Grooming the Next Generation of Pediatric Chiropractors

August 2, 2019 -- For Kelsi McClure, DC ’19, her career calling came in the delivery room where a friend was having a baby. After struggling to decide what kind of chiropractor she wanted to be, Dr. McClure said the experience confirmed her decision to pursue pediatric chiropractic.

“I’ve always been drawn to children, and being able to interact with children has never been challenging,” she said, noting she was a part-time nanny. “I also learned how to connect with children, understanding that you have to be on their frequency first.”

Dr. McClure immersed herself in pregnancy and early childhood care knowledge, becoming a certified birth doula and enrolling in pediatric courses with associate professor Mary Unger-Boyd, DC, DICS, CACCP. Naturally, while a student, Dr. McClure secured a spot working with Muriel Périllat, DC, MS, who oversees pediatric chiropractic services at Logan’s Montgomery Health Center.

Dr. Périllat embraces the opportunity to adjust and teach at the same time, which was a departure from her former role as Dean of Clinics. The education, she said, is in the interaction. “To be able to provide both care and knowledge in one-on-one situations with students is invaluable,” she said. “Every day is different with various conditions and cases.”

Parents seek chiropractic care for their children for a variety of reasons, such as eye-tracking issues, lack of balance and coordination, muscle diseases, colic, acid reflux and cranial distortions. Others look to chiropractic care to support normal development and growth of the child. For Dr. McClure, learning how to apply her adjusting skills and clinical knowledge to pediatric patients required an additional skill set.

“Infants and children have autonomy over their bodies. They read your body language, how you touch them,” Dr. McClure said. “Learning how to adjust softly and effectively under Dr. Périllat’s guidance was critical.”

Dr. Périllat creates a progressive learning environment where patient interaction starts minimally and increases over time as the interns develop their skills. This approach, Dr. McClure said, creates the space and confidence to hone one’s skills.

Following her rotation with Dr. Périllat, Dr. McClure started a 15-week preceptorship under James Kravis, DC ‘86 and Todd Sonquist, DC ‘13 at Correct Care Family Chiropractic in Livonia, Michigan. Dr. McClure graduated from Logan in April 2019 and is working as a full-time associate at Correct Care, where she focuses on family wellness, fertility, perinatal care and pediatrics.

Dr. McClure said one of the most important aspects of working with children is developing trust with the child as well as the parents, and then navigating those relationships

“People have different perceptions of chiropractic, and for some it’s about healing low back pain. In their minds, if they don’t have pain, they don’t need chiropractic care,” she said. “With a child, it’s so different. Children may not necessarily come to us in pain, yet they might display other symptoms of dysfunction. Helping people understand the complexities of what chiropractic can do has been an important part of the job.”

Dr. Norman Kettner: Combining Radiology with Chiropractic Medicine

June 10, 2019 -- Norman Kettner, DC, DACBR, FICC, professor and chair of the Department of Radiology, was recently featured in AXIS Imaging News as one of the most influential professionals in radiology.

Check out the full article here – where Dr. Kettner answers five questions about his career, research, his unique approach that combines radiology with chiropractic care, and what he believes the future of diagnostic imaging will hold.

St. Louis Business Journal Features Dr. Ross Mattox as ‘Character’

June 7, 2019 -- Ross Mattox, DC, RMSK, instructor and lead chiropractic clinician for Logan University at CareSTL Health, was recently featured as a St. Louis Character in the St. Louis Business Journal, highlighting his work helping patients treat and prevent back pain and his passion for animals.

As stated in the article: “Through his work as a chiropractor at CareSTL, Mattox has helped hundreds of low-income patients escape both chronic pain and a dependence on opioids. Mattox tailors his care to alleviate back pain by adjusting patients’ lifestyle choices, whether it be quitting smoking or losing weight.

“Through those changes and chiropractor services that CareSTL provides, Mattox and his team empower patients to get back in the driver’s seat when it comes to their well-being.”

Read the full feature and watch the video here

Gentle Touch, Profound Results: A Logan Pediatric Clinic Success Story

June 5, 2019 -- Born four weeks early, Blake Boyd had a rough transition into everyday life.

Blake spent his first eight days in the neonatal intensive care unit on a feeding tube. He experienced severe acid reflux, causing him to spit up profusely every 20 minutes. His eyes failed to track movement, and he had trouble with simple things, such as turning his head or grabbing for objects.

“He was miserable,” said his mom, Ashleigh Boyd of O’Fallon, Missouri. “He wasn’t sleeping and he just wasn’t responding in ways he should.”

Ashleigh was especially attuned to Blake’s care, as she is an emergency room and intensive care unit nurse. She took advantage of her access to resources, experts and clinical data, “but I wasn’t finding any answers as to what was going on with Blake and how we could help him,” she said.

Some suggested that Ashleigh have Blake evaluated by physical and occupational therapists. But it was Ashleigh’s CrossFit instructor who set her on a path. The instructor told her about Logan University, Muriel Périllat, DC, MS and her specialized work in pediatric chiropractic.

Ashleigh said she was open to conservative care and finding a more holistic approach for her son. Still, she was wary.

“Going in, I was really nervous,” she said, “but after meeting Dr. Périllat, I found that she was wonderful and her demeanor was amazing. I trusted her because of the way she explained things and how she communicated with Blake. She talked to him like a human, and she took action that first day.”

Ashleigh learned that in the case of her son, chiropractic was not about making adjustments, but rather altering his neurological communication system through craniosacral therapy. This approach uses a gentle touch and manipulation to relieve pain and dysfunction. During the first appointment, Ashleigh began to see immediate changes. Blake’s fists, which had been closed tightly for months, opened for the first time. His body, which had been stiff and rigid, began to ease. “I was able to put him in his car seat, and it was the first time he didn’t have a blood-curdling cry,” she said.

Over the next few weeks, Ashleigh and her husband took notice of other improvements in Blake’s health and well-being―his appetite increased, his acid reflux went away, he was able to turn his head both ways and grasp objects with his hands.

As Blake’s condition improved, his appointments decreased from three times a week to once a week. Now, at 7 months old, Blake sees Dr. Périllat every three weeks for approximately 15 minutes.

“I think there’s a misconception among people about chiropractic,” Ashleigh said. “They think it is about cracking and snapping bones, but they don’t realize how the neurological function communicates with the body. Life has been a lot easier knowing this is an option.”

Ashleigh chokes up as she talks about the effect Dr. Périllat and chiropractic care has had on her infant son. She now feels that she can be a voice for others. “Being a health professional for 15 years, I had never seen or heard anything like what we saw in Blake. I can tell you it was scary,” she said. “I’ve always been an advocate for continuing education. Having been through this, I think there needs to be more public awareness, so more lives can be touched and quality of life can be improved.”

Dr. Aimee Jokerst Featured in West Newsmagazine

May 30, 2019 -- Aimee Jokerst, DC, FIAMA, Health Center Clinician at Logan University’s Montgomery Health Center, was recently featured in West Newsmagazine discussing acupuncture as a successful treatment for allergies.

“Acupuncture is a fantastic alternative therapy. It’s been around for thousands of years and is very versatile. I have done acupuncture on thousands of patients in my 19 years, and I’ve maybe seen one person who didn’t benefit,” Dr. Jokerst said in the article.

Read the full article here

Drs. Alex and Sara Vidan Discuss Opportunities, Opioids at Symposium

May 17, 2019 -- Alex Vidan, DC and Sara Vidan, DC gave a presentation at the 2019 Logan University Spring Symposium that challenged DCs to reframe obstacles and opportunities.

The Vidans graduated from Logan in 2004. The couple shared some of the challenges they’ve faced, including the realization early on that trying to appeal to everyone wasn’t the best business tactic. “We had to change our perspective on some things and faced a lot of obstacles along the way,” Dr. Sara Vidan said. “We realized we were going wide versus deep when we started our practice. We wanted to help anyone with a spine. The problem is that it’s really hard to market that and have people understand what you do. We realized we had to find our niche.”

The discovery of their niche occurred when Dr. Alex Vidan started experiencing temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMJD), which causes pain or dysfunction of the jaw and the joints connecting the mandible to the skull. “In our search to find answers, we found a market so huge that we had no idea existed. It’s a $4 billion market,” Dr. Sara Vidan said. Between 5 and 12 percent of Americans suffer from TMJD, which tends to be more prevalent in young people and women.

“People are looking for answers but not finding them anywhere,” Dr. Sara Vidan said, adding that research from oral care providers says that a diagnosis of TMJD or related orofacial pain conditions should be based on a cervical spine examination, in addition to patient history. In addition to providing an accurate diagnosis, chiropractic can provide effective treatment through jaw adjustments. The problem, however, is that many oral care providers have a poor understanding of chiropractic care and how it can help their patients. The result is that many TMJD sufferers end up undergoing unnecessary oral surgery.

The Vidans are working on changing that, educating oral care providers on chiropractic’s role in treating TMJD. Key to their success, they said, has been taking the time to understand the unique philosophy of oral care providers. “You have to know who you’re speaking to, otherwise you’ll lose out on those opportunities,” Dr. Alex Vidan said. “You have to meet them where they are and show them what we do.”

The Vidans challenged Symposium attendees to uncover their own unique niche and start to see obstacles as opportunities. One huge obstacle that is also a huge opportunity for chiropractic is the opioid epidemic. The risks of taking opioids are astronomical: “A study by the Coalition for Safe and Effective Pain Management found that up to 26% of patients prescribed opioids become addicted on the first prescription and up to 80% of heroin users became addicted because of opioids,” Dr. Vidan said. “The demand for opioids is based on a misconception that pain can be helped with a pill. As chiropractors, we know that’s not true. You heal the body, not just cover up symptoms with a pill.”

The opioid epidemic has resulted in growing support for chiropractic from the insurance and medical fields. Actuaries hired by UnitedHealthcare recommended chiropractic and other conservative treatment be given as a first line of defense against chronic pain, from a purely financial standpoint. “They want to find a way for doctors to automatically refer their patients to chiropractors,” Dr. Vidan said. “They see us as the answer and want to waive copays and deductibles—even doing that, chiropractic can save insurance companies huge amounts of money,” Dr. Alex Vidan said.

The medical field is also more widely endorsing chiropractic. The Institute of Medicine, the FDA and the CDC all now recommend non-pharmacological approaches to chronic pain treatment. Harvard and Yale have also recommended chiropractic for chronic pain treatment.

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