Back in the Game
Dr. David W. Nadler offers a full range of chiropractic and sports-medicine modalities to help patients of all ages and backgrounds perform at their best
by Bill Donahue

One is an elite Episcopal Academy athlete eager to hone her competitive edge. One is an energetic 32-year-old with a desk job looking to prevent chronic low-back pain from threatening his “weekend warrior” ritual. One is a professional lacrosse player hungry to boost his on-field performance. And one is a former pro basketball player hoping to play golf without pain.

Although all of these individuals have completely unique goals, as well as completely unique bodies, each of them finds relief in the care of Dr. David W. Nadler and Associates P.C.

In the course of his nearly 25-year career, during which he has treated everyone from professional athletes to active nonagenarians, Dr. Nadler has “seen it all” in terms of musculoskeletal issues. As such, his Newtown Square facility offers a full range of conventional chiropractic and sports-medicine treatments, as well as innovative modalities designed to help patients alleviate pain, strengthen musculoskeletal structures and otherwise get “back in the game.”

“I’ve always been very passionate about health care and sports medicine, but I also thought there was a void between surgery and more conservative therapies,” says Dr. Nadler, who received his doctorate from Pennsylvania College of Chiropractic in Philadelphia. “I felt that chiropractic and sports medicine filled that void. Only a certain percentage of people out there with acute or chronic pain are candidates for surgery; most back pain and other musculoskeletal pain is mechanical. When you can treat those conditions in a minimally invasive way, using multiple therapies that complement each other, the result is usually very efficacious.

“That’s what I love about what I do,” he continues. “If one modality does not seem to be effective, we have a whole arsenal of therapies to create a more specific treatment plan. There are other options we can provide to help patients get to their goal: to live a pain-free lifestyle.”

One of the most revolutionary modalities is known as Radial Shockwave Therapy. This handheld device transmits high-energy acoustic waves through the surface of the skin and into areas of the body affected by chronic pain. The acoustic waves break up scar tissue and calcific deposits in the treated area, and the body’s natural healing response surrounds the area with healthier, “neo-vascularized” tissue. Initially used to treat kidney stones, Radial Shockwave Therapy has since been used to address a host of musculoskeletal conditions, as well as help people affected by cerebral palsy and those recovering from burns. Dr. Nadler suggests it can even be used for certain kinds of facial regeneration.

“We’ve had some excellent clinical outcomes, especially with people who were not responding to conventional modalities,” he says. “We often recommend it to patients when they’ve exhausted all other conservative therapies, for everything from frozen shoulders and patellar tendinopathy, to plantar fasciitis and other issues pertaining to the foot. It is also used to treat traditional low-back pain, which is the single leading cause of disability in the world.”

Dr. Nadler typically recommends a five-treatment protocol to experience the therapy’s full benefits. Although the therapy does cause some mild discomfort, most patients experience a significant reduction in pain, if not complete relief.

“Any one modality is not a panacea, but we have had a high success rate with Radial Shockwave Therapy,” says Dr. Nadler. “Most often people leave the office feeling better than when they came in, and some patients experience a significant decrease in pain within two visits. After the fifth treatment, you’ll see a complete maturing of the surrounding tissue within 12 weeks. During that time, we’ll do some type of rehabilitative exercises to strengthen the affected tissues.”

For patients looking to enhance muscle tone, flexibility and balance, Dr. Nadler often prescribes Whole-Body Linear Gravity Plate Therapy. Delivered by way of powerful motors beneath a vibration platform, the therapy combines intense full-body vibrations with repetitive movement to work isolated muscles (or muscle groups) and stimulate mechanoreceptors. Dr. Nadler most often uses this form of therapy to assist athletes seeking to improve their on-field performance.

“It also stimulates the neuro-pathways in the brain,” Dr. Nadler says. “Let’s say someone is working on their swing mechanics, whether it’s golf, tennis, baseball or lacrosse. You’re using the exact muscles required to do that specific movement, so you’re creating a muscle-memory effect. When you are out on the field, your body is essentially on autopilot. It takes their training to a whole other level.”

Although Dr. Nadler uses this form of therapy primarily as a tool for sports rehabilitation and conditioning, he says it offers significant benefits for older patients looking to improve their balance and counter the effects of aging.

“Linear Gravity Plate Therapy helps to promote positive changes in the bone tissue,” Dr. Nadler says. “If someone has osteoporosis, the therapy can help limit further progression. In addition, it is also potentially helpful to patients who have some kind of vascular compromise, like diabetes, because it creates dilation of the blood vessels to increase blood flow. Any time you increase blood flow to any structure in the body, it’s a good thing.”

Other revolutionary noninvasive, nonsurgical treatment options include the Graston Technique and vertebral axial decompression, or VAX-D. The Graston Technique utilizes stainless-steel instruments to treat chronic, acute and postsurgical soft-tissue conditions. The instruments, which are shaped to treat different parts of the body, effectively break down scar tissue and relieve the inflammation that can contribute to conditions such as chronic tendonitis and fasciitis. VAX-D, meanwhile, utilizes a specialized table to “open up” the intervertebral disk spaces as a way to address a number of therapy-resistant syndromes of the lower back. 

Dr. Nadler truly designed his practice to serve the “whole patient.” Besides working to alleviate patients’ musculoskeletal inflammation, Dr. Nadler aims to reduce his patients’ full-body inflammation through the restorative powers of nutrition.

“We are all systemically inflamed, whether it’s heart disease, musculoskeletal issues or even multiple sclerosis,” he says. “The foods we eat and the replacement of fluids make a big difference, not only from an athletic perspective but for one’s general health and well-being. From daily nutrition to sports nutrition to vitamins and supplements like fish oil, magnesium and COQ10, I like to advise a very effective, anti-inflammatory protocol, with a supplemental regime based on each patient’s needs.

“Everything we’re doing here is about managing inflammation,” he continues. “If you’re an athlete, decreasing inflammation in your body is going to make you perform better the next day. And if it’s a matter of general health, decreasing inflammation is going to improve the way you feel and how you live your life.”

About Dr. Nadler
Dr. Nadler is a certified chiropractic sports physician through the American Board of Chiropractic Sports Physicians and is board certified through the National Board of Chiropractic Examiners. Also, he has been granted diplomate status through the American Academy of Pain Management. Throughout his career, he has served as chiropractic physician for professional sports teams, including National Lacrosse League’s Philadelphia Wings, Major League Lacrosse’s Philadelphia Barrage, Major Indoor Soccer League’s Philadelphia Kixx and Arena Football’s Philadelphia Soul. As of last year, he became the official chiropractic care physician for the Philadelphia Freedoms of World TeamTennis, founded by tennis legend Billie Jean King. In addition, he has treated elite competitors in national and international events, such as the X-Games, the FIFA Women’s World Cup, and the Men’s U.S. National Gold Cup soccer team.

Dr. David W. Nadler and Associates P.C.
3475 West Chester Pike, Suite 140
Newtown Square, PA 19073

Photograph by Jody Robinson