Posts Tagged ‘Sports Injuries’

Different Methods of Neck Adjustments

Neck adjustments are often the number 1 thing patients are nervous about when seeing a Chiropractor for the first time. In my next series of videos I want to shine a little light on why neck adjustments are important for overall health as well as different methods I can use, depending on the comfort level of my patient, to adjust the neck.

First let’s talk about the benefits of realigning the neck:

  • Relieve neck pain
  • Decrease headaches
  • Increase range of motion
  • Relieve stress
  • Improve mood
  • Improve posture
  • Improve sleep

These really are just a few of the more common benefits patients experience after receiving a neck adjustment. If you’re having an issue that you think this kind of adjustment can help, always feel free to ask.

I have three different methods I use for adjusting the neck based on patient comfort level, specific issues you have been experiencing and history.

  1. The Activator. This is a hand held instrument used to adjust the spine. It is a gentle and very precise way of adjusting the spine as well as the extremities.
  2. The Drop Table. The drop table is a special table that has certain areas that drop down. I have the patient lay on the table then apply a quick thrust which forces the table to drop down. Though the table often makes a loud noise, this is another gentle way of releasing the pressure in the neck.
  3. Manual Adjustment. This is probably the method most think of when they think of a neck adjustment. I can do this with the patient laying down or sitting up. This method entails a high velocity, low amplitude thrust that usually results in a cavitation of the joint.

Each of these three methods are extremely effective in maintaining proper alignment and healing symptoms you might be experiencing. Stay tuned, I will be posting videos of the three different types of neck adjustments to give you a better idea what to expect.

If you have any questions at all leave a comment below or call the office at 515-967-3007.

-Dr. Dawson

How Chiropractic Can Help with Knee Pain

Pain in the front of the knee is very common among weight lifters, athletes, weekend warriors or just your weekend snow shoveler. There are many reasons that one may get knee pain but most can be traced back to poor joint mobility, tight or weak muscles due to inactivity or poor biomechanics.

One of my patients came in to the office with anterior knee and upper thigh pain. This patient had a fall almost a month ago but didn’t develop any pain until last week. The patient could no longer lift her leg when sitting or lying down. She had also started using a cane because she felt off balance due to her leg injury. After a quick exam we ruled out any serious injuries to the back and leg and were able to start her down the road of healing.

After my initial assessments I was able to find areas requiring adjustment to realign the hips and lower back. After the most important part was finished, I worked on knee traction and adjusted the knee as well. Finally, we focused on the tight muscles of the quadriceps, IT band and hip flexor. After a few treatments, she was able to lift her leg without pain and began walking without the cane again. She is still not at 100% yet but she is feeling better with each appointment and her body is responding really well to treatment.

There are many causes to anterior knee pain. If you or someone you know has knee pain, get into the office soon so we can figure out what is going on and get you back to being pain free! 515-967-3007

Next week I’ll show you exercises and stretches to help with knee health.

-Dr. Dawson

Stretches, Exercises and Adjustments for Sore Wrists

Often when a patient calls in complaining of wrist pain they assume they are experiencing symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome. Although the wrist is small in surface area, it has many important soft tissues that pass through it (muscles, nerves, and tendons). I wrote about carpal tunnel syndrome HERE and described it as a situation where a nerve gets compressed and can lead to tingling down into the fingers. However, there are other reasons that one’s wrist may hurt.

For example, if you get pain whenever you do pushups, or get in the front squat position with a bar against your collarbone- that is not carpal tunnel syndrome. Most likely it is a misalignment of one or more of the 8 little bones in the wrist or adhesions within the ligaments. If you ignore the pain and don’t fix the problem, you may start to compensate and could injure another area in the body. So what can you do about it.

  1. Come in to see me. I can determine where the cause of the problem actually is. I can adjust the bones and get them moving correctly.


  1. Strengthen your wrist with these simple exercises- 2x/day, 15-30 repetitions.IMG_7128 IMG_7129

Again, if you have any questions, feel free to call the office!

Dr. Marcus Dawson 515-967-3007


Exercises and Stretches to Ease Shoulder Pain and Rotator Cuff Issues

I receive many phone calls from people experiencing shoulder pain who tell me it’s their rotator cuff acting up. But is the rotator cuff really the cause of their shoulder pain?

The rotator cuff usually gets most of the blame when it comes to shoulder pain, but is it really the cause of your shoulder discomfort? The rotator cuff could be getting damaged secondary to the real problem. The real problem could be your misaligned back. Let me explain…

A lot of people have rounded shoulders which can be contributed to tight pectoralis muscles as well as a weak mid back. This pulls the scapulas way off to the side when they should be close to the spine. This causes the scapulas to move too early when you raise your arm to the side and your rotator cuff does not like it. So now that we know the problem, what’s the solution?

Chiropractic care has been proven to help with some shoulder pain and I could work on your rotator cuff every time you come in which will certainly offer some relief.  You could also look up shoulder exercises on the internet and try to do internal and external rotation exercises to help and it could cause more injury to your shoulder.

My recommendations:

Come in to see me to adjust the mid back as well as access the problem of your shoulder to see exactly what you need. I will also probably recommend the following stretches and exercises.


  1. Stretch pectoralis muscle in all three directions. Hold the stretch for 20-30 seconds.


  1. Rows in all three plains. Shoulders down and back, elbows next to side. Squeeze scapulas together like crushing a ball between shoulder blades. 2 sets of 12
  2. Serratus anterior-  punch at corner of ceiling with thumb up. 2 sets of 12

These stretches and exercises should not cause shoulder discomfort if they do stop and ask for help at your next appointment. Check out the video below for demonstrations of the stretches and exercises.


How to Prevent Injury in Baseball and Softball Players.


I have had an influx of patients recently coming in with complaints of pain and tingle sensations of the arm. These baseball and softball players really just want to know how to prevent injury so that they can get back on the field feeling great.

I was at a conference this last weekend in Des Moines, Iowa hosted by ChiroClasses and they brought in some great speakers. The hosts of the event brought in two orthopedic doctors from Capital Orthopedics who were both great but one specialized in the upper extremity. He mentioned how baseball players today are having more shoulder and elbow problems and he is seeing it more frequently and at younger ages. I was going to write about this topic earlier but after hearing Dr. Yanish speak, it confirmed that I needed to talk about this now.

It’s become increasingly clear in the scientific community that the problem is overuse. Many of these young pitchers are pitching in multiple leagues, all year round, on underdeveloped bones and muscles. This causes both short term and long term damage.

So how do we prevent shoulder and elbow injuries?

-Come in to see me! Chiropractic care helps keep the body in alignment so there are no impingements that could be the cause of the injury. The nature of a throw is such that it naturally misaligns the body, so often an adjustment is all that is needed to get your player back in peak performance.

-Follow the proper pitch count and rest days between pitches. If your child is on multiple teams, it is your responsibility as a parent to keep track of these numbers!

-Proper warm up, stretches pre/post game. I will be posting great stretches and exercises for baseball and softball players to do before practice and games but until then, make sure your son or daughter has a sweatshirt on their throwing arm while sitting in the dugout. That helps to keep the joint warm and blood circulating throughout.

-Coaches, if a player on your team complains of shoulder/elbow pain while throwing, take it seriously and have the arm evaluated by myself or another medical professional. It’s better to be out a few games to let the arm heal than be out for a season or two down the road. Kids heal really quickly but even they can’t heal quickly with an extensive overuse injury.

-Lastly, after the season is over, take 4 months off of baseball or softball and play a different sport to give the arm a rest. I know there is so much pressure to play a single sport year ‘round, and Malcom Gladwell’s theory of 10,000 hours didn’t help any, but every bit of scientific evidence proves it is just not worth it. More often than not our kids are experiencing injuries not previously seen in athletes until their 30s or our young athletes are experiencing mental and emotional burnout. If your child really wants to play sports at a high level, encourage them to be the best all around athlete they can be-those players are essential for any coach!

If you have questions or comments feel free to call, comment or email, I would love to help. Check back here soon for stretches and exercises that will help increase strength and range of motion for your baseball or softball players.

-Dr. Dawson