Dr. Chris Hanson is the owner NE Community Chiropractic where he focuses on Structural Correction of the spine.
We recently asked Dr. Hanson about his experiences as a chiropractor and why he enjoys practicing. Here’s what he shared:
Tell us about your practice. What sets you apart from other practitioners in your area?
Most people who have seen a chiropractor are familiar with conventional chiropractic. The exam is often limited to some range of motion and mild palpation (evaluation by touch) and then the patient lays on the table for the treatment. The focus here is on symptom relief and the chiropractic care is much like a band-aid.
My approach is to evaluate the spine and nervous system much like an architect or engineer evaluating a building for structural integrity. I am interested to know how the body’s structure has shifted and become imbalanced to result in the secondary conditions the patient is experienced. The evaluation tends to be more in depth, more objective and offers patient’s a concrete evidence as to how their body has shifted abnormally.
We’d like to talk about a patient success story you’re especially proud of. Tell us about the patient. How did they learn about your practice?
Most patients find my office because a friend or family member had great things to say about my care. Something I hear frequently from patients during their improvement is “I didn’t realize it was so bad.” I always take that as a compliment of a job well done. Structural loss is often a slow process. Overtime our body adapts to the alterations and soon enough we can’t look fully over our shoulder or our pelvis is shifted so far to one side it’s difficult to lift grocery bags. I love to hear how patients get back into fully living as athletes or in daily activities as they progress.
Why did this patient come to your practice? What problems were they experiencing?
Most patients come to my office with some sort of complaint. One middle-aged woman I’ve been working with for several years now originally came to office because of low back pain. She works in accounting and finds that the long days at the computer had been adding up over the years and her spine had altered. Over the course of care her spine balanced dramatically but what was surprising was how shifted her neck had become over the years. This patient had significant loss of motion and severe muscle spasms which weren’t even the cause of her visit.
Shortly through her initial phase of care she asked me, “could the care we are doing have any impact on headaches?” Truly, headaches are some of my favorite conditions to work on, as I explained to the patient. Very frequently headaches are the result of a shift in the upper cervical spine (neck) that is obstructing normal function of the nervous system. This patient had been experiencing headaches on a daily basis that she that she “had to live with.” She hadn’t even told me she was experiencing them and we were so focused on her low back it never came up. That was a great lesson in how substantial the impact of my care can be.
What advice would you give Chiro students today? For instance looking back at your own career is there anything you would do differently?
No matter what advice you are given as students, find out for yourself. Learn all you can about the profession of chiropractic and learn the lessons for yourself. In other words, don’t take other students’ or other doctors’ words as gospel, you have to do the research on your won.
Please talk about any ways you are trying to impact the community you’re a part of.
Community involvement/awareness: I keep an active Health Newsletter to keep people informed on how to support and protect their health. I also teach classes in the community on several different health topics. It’s actually a very fun activity for myself.
Working with veterans or the disabled: I am a Spanish speaker and that allows me to work with a population that is medically disenfranchised. It’s extremely rewarding to work with this hard working and often forgotten demographic.
What is the funniest thing, if any, that has happened to you in practice?
A practice like mine ends up being like a big family. I’ve always approached patient care with the idea that the patient will quite literally be wearing my reputation on their back. With that said, it’s a joy to be a part of my patient’s lives and the funny moments in practice most often come from personal stories about life outside of spinal care or injury.
Anything (that you care to admit) that you would never do again?
Before being in practice I wasn’t involved in community activities such as rotary or other philanthropic groups. Being a business owner has forced to be involved in my community in ways I had never imagined. This will always be a part of my life moving forward as I will never be disconnected from my community like I was before life as a clinic owner/operator.
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