Q: Why did you become a chiropractor?
A (Dr. Bryan Johnson): I personally started my chiropractic journey when I was seven. I had chronic ear infections that were so bad, I was always on antibiotics and missing school. In fact, I had tubes in my ears three times! I was sick a lot and had a weak immune system. The doctors told my mom that I would grow out of it, but that did not seem to be happening. We had a family friend that was a chiropractor. After listening to everything that I had been through, he convinced my mom bring me into his office for an appointment. After receiving a comprehensive analysis and regular adjustments, my ear infections completely went away. I went from missing school frequently to barely at all.
Because of the impact that chiropractic made on my life at such a young age, I felt that it was the perfect fit. I can now do for the rest of the world what my chiropractor did for me. I’m so happy to have a job that can actually affect a person’s health on a daily basis and give them a higher quality of life.
Q: What is your background and training?
A (Dr. Bryan Johnson): I received my undergraduate degree from Penn State Main in Biology. I then attended the Palmer College of Chiropractic in Davenport, Iowa, founded in 1897. After passing the national boards, I became licensed in Pennsylvania. After working at a clinic in Eastern Pennsylvania for a few years, I returned to the Pittsburgh area and opened my own office.
Q: What is your overall approach to wellness and what is your health care philosophy?
A (Dr. Bryan Johnson): Wellness in life is all about balance and finding your way to optimal health. So many things go into that balance, chiropractic being one of them. This is to ensure that your nervous system is functioning correctly. It should also include proper stretching, exercise, healthy diet and nutrition, stress relief and sleep management.
My chiropractic philosophy is that everybody with a spine should get adjusted on a regular basis. The nervous system should be checked regularly by a chiropractor to be sure that you don’t have any nerve interference. Again, it’s not just about relieving existing pain, but making sure that the body is functioning at its highest efficiency.
Q: What are the main reasons to see a chiropractor and what do your patients often come in for?
A (Dr. Bryan Johnson): The majority of my patients are ones that I see for common problems associated with chiropractic treatment, such as back pain, neck pain, sciatica and headaches. However, in the spirit of chiropractic first, it is important for everyone with a spine to see a chiropractor regularly. Because the nervous system controls everything in the body, you want to be sure that it is working at its optimum level. You can have dysfunction in the body that has no symptoms. This may result in decreased efficiency in digestion and metabolism, acid reflux, sleep apnea, vertigo, headaches and a myriad of other issues. A chiropractor can help you find the misalignment in your spine and correct these issues.
In addition, I have actually had patients have better odds of conceiving children due to chiropractic care. The nerves that control the reproductive organs were so compressed that they couldn’t get pregnant. Getting adjusted helped them to become pregnant. It’s about the function of the entire system, not just eliminating the pain.
Q: Should my children see a chiropractor? What age would you recommend that they start? What are some good examples where my child would benefit from a chiropractic adjustment?
A (Dr. Bryan Johnson): Absolutely, your children should be receiving adjustments from a chiropractor. I have heard of babies being adjusted as soon as they are born, but I personally have never done that. The soonest that I have adjusted a child is at two weeks of age. The birth process itself is traumatic and could cause neck and shoulder issues, so a baby should be adjusted early. These adjustments can also help with colic, latching when breast feeding, digestive issues, childhood asthma, acid reflux and ear infections as well as a plethora of other childhood issues. As I mentioned previously, I benefited greatly from chiropractic treatment as a child.
Q: Have you worked with patients that have had surgery on their neck or back?
A (Dr. Bryan Johnson): Yes, I have worked with patients that have had back or neck surgery. Sometimes the surgery goes well and everything is fantastic. However, occasionally they still have issues afterwards. This is where regular chiropractic treatment comes in. Surgeries can come with scar tissue though, which can cause some issues with the range of motion in the spine. I like to monitor this and try to ensure that future surgery be avoided.
Q: What are the most common injuries that you see in your office?
A (Dr. Bryan Johnson): The most common injuries that I see in my office are the people that have hurt themselves doing day-to-day activities. This is why visiting the chiropractor is so important, so that you can avoid injuring yourself performing daily tasks.
Q: Who should visit the chiropractor?
A (Dr. Bryan Johnson): Chiropractic care is for everybody. Whether you have injured yourself or you are trying to prevent injury, everyone should see a chiropractor on a regular basis to maintain their spine. However, not all spines were created equal, which is why I tailor every treatment to the individual patient. I have had people tell me that their child is too young, or their parent is too frail. The youngest patient that I have had was 2 weeks old and the oldest patient was 97. I can create a unique chiropractic plan based on an evaluation and medical history for anyone with a spine!