A DAY IN THE LIFE — A chiropractor
Editor’s note: This is part of a weekly series spotlighting various professionals in our community, highlighting the impact of their work. Have an idea for the series? Email email@example.com.
Patients quite literally put their trust in the hands of Dr. Brian Fritz, who has been a chiropractor at Dunham-Fritz Chiropractic based in the Nicholas Center since 1997.
“I think we’re always evolving. I like to say that people are becoming more aware of what chiropractic is,” he said. “We usually tell people if you’re alive we can help you. We see newborns to elderly. We want to help you grow old slowly.”
Fritz got his first exposure to this branch of medicine at age 3.
“I was adjusted as a young person at age 3 for bronchitis,” he said. “It helped me get out of that problem. I was taken to a chiropractor by my grandma in Wyoming, Iowa as a kid. After high school (because of) wrestling and playing football, I was adjusted on a regular basis because of injuries.”
The Marengo native attended school at Central College, earning a pre-med degree. It was at that time he decided he wanted to go on to study chiropractic medicine at Palmer College. He met his wife Diana while in college. She is instrumental in taking care of the clinic’s billing and insurance needs.
He said his staff is essential to the running of his clinic, which includes office secretary Jenny Van Kirk and massage therapists Tammy Callaway and Sheila Towler.
Fritz sees patients with a variety of ailments, ranging from neck pain, low back pain, sciatica, vertigo, headaches and sinus problems. Some people live with chronic conditions, while others have sports-related injuries. Others still may have repetitive injuries caused by busy lifestyle or natural signs of aging.
One of his patients, Diane Pascuzzi, has been coming to his clinic for 20 years.
“(Treatments) almost always help me. I have arthritis all over my body and it helps me move better and sleep better,” she said.
Fritz said there is no one-size-fits-all approach to what he does.
“I want to help people understand what their problems are and what ways we can help them as chiropractic; and if it’s not with me, find who else can help them,” he said.
He talks with a patient about his or her sleeping and eating habits, the need to stay hydrated, get exercise and reduce stress.
The chiropractor is schooled in the Gonstead technique, which emphasizes hands-on treatment.
“We have electronic instruments, but for the most part, I like to use my hands. I feel where there is inflammation or swelling on a patient,” he said.
Using static palpation, he feels around the spine and tissues to identify any misaligned vertebrae, protruding disks and areas of pain or inflammation. A special instrument measures heat on the spine.
“Theoretically you should have equal heat on both sides of the spine, and with a pinched nerve you would have more or less heat to one side versus the other because the blood vessel either opened up or constricted unequally to the other side,” he said.
Having a good rapport with clients is key to the running of his practice.
“I think people do like the fact I spend time with them. My staff keeps me busy and will knock on the door if I talk to the patient too long and need to see the next one,” he said with a laugh. “We’ll talk about health, but we’ll also talk about other things.”
Fritz said he takes seriously his role as a trusted figure when patients seek advice.
“I have people that come talk to me about other health problems that don’t have to do with chiropractic because they want to know where to go. I feel good about that,” he said.
Fritz said the field of chiropractic care has started to become specialized.
“Now chiropractic is getting more diversified so we have people who specialize only in newborns, females, sports medicine, etc., which I think is neat,” he said. “I think we try to be very holistic as chiropractors. We try to help the body heal itself.”
Contact Sara Jordan-Heintz at