Posts Tagged ‘Wellness’

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.


Frequently Asked Questions-Are All Patients Adjusted the Same Way?

“Are all patients adjusted the same way?” Is another question I get asked frequently. Let me break that down for you.

The short answer is-no! Our bodies are all uniquely designed and the way we live our life greatly affects the needs of our bodies. It would be out of the question for me to treat each patient exactly the same, especially without really evaluating the patient’s actual needs.

This is why your first visit to me will be a little longer. I do basic un-invasive testing to see which parts of your body are showing signs of misalignment. If X-rays or some other more extensive testing is needed, I walk through why I believe that.

Once I get a clear picture of what I’m working with, I evaluate which kind of method(s) I’ll be using to help with the adjustments. I have various tables and instruments that allow for all kinds of patients such as elderly, pregnant or unstable to be adjusted safely and comfortably.

Finally, I develop an individual plan. I compare this to your medical professional you might see for other health related issues. If you go to your family practice MD with a virus, you won’t receive much treatment. If you show up with strep throat your MD will probably prescribe a low dose antibiotic and a plan to get you healthy as soon as possible. If you come in with a fractured leg your health plan will probably require more medications, surgery, etc. It’s the same for chiropractic care. If you are generally in good health with only minor aches and pains, you will require far less appointments and adjustments than someone who has just been through a traumatic event (like a car accident, for instance.)

Furthermore, I re-evaluate often so that I can make sure I’m continuously doing what your body needs in that moment rather than what it needed a year or so ago. As you age your body changes so it’s important your individual plan changes with those needs.

If you have any questions about my evaluations or how I come up with each plan I would be happy to answer. Just give the office a call at 515-967-3007

Patient Form

Frequently Asked Questions: Pregnancy and Chiropractic Care

I get asked many of the same questions by potential patients. I don’t know if it’s the official start of summer or what it is but I’ve had more women than ever ask me if it’s safe to be adjusted while pregnant.

Having just celebrated my youngest’s 1st birthday I remember when my wife was pregnant with all three of my kids. Though I would never tell you her pregnancy and labor were pain free or easy, she has told everyone she knows that having chiropractic care throughout her pregnancy made such a difference.

So can YOU see a Chiropractor if you’re pregnant?

Absolutely! Everyone can benefit from a chiropractic adjustment. Whether it’s a newborn, 90-year-old or a woman in any stage of pregnancy, everyone benefits! The individual plan for a pregnant woman will take into account her age, weight, stage of pregnancy and condition of health. Many pregnant mothers find chiropractic adjustments not only help with pregnancy discomfort but can also smooth the delivery process for her and her baby. This is what one of my clients had to say about my care during her pregnancy:

“For my first pregnancy I didn’t use chiropractic care at all. I ate well and got exercise but hadn’t heard about all the benefits chiropractic could have for me and my baby. I had back pain most of my pregnancy and for the last trimester had radiating sciatica pain that left me bedridden many days. During labor I pushed for 3 hours because my son wasn’t in a great position for birth. For my second pregnancy I also ate well and exercised but this time I added in regular visits with Dr. Dawson. I have no back pain, no sciatic nerve pain and when it came to my labor-I pushed 2 times and delivered a healthy daughter! Nothing changed between the pregnancies other than I incorporated Dr. Dawson’s excellent chiropractic care into my health plan and it made a HUGE difference. I am so grateful I did and would recommend it to anyone considering becoming pregnant or who is currently pregnant as well.” -Jessie

So in short, yes! You can absolutely be adjusted while pregnant and it’s been proven to help alleviate many common pregnancy issues. If you have any specific questions about your pregnancy, give the office a call and I’ll be happy to answer them. 515-967-3007

-Dr. Dawson


Staying Injury Free When Starting a New Workout Routine

“I just started working out and I hurt myself!” is a common phrase uttered by patients of mine looking to get healthier this year. Often my patients are just like the majority of Americans.

We sit in our car on the way to work, walk a few steps to sit in our chair at our desks during work. On a good day we might walk around a bit at lunch but for the most part we sit during lunch and then again after lunch as well. We sit in our cars on the way home, sit down to eat dinner and then to decompress after our long days we sit and binge watch our favorite TV shows.

This happens day in and day out.

It catches up with us at some point and we decide to join a gym. This is a great first step but often within the first week people new to fitness experience an injury that sets back their progress.

There are a few reasons for this but today I’ll just be addressing one. When we sit all day, some muscles become shortened while others become lengthened. It messes with your biomechanics. Then we workout, stress our system with improper biomechanics and bam- your low back hurts. Or your shoulder, or your neck. You get the idea.

How do we fix this problem when most of us have to sit through the whole day?

  • Get up every hour to get a drink/bathroom break. When you get up do a few stretches like toe touches to relieve pain in your lower back. Or bring your hands behind your back to stretch your pectoral muscles-these are the muscles that get shortened when you’re hunched over a computer all day and can lead to upper back pain or tightness.
  • 10 min walk during lunch. It may not seem like a lot but it can really help to not only keep you healthy but also keep you pain free. Just a few minutes every day can stretch out and engage the muscles that atrophy when sitting for long periods of time. Plus, it’s been proven to make you more productive when you get back to work because it clears out all the mental cobwebs as well!
  • Make a goal to do something active before sitting down at night watching TV. The weather is nicer so make it a family thing! Go for a walk around your neighborhood or walk to the park and push your kids. If you don’t have a family, ask a friend or walk with your dog. They would both appreciate that!
  • If you decide to start a workout program, start slow with proper mechanics. If you have questions on how to do a specific lift, ask someone at your gym if there is a wellness coach that can just walk you through the equipment and how it all works. Or ask me! I would love to get your started on a plan that will get you healthy and active and keep you that way for a long time!

Most importantly, if you do experience pain come in right away. The worst thing you can do when starting a new exercise routine is to ignore your body’s signals that something isn’t right. If you come in right away we can figure out the problem that might have you just sitting a day or two out. If you continue to push through the pain there’s a chance you can do lasting or permanent damage that would require even longer rest.

But take a minute to celebrate that you are doing it! You deserve to be healthy so congratulations on making that first step and joining the gym! Good luck!