synergy updates.

Knee pain rarely goes away without treatment, and it isn’t always attributable to one incident. It’s most often the result of several causes or conditions over time.

minimize-knee-painFactors that may make knee pain worse:

  • Injuries to the structure of the knee can cause bleeding and swelling and can create a problem over time if not treated properly.
  • Sprains and strains.
  • Overuse.
  • Infection.
  • Bad posture and form when doing physical activity.
  • Not warming up or cooling down before or after physical activity.
  • Improperly stretching the muscles.

Here is some information you can use to help reduce knee pain. Make sure to check with your current provider or chiropractor before you participate in the following:

  • Warm up before exercise. Stretch your quadriceps and hamstrings before and after exercise.
  • Try low-impact exercises. Instead of tennis or running, give swimming or bicycling a shot. Or mix low-impact exercises with high-impact exercises to give your knees a break.
  • Synergy Release Massage Therapy. By focusing on the root cause of pain in our patients, this technique helps to create long-term relief from knee pain. Synergy Release Massage Therapy first begins with SRT treatment, which relieves tissue from pre-stress. This allows us to then use advanced massage therapy and ease pain symptoms, quickening recovery and helping to prevent future injury.
  • Foam Rolling. Using this cylinder-shaped tube to release muscle tension and adhesion’s (knots) that form on the tissues. This is sometimes an easy solution to alleviate knee pain.
  • Lose weight. Being overweight is one of the most common causes of knee pain. For every pound you’re overweight your knee must absorb four (4) pounds of pressure every time you walk, run or climb stairs. If you lose just ten pounds, you will lose forty pounds of pressure from your knees! Not only will weight loss help with knee pain, it will make it easier to stay active benefiting your health overall.
  • Walk down hills. Running puts extra force on your knees. Instead of running down an incline, walk.
  • Stick to paved surfaces. Rough roads or pocked walkways may be hazardous to your knee’s health. Stick to smooth, paved surfaces like a track, walking arena or a treadmill.
  • Get support. Shoe inserts can help treat foot problems that may be contributing to your knee pain.
  • Replace your running shoes. This helps to ensure your knees have proper support and cushioning.
  • Eat healthy and hydrate. Start filling up your plate with vegetables and fruit first. For protein, eat more lean meats and fish like salmon. It is also a good idea to eat foods that are natural anti-inflammatories to help with knee pain. These foods include cinnamon, garlic, green tea, and ginger.


At Synergy Sports Wellness Institute™, our focus is on identifying the root 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 today to make an appointment or visit us online for more information.