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Author: Cheri Carlson

Treating Plantar Fasciitis The Chiropractic Way

What is Plantar Fasciitis?

It is inflammation of a thick band of tissues on the bottom of your foot that connects the heel bone to the toes.  It can become inflamed when overused or over stretched making it painful to walk.


What Causes it?

There are numerous things that can cause plantar fasciitis, including wearing the wrong kind of shoes, standing for long periods of time, excessive exercise, weight gain, having high arches or flat feet as well as a tight Achilles tendon.


  • Pain in your heel
  • Tenderness of swelling in the heel
  • Dull pain or ache especially in the morning but gradual improvement during the day
  • Heel spurs


Lifestyle and Home Remedies

  • Maintain a healthy weight-to minimize stress on your plantar fascia.
  • Wear supportive shoes-buy shoes with a good arch support and shock absorbency, avoid wearing high heels and don’t go bare foot on hard surfaces.
  • Replace your old athletic shoes before they get too worn out.
  • Apply ice regularly to bottom of feet and massage area .
  • Stretch your arches– do some simple stretching exercises of your calf and foot everyday.
  • Tennis ball or golf ball stretch-while seated, place the tennis or golf ball under your arch and roll back and forth using the weight of your foot.

The Chiropractic Factor

  • Adjustment to the foot and low back: when we experience pain in our feet we often walk differently altering our gait.  Misalignments that are left untreated may cause problems in other parts of the body such as knees, hips, low back and your ankles.
  • Graston Technique: Is a non invasive technique that uses small stainless steel instruments to apply pressure to the plantar fascia working along the heel, arch and up to the calf muscle.  It works to break up adhesions and improve blood flow to the injured area.
  • Kinesiology Tape: works well in conjunction with other therapies.  Tape applied to the bottom of the feet and calf help to decrease the amount of pull on the plantar fascia while also providing foot support and increase blood flow to the area.

Conservative treatments usually improve the condition with time.  Give our office a call to set up a consult with Dr. Cheri so you can get back to doing the activities you love.

Managing Sciatica


Sciatica is defined as pain that radiates from the lower back into the buttocks and down the back of one or both legs, caused by the irritation of the sciatic nerves, the largest nerves of the body.  It usually begins as an acute pain in the lower back and then radiates down the back of either or both legs.  There are 5 pairs of nerves that exit the spine in the lower back.  These nerves make up what we know as the sciatic nerves.  If the vertebrae or bones in the lower back are misaligned or out of place; or the disc between the vertebrae are swollen, bulged or herniated, the result is pressure on those nearby nerves.  This can cause tremendous pain and normal daily activities become almost impossible.


  • Lower back or hip pain
  • Pain in rear or leg that is worse when sitting
  • Sensation changes on the back of the calf or the sole of the foot
  • Numbness, tingling, burning, pain in back of leg, calf or the sole of the foot
  • Weakness of the knee or foot
  • Difficulty walking
  • Inability to move the foot (in severe cases)
  • Inability to bend the knee (in severe cases)


  • Chiropractic care works on correcting misaligned or out of place vertebrae and can remove the pressure placed on the sciatic nerve, reducing pain and improving flexibility and function.
  • X-rays and or MRI may be ordered by your chiropractor as well.
  • Ice/Cold therapy reduces inflammation and helps to control sciatic pain.
  • Ultrasound is a gentle heat created by sound waves that penetrates deep into tissues.  Ultrasound increases circulation and helps to reduce muscle spasms, cramping, swelling, stiffness and pain.
  • Interferential therapy (electrical nerve stimulation) is a muscle stimulating machine where variable intensities  of electric current control acute pain and reduce muscle spasms.
  • Physical therapy and or strengthening exercises may be introduced when pain subsides.

The type of chiropractic therapy provided depends on the cause of the patient’s sciatica.  A sciatica treatment plan may include several different treatments.


Sciatica can be caused by other disorders beyond the scope of chiropractic practice.  If the doctor of chiropractic determines the patient’s disorder requires treatment by another type of doctor, then the patient is referred to another specialty.  In some cases, the referring chiropractor may continue to treat the patient and co-manage the patient’s care with the other specialist.


Sciatica can be managed so that you can get back to doing the things you love.

Chiropractic Adjustments & Natural Remedies for Treating Childhood Ear Infections

What is an Ear Infection

An ear infection or otitis media, is a painful inflammation of the middle ear.  Ear infections often follow a cold.  Bacteria or viruses are usually the cause.  The infection causes inflammation and swelling of the Eustachian tube.  The tube narrows and fluid builds behind the ear drum, causing pressure and pain.  Children have shorter and narrower Eustachian tubes than adults.  Also, their tubes are more horizontal, so it’s easier for them to get blocked. Ear infections are one of the most common health issues babies and young children will experience. Ear infections peak around age 2, but most resolve within a few days.

Symptoms of an Ear Infection


Pulling or batting at the ear ( if your baby has not other symptoms this is an unreliable sign)

Fluid draining from ear

Popping or ringing in ear

Difficulty hearing

Balance problems

Trouble sleeping


Loss of appetite


How Can Chiropractic Adjustments Help With Ear Infections?

Chiropractic adjustments can improve the health of the immune system, which will improve the body’s ability to fight the infection, and by restoring the function of the nervous system, it can assist with the drainage of fluid that may have built up as the result of an infection.  Chiropractic treatment reduces stress related interference to the nervous system.  Chiropractors use very little pressure on babies and children to restore misaligned spinal bones.


Natural Remedies

Warm Compress:  Try placing a warm (not hot) moist compress over your child’s ear for about 10 minutes.  This may help reduce pain.

Homeopathic eardrops: You can make own or purchase in the natural section of your grocery store or on line.  Ingredients should include-garlic, mullein, calendula.  This may help relieve inflammation.

Keep your child hydrated: swallowing can help open the Eustachian tube so the trapped fluid can drain.

Elevate your child’s mattress: This will help drain Eustachian tube.  Place something “under” the mattress at the top to elevate.

Lavender Oil: Rub lavender oil mixed with a carrier oil around the outside of the ear and down and along the lymph nodes on side of neck.

Gently pull and massage the ear lobes-away from your child’s head and in a slightly downward direction.

Check for Allergies:-an allergic reaction or hypersensitivity to certain foods (ie. dairy, wheat), molds, pollens may be the underlying cause of excessive mucus production and subsequent ear infections.

Ear Tubes and Antibiotics

Medical doctors will sometimes recommend ear tubes or antibiotics; however, this is often not the best option.

  • Using antibiotics to treat an ear infection may cause the bacteria responsible for ear infections to become resistant to antibiotics.
  • Taking antibiotics also lessens the body’s natural immune response.
  • The American Academy of Family Physicians recommend holding off on starting antibiotics for 48-72 hours because an infection may clear up on its own.  (Try the above natural remedies first along with chiropractic)


  • Children treated with ear tubes experienced significant damage to their eardrums compared to those treated with antibiotics in a long term study conducted by Dr. Robert Stenstrom of St Paul’s Hospital in Vancouver.
  • Additionally, tubes were connected to poorer hearing 6-10 years after they were removed.

How Can Chiropractic Care Help Relieve Vertigo?

What is Vertigo?

It is a type of dizziness associated with an illusion of movement, often a spinning sensation.  You may feel this when getting in and out of bed or tilting your head up.  It can have many causes and in most cases is a treatable condition.

Types of Vertigo

  • Peripheral Vertigo-caused by a problem in the inner ear, which controls your balance.
  • Central Vertigo-due to disease originating from the central nervous system (brain tumor, MS or trauma to the brain)
  • Cervicogenic Vertigo-dizziness associate with neck movement.

The most common type is a type of peripheral vertigo know as: Benign Paroxysmal Positional: BPPV happens when small crystals of calcium get loose in your inner ear; however, chiropractic adjustments along with certain movements can move the crystals out of your ear canal.

What are some causes of BPPV?

  • Head injury
  • severe cold or virus
  • ageing process
  • use of ototoxic medications


  • Half of all cases of BPPV are “idiopathic,” which means they occur for no known reason.

Diagnosis of BPPV

  •  Chiropractors are able to diagnose this condition after taking a full case history and performing a physical and neurological examination.

Treatment of BPPV

  • The condition is treated by certain repositioning manoeuvers.  The chiropractor will move you into specific positions depending on what has previously been found in the assessment, using gravity to move the calcium carbonate crystals away into an area of the inner ear where they will cause no further symptoms.

Type of Exercise Movements

  • Epley Maneuver (most commonly used)
  • Brandt-Daroff exercises
  • Semont Maneuver

Symptoms sometimes go away during a period of doing these movements, but often improvement occurs gradually over a period of weeks or even months.

Doing these exercises are likely to cause dizziness and a feeling of nausea for some people; therefore, it’s important to talk to your health care provider before trying these exercises on your own.

Dr. Carlson has treated numerous patients for this condition.  Call today for more information at 320-257-8266 or for more detailed information please visit the link below.




Graston Technique (GT) is an innovative, evidence-based form of instrument assisted soft tissue mobilization that enables clinicians to detect and effectively break down scar tissue and fascial restrictions, as well as maintain optimal range of motion.  GT is clinically proven to achieve faster and better outcomes for:

  • Acute Achilles Tendonitis
  • Carpal Tunnel
  • Plantar Fasciitis (heel or foot pain)
  • Neck pain/back pain
  • headaches
  • Tendonitis in hip, knee shoulder
  • IT Band Syndrome (overuse injury of the thigh and knee)
  • Adhesive capsulitis (extreme stiffness in shoulder joint)
  • Shin splints
  • Tennis Elbow
  • Rotator Cuff Tendinosis


GT allows a clinician to get as deep into the tissue as necessary to invoke change, yet be sensitive to patient pain and tolerance.  As the instruments are moved over the affected area and come in contact with the adhesions, they break up scar tissue.  In time, this process will reduce or eliminate the adhered fibers, restoring motion and eliminating the pain associated with it.  It will rebuild your soft tissue injury into healthy functioning tissue.


Since, 1994 Graston Technique (GT) has been the leading modality in Instrument-Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilization.  It is widely accepted by elite athletes and every day patients.


Since incorporating Graston into my practice I have had great success in helping my patients reduce and completely relieve their pain.  I have helped several patients with hip pain, knee pain, neck pain and plantar fasciitis (foot pain).  In addition, the use of Graston in my practice has helped reduce tingling and numbness in patients with carpal tunnel.

Dr. Cheri Carlson


5 Simple Stretches for Back Pain

A majority of Americans will experience some sort of back pain in their lives, ranging from an acute injury to chronic pain.

At Synergy Chiropractic and Wellness Clinic, we are always here to help you on your healing journey, but implementing some healing strategies at home can help the rehabilitation process. There are three main categories you want to keep in mind while working to improve the health of your back: stretching, strengthening, and aerobic exercise. Below we have included a variety exercises that can easily be done right at home.

Because stiffness is often a result of back pain, regular stretching is important. A stiff back limits your body’s range of motion and overall mobility making everyday activities more challenging and less comfortable. The goal of a stretching exercise is to increase elasticity and flexibility, throughout the body, with special focus on the spine.


Hip Flexor Stretch

  1. Kneel on your right knee, and place your left foot flat on the floor in front of you, keeping your torso upright, and rest your hands on your hips.
  2. Gently push your hips forward as far as you comfortably can, while keeping your torso upright. You should feel a stretch in the front of your right hip.
  3. Hold for 30 seconds, then switch leg positions and repeat (Women’s Health Mag).


Piriformis Stretch

  1. Lay on the floor on your back and cross the right ankle over the left knee.
  2. Grip the thigh of your left leg and pull the knee towards you, lifting the foot off the floor.
  3. Pull the knee further towards you to increase the stretch. Hold for between 10 and 30 seconds. Switch legs and repeat.



  1. Get down on your hands and knees on the floor, relaxing your head, allowing it to droop.
  2. Round your back up toward the ceiling until you feel a nice stretch in your upper, middle, and lower back.
  3. Hold this stretch for as long as it feels comfortable, or about 15 to 30 seconds.
  4. Return to the starting position with a flat back while you are on all fours.
  5. Let your back sway by pressing your stomach toward the floor. Lift your buttocks toward the ceiling.
  6. Hold this position for 15 to 30 seconds. Repeat 2 to 4 times.

Strengthening exercises are the next step to a rehabilitated back. It’s important to strengthen various muscles throughout the body including the gluteal, abdominal, and obliques. These muscles work with the back to help maintain proper posture, rotate the spine, and stand upright.

Knee to Chest

  1. Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor.
  2. Bring one knee to your chest, keeping the other foot flat on the floor (or the other leg straight, whichever feels better on your lower back). Keep your lower back pressed to the floor. Hold for at least 15 to 30 seconds.
  3. Relax and lower the knee to the starting position. Repeat with the other leg.
  4. Repeat 2 to 4 times with each leg.

Tip: To get more stretch, put your other leg flat on the floor while pulling your knee to your chest. To add more of a strength-training element, place your hands on your thigh creating resistance.

Pelvic Lift

  1. Lie flat on back with knees bent, feet flat on floor about hip-width apart, and both arms extended by sides, palms facing down.
  2. Lift pelvis off the floor and press hips as high as possible, squeezing buttocks.
  3. Hold for 1 count, then slowly release hips back down to the floor. Do 8 reps.

For a similar exercise with less range of motion, try the Pelvic Tilt

  1. Lie on your back on the floor with your knees bent.
  2. Flatten your back against the floor by tightening your abdominal muscles and bending your pelvis up slightly.
  3. Hold for up to 10 seconds. Repeat.

Finally, some sort of low-impact aerobic activity should be included in your rehab routine. Water therapy is a great option, as the water provides minor resistance. Walking is another option, but remember, an adequate aerobic walk should last 20-30 minutes at a sustained pace.

These stretches and exercises are great ways to help rehab your back at home; they require little space, and can be modified to fit your back’s needs.

The Benefits of Chiropractic Care During Pregnancy

Pregnant women can receive a number of great benefits from chiropractic care.


Reduce lower back pain
– Reduce nausea
– Reduce  back pain and neck stiffness
– Reduce the chances of a C-section birth
– Reduce joint pain

-Restore pelvic balance and improve posture

-Reduce labor and delivery time

Chiropractors are highly trained to gently provide adjustments for women who are pregnant.  Many chiropractors not only have special techniques to help keep moms safe and comfortable during adjustments, but tools such as pregnancy pillows and adjusting tables to help them as well.  Pregnant moms who take the time to visit a chiropractor during their pregnancy will find that their overall pregnancy can be more comfortable and enjoyable as they keep their bodies and their babies healthy.



At Synergy Chiropractic, Dr. Cheri and her staff make specific chiropractic solutions available to pregnant women. In addition to reducing pain and nausea, a chiropractic program will help keep the pelvis properly aligned. A misaligned pelvis can reduce the amount of room available to the baby, making it more difficult for the baby to position itself properly for delivery. A properly aligned pelvis will increase the probability of a natural childbirth. In addition, Dr. Cheri Carlson is certified in the Webster Technique.


Chiropractic care for pregnant women offers a healthy method of having a comfortable pregnancy and safe delivery!

Have a Headache? A Visit to the Chiropractor Can Help!

Throbbing pain, nausea, sensitivity to light and noise…headaches are never fun, but nine out of ten Americans sufferfrom them. Many choose to combat the pain through medicine, sleep, or just decide to suffer and hope it eventually goes away, but did you know a visit to the chiropractor could help?

Research shows that spinal manipulations, also known as spinal adjustments, provided by chiropractors may be an effective treatment option for headaches. In a study conducted by Duke University, it was found that spinal manipulation resulted in almost immediate improvement, and participants had significantly fewer side effects and longer-lasting relief than a commonly prescribed medication.

What can a chiropractor do for you?

  • Perform spinal manipulation or chiropractic adjustments to improve spinal function and alleviate the stress
  • Provide nutritional advice, recommending a change in diet to remove foods that can potentially trigger headaches
  • Offer advice on posture, ergonomics (work postures), exercises and relaxation techniques

What can you do for yourself?

  • If you spend a large amount of time in one fixed position, take a break and stretch every 30 minutes to one hour.
  • Low-impact exercise may help relieve the pain
  • Avoid teeth clenching
  • Stay hydrated