*This story first appeared in The Budget’s July 18, 2018, Local Edition.
By Stacey Carmany
For area residents suffering from chronic pain or neurological conditions, relief may be available locally without medication or surgery at the Chiropractic Neurology Center.
Prior to opening a second permanent practice in Sugarcreek last August, husband and wife practitioners Dr. Russel Schroder and Dr. Heather Schroder spent the majority of their time treating patients at their Zanesville office. At that time, many patients would drive an hour or more to be treated by the Board Certified Chiropractic Neurologist and his wife, whose area of expertise is naturopathic medicine.
After hearing numerous times from patients that they wished there was an office a bit closer to home, the couple decided to take the practice on the road several days and invested in a mobile medical trailer that would be used to treat patients with neuropathy or knee problems.
At first, the plan was to take the trailer to the south, east and west, to the outlying areas from where the practice was getting the most patients, but Dr. Heather had a different suggestion, one that would ultimately change the couple’s lives forever.
“My wife said, ‘What about up in like Holmes County? Up north?’” Dr. Russ recalled. “I was like, ‘Well, we don’t get as many from that area,’ but she said, ‘Maybe, it’s because they can’t get to you.’”
The couple made arrangements to park their trailer during the summer in the parking lot at David Warther museum and began treating patients from the area’s English and Plain communities.
Initially, Dr. Russ was skeptical, but the response was greater than he ever could have imagined. “It was a great success, and a lot of people were saying do I have to go down to Zanesville for my husband, my brother, my dad for whatever,” he shared.
Before long, the couple was on the hunt for a more permanent location that would allow them to expand their local practice. They found a suitable space available next door to Bear One Carpet and began treating patients there last August.
“Now we can treat discs in the back, discs in the neck, the hips, and also my wife’s practice,” Dr. Russ said. “We had it set up so she could treat up here, instead of just in our office down in Zanesville.”
The practice focuses on two distinct but also interconnected areas: pain and the brain. Dr. Russ focuses on the former and Dr. Heather on the latter.
On his side of the practice, Dr. Russ focuses his efforts on treating the causes of pain with therapies designed to address damage to the nerves and tissues with- out the need for surgery or addictive medication.
One type of therapy offered at the practice is what is known as cold laser decompression. “Basically, when the disks are injured or when they start to deteriorate, you can work to restore the actual nutrition, the water, the oxygen, the nutrients, the pump mechanism, back to the spine,” he explained. “The same actual mechanism in the cartilage, the pump mechanism, applies to the knee, the hip, the weight-bearing joints, and so by using not just cold laser, not just decompression, but combining them together at the same time, it helps the tissue to heal better and faster.”
Another therapy utilizes technology known as pulsed electromagnetic frequency, or PEMF, that has traditionally been used in the orthopedic field to stimulate bone healing. “If somebody has like a neck surgery or if they have a broken bone in their back that needs to heal back up because it’s in little pieces, they have these little belts
or these little neck braces that they wear,” Dr. Russ explained. “They call them bone stimulators because it does help them to heal faster, but in reality when they test them on nerves and cartilage, it also helps them to heal faster when you look at the research.”
For some conditions, the pain may also be treated with Dr. Russ’ CTX Method, which combines multiple different therapies for a comprehensive treatment plan. “It was developed from some of the therapies that we were already using that showed great potential at helping with certain conditions,” Dr. Russ explained. “We were finding that other certain therapies helped promote circulation, helped promote the pump mechanism in the cartilage of the knee, of the neck, of the back, or helped the nerves to heal. We would use those different types of modalities in a specific way to help a part of the body.”
Dr. Russ noted that the conditions he treats most often are those that involve the spine and joints. “On the pain side, what we see the most of are disc conditions of the spine, so like disc degeneration, disc bulges, disc herniations,” he said. “There are knee conditions that we see a lot with arthritis of the knee, degeneration of the knee, thinning knees, hips as well where the hip is getting thin with hip pain, and also with something called neuropathy, which means nerve damage.”
Because pain is transmitted by the nerves to the brain, the practice also focuses on retraining the brain to feel pain less effectively. “The brain can learn how to feel anything that the body does a lot, it’ll learn how to do well. It can learn how to feel pain more effectively, too,” Dr. Russ explained. “A lot of what we’re doing with pain is how to override that and help to heal the tissue so that it doesn’t keep making those strong connections. You’d rather have just a pain dirt trail than a pain superhighway. The fewer lanes of pain that the road has, the fewer connections, the better.”
While treatments are available at the practice that can effectively treat many conditions and are suitable for patients of all ages, there are also some cases that need to be referred out, according to Dr. Russ. “I don’t take the traditional chiropractic cases that just need adjustments and alignment. I refer those out unless it’s a fun interesting case that I really want to dig into,” he explained. “Otherwise, I refer patients to the chiropractors up the street, the chiropractors in the area.”
There are also some patients for whom surgery may still be the best option. “Probably at least once a week I’ll have a patient come in that’s too far along for something natural to be able to help it to heal,” Dr. Russ said. “They would be best served by having a neck or back surgery or a knee replacement to stabilize or give them quality of life back.”
In addition to focusing on the brain and its response to pain, the practice is also able to offer treatment for patients with a wide range of neurological conditions. “What we do with more of the brain side, it’s like people that have had head injuries or concussions or where the brain is starting to deteriorate early, like with early Alzheimer’s, and there are basic protocols from around the different universities that they’re using to try to restore function back to the brain,” Dr. Russ explained.
Dr. Russ Schroder is a Doctor of Chiropractic (DC), Diplomate of the American Chiropractic Neurology Board (DACNB), a Fellow in the American College of Neurology (FACN), and the only practitioner in the area who is both a Board Certified Chiropractic Neurologist and Functional Neurologist. Dr. Heather Schroder is a Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine (ND).
The Chiropractic Neurology Center is located at 771 Dover Road NE in Sugarcreek, For more info, call 330- 852-5131 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.