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Posts Tagged ‘sports medicine’

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.

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.

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+.

 

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.”

hatrak with super bowl ringAt 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.

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Most people associate sports medicine with professional athletes, but at the Synergy Sports Wellness Institute™ in Atlanta we are proud to be able to help patients of all ability and activity levels. Even though we are well known for helping to improve the performance of some of the world’s most elite athletes, fewer are aware that we treat some of the most common complaints as well. For example, many of our patients are all too familiar with the sharp, wrenching pain of “throwing your back out.” Even relatively innocuous activity, like gardening or shoveling or just bending over to pick up a pencil, can potentially send a patient to the floor in agony. Why does this happen? What are we really saying when we talk about “throwing the back out?” Proper treatment begins with a deeper understanding of the back and spine in order to evaluate what is really going on.

throwing-your-back-outThe spine is the central support for the entire body. It bears the weight of the head, torso, and arms while allowing the body to move and bend in almost any direction. The adult spinal column itself is composed of 26 separate bones, called vertebrae, which surround and protect a central spinal cord that connects the brain to all of the various nerves in the body. These individual vertebrae are stacked on top of one another and are separated by elastic disks of tissue that act as shock absorbers. Back pain can be caused by a number of different issues, including muscle spasm or strain. However, what we commonly call “throwing the back out” is most likely the result of one of these disks becoming pinched or displaced.

The individual disks between the vertebrae are not unlike pieces of candy with hard outer shells and creamy centers. The outer portion, or annulus, which is firmly attached to the vertebrae both above and below the disk, is made up of a network of tough, crosshatched fibers that allow it to hold its shape. Inside this shell is the nucleus pulposis, a soft, gelatin-like filling that provides cushioning while evenly supporting the weight of the body. As we grow older, time and stress can cause small cracks or tears to develop in the outer ring. If one of these tears grows large enough, the disk can rupture, allowing the inner filling to squeeze out. This is called a herniated disk. The escaping material presses against the spinal nerves, causing intense pain or even numbness and weakness in the lower extremities. A herniated disk can be caused by a sudden load or violent jerk, but is more often the result of a slow accumulation of minor injuries over time, so the onset of pain can be sudden and unexpected.

In some extreme cases, spinal surgery may be necessary in order to repair a herniated disk. However, about 80% of patients can find relief without surgery, by pursuing a conservative treatment regimen consisting of rest, pain and anti-inflammatory medication, therapeutic massage, and chiropractic therapy. Our proprietary Synergy ™ Release Technique goes beyond simple manipulation by incorporating advanced therapeutic massage, stretching, and muscle activation techniques to restore balance to the body and achieve real, long-term results.

Back pain is a serious issue and needs to be carefully evaluated and diagnosed. At the Synergy Sports Wellness Institute™, our unique evaluation process uses a variety of metrics to analyze and diagnose the underlying biomechanical causes of a patient’s concern so that we can determine the treatment approach that is right for you. If you would like more information about the various services that we offer, or would like to schedule an appointment with any of our chiropractors or massage therapists, please contact us today. Don’t forget to follow us on social media for the latest news and information sports medicine and chiropractic care in Atlanta.

The chiropractors and massage therapists at the Synergy Sports Wellness Institute™ have a tremendous amount of experience treating sports-related injuries, and we all know that no injury is more likely to fill an athlete with dread than an ACL tear.  While there are many different injuries that affect the knees or legs, an ACL injury can be devastating, especially when they happen to children.  Unfortunately, there is mounting evidence that the prevalence of ACL injuries has risen dramatically among younger athletes over the past several years.  Approximately 150,000 ACL injuries occur in the United States every year, and an increasing percentage of those injuries are suffered by children between the ages of eight and fifteen.

Are More Teens Getting ACL Injuries

Ligaments are bands of flexible and fibrous tissue that connect bones or cartilage together, usually at a joint.  As one of the four main ligaments in the knee joint, the anterior cruciate ligament, or ACL, is vital for maintaining stability and promoting proper coordination during movement.  The knee joint routinely transfers the entire body’s weight, and is subjected to extreme shearing forces when athletes pivot, sidestep, land awkwardly after a jump, or receive a direct blow during a collision.  When too much stress is placed on the knee, patients may hear or feel the characteristic “pop” that often signals an ACL injury. The knee may swell, feel unstable, and become too painful to bear weight.

The American Academy of Pediatrics has reported that the risk of an ACL injury generally increases sharply as children reach adolescence, particularly among girls between 12 and 13 years of age and among boys between 14 and 15 years of age.  The largest number of ACL injuries is reported among female athletes aged 15 to 20.  Among high school and college athletes females have two to six times higher ACL injury rates than males in similar sports.  It is possible to reduce your risk of ACL injury by taking some relatively simple precautions, including PNF stretching, building strength in the legs and core, and by learning proper techniques for jumping and landing.  However, once a partial tear does occur, patients generally need to undergo extensive rehabilitation and physical therapy for several months. A full or complete tear usually needs to be fixed surgically in order to restore proper function, and may require a significantly longer period of physical therapy.

At Synergy Sports Wellness Institute™, we help patients of all ages who are recovering after ACL tears with a variety of different advanced treatment techniques.  One of the techniques that we use is our hyperbaric chamber with the micro-current.  By increasing oxygen flow to the injured area, Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy can accelerate the healing process and potentially cut your recovery time in half.

Everybody has to deal with injuries sooner or later, and no matter what your age or activity level might be, the expert chiropractors and massage therapists at Synergy Sports Wellness Institute are here to help.  If you would like to learn more about the many different services we offer, please give us a call to schedule a chiropractic or rehabilitation appointment, and be sure to follow us on social media for the latest news and updates.

There are many different sports medicine and chiropractic clinics out there, but what sets the Synergy Sports Wellness Institute™ apart is our patient-centered approach.  Our unique evaluation process uses a variety of metrics to analyze and diagnose the underlying biomechanical causes of a patient’s issues, and our proprietary Synergy Sports Wellness Institute ™ Release Technique goes beyond simple manipulation by incorporating advanced therapeutic massage, stretching, and muscle activation techniques to restore balance to the body and achieve long-term results.  Hear more about our approach from our founder, Dr. Michael Hatrak.

Whether you’re looking for techniques to optimize athletic performance, exercises to help prevent injury, or simply for relief from pain so you can get back to regular, everyday activities, the experienced specialists at Synergy Sports Wellness Institute™ will work with you to develop a comprehensive treatment program that is specifically customized to meet your individual goals.  If you would like to know more about us or would like to schedule an appointment for an evaluation, please contact Synergy Sports Wellness Institute™ today.  You can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and Instagram for more tips, photos, and updates.