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For many, it's often the alternative of last resort, although chiropractics have been proven repeatedly effective in treating the symptoms of a variety of ailments, including chronic conditions.
Cognizant of the benefits and aware of a community's needs, Dr. Bryce Chaffee, owner of Chaffee Chiropractic Clinic, said the business expanded to include a Berlin location. With its main office in Wooster, Chaffee Family Chiropractic and Sports Center, located on the campus of Berlin Hotel and Suites, at 5336 County Road 201, Millersburg, opened four years ago.
There, the office is staffed by Dr. Jeremy Flanders and chiropractic assistants, Danielle Chanay and Whitney Masters.
Flanders, originally from Florida, came into his career as a consequence of his own experience. After suffering a low back injury in college, he pursued traditional medical treatments, including pills for pain and inflammation, but decided to give chiropractics a whirl when those methods appeared to be ineffective.
Although he sustained the immediate injury lifting weights, it wasn't the first time Flanders had experienced back pain.
"I'd had back problems before, but I just assumed they were normal," he said, noting he'd had little concern that dropping to his knees at the church altar caused him regular pain. "I didn't realize it's not supposed to hurt."
Needless to say, Flanders became a believer, an advocate and a practitioner and Holmes County now is home to him, his wife, Adrienne, and their children, Hudson, 2, and Anniston, 10 months. And, it's largely with Holmes County residents he now works to try to resolve problems.
Like at the business' Wooster office, each new patient visit begins with a thorough orthopedic, neurologic and chiropractic evaluation that, combined with x-rays, help provide a diagnosis on which Flanders can build a care plan.
The practice offers care to three categories of patients:
Babies and adolescents, often seen for anything from ear infections to sports-related injuries.
Middle-age adults, seen for a variety of chronic problems like migraines, back, sciatic and shoulder pain, as well as injuries sustained at work and in car crashes.
Senior adults, who are seeking relief from the aches and pains of growing older, including stiffness, arthritis and stenosis.
For all, one of the facets of the practice is treating organic systems, including the symptoms of asthma, sinus conditions, gastric reflux and digestive ailments, said Chaffee.
"People use us often as a last resort. They come in and say they've tried everything -- pain pills, shots, physical therapy -- and the only option left is surgery," he said, adding research shows chiropractics can make a major difference.
To that end, he cited the following data:
Eighty-five percent of Americans will suffer incapacitating low back pain in their lifetime.
Forty percent of Americans with back pain lasting more than two weeks will go to a chiropractor.
Nearly seven percent of the population suffers from back pain at any given time.
Chiropractic is the second largest primary health care provider in the world.
Chiropractics cut the the cost of treating back pain by 28 percent, compared to those who did not have chiropractic care.
Back surgeries were reduced by 32 percent, which reduced hospital stays by 41 percent.
"Chiropractic is so much more cost-effective. We treat the problems not the symptoms," he said, noting less is spent on diagnostics and more is spent in treatment, which can last four-five months, depending on the problem.
"Now we're really coming across a growing number of people in the 30-45 year age range who are really trying to find answers," he said. "They're tired of taking drugs, feeling bad, not sleeping, and they want solutions.
"It's a generation that's very much into how to stay young looking and healthy," he said.
And, while the business bills insurance and Workers Compensation, the office does offer discounts for those who pay cash.
In addition to chiropractic adjustments, available at the Berlin office are ultrasound and electronic stimulation therapies, as well as rehabilitation services for certain patients. The business also embraces an extensive home exercise program.
On occasion, Flanders may refer patients to the Wooster office, located at 242 E. Milltown Road, which is staffed by four doctors, including Bryce and Tami Chaffee, both of whom are board certified in acupuncture.
"When combined with chiropractics for chronic problems, (acupuncture) can be super effective," Chaffee said.
Unlike traditional western medicine, chiropractics tends more to focus on the whole person.
"In dealing with people's problems, we find they're always emotional as well as physical. As we deal with them, we really do try to treat them like family and build a trusting relationship," said Chaffee. "The real passion of it drives us all. We know it works and it's almost always highly effective immediately, without side effects," he said.
Hours of operation at the Berlin office are 8 a.m.-5:30 p.m., Monday-Friday, with the exception of Thursdays, when the office closes at 4 p.m. For more information or to make an appointment, call 330-893-0444. Additional information also is available on the business' website, www.chaffeechiro.com.
Reporter Christine L. Pratt can be reached at 330-674-5676 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org