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Local chiropractor headed to Indy for concussion education, NFL Combine work

Friday, February 22, 2013 - 7:18 am

There's a new guy in town: a holistic, wellness chiropractor.

Dr. Joel Harman, of the Chiropractic Care Wellness Center, 6388 W. Jefferson Blvd., takes patients from all walks of life. But he has a love for sports medicine, and this weekend he will be attending the Professional Football Chiropractic Association Conference in Indianapolis where he will learn more about the treatment and diagnosis of contact concussions and sports-related injuries.

It's a perfect time for the conference, as the NFL Combine is going on. It's an opportunity for Harman and the rest of the conference attendees to examine top athletes from around the country and learn from the top names in neurology and sports medicine. According to Harman, Dr. Frederick Robert Carrick, professor of neurology is the guy who wrote the book on concussions, and he will be there. Harman has taken a couple of post-graduate seminars on concussion grading. This weekend will give him the opportunity to learn more from Carrick and assess and work with some of the athletes.

Through some of the connections he made through internships while he was in school, and through a tie with one of his professors at his Chiropractic National University of Health Sciences in Chicago, Harman was able to work with the football and volleyball teams at Northwestern and Benedictine universities while he was in school.

A former high school athlete from Van Wert, Ohio, he well remembers a severe ankle sprain that benched him from the basketball team for six weeks. Once the sprain had healed he could barely move his foot. He went to a local chiropractor who helped him regain motion in the ankle joint and foot.

“Sports rehab is my specialty and my passion, it's what got me into chiropractic work,” Harman said.

Harman said they would be helping athletes at the NFL Combine with a lot of muscle work.

“These guys are elite athletes. They are really pushing their bodies past their limits, so we see a lot of sprains and strains,” Harman said.

“We try and optimize their bio mechanical functions through adjustments,” Harman said.

In other words they will try to lengthen their overworked, tight muscles, which gives more ease in joint movement and fewer injuries.

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Harman, 26, graduated in 2012 from the National University of Health Sciences and opened his office in January . His office suite is behind Woodhouse Day Spa, and he works with clients there as well. The owners of Woodhouse are from Van Wert also, so when they were looking for a chiropractor to add to their services, Harman was a good fit. He takes a holistic approach to his patients, looking at their diet, medications and exercise.

“I am often the last place people come when (physical therapy), pain medications, and surgery have not worked,” Harman said.

It's his job, Harman said, to relieve their pain and get them up and moving again.

He would like to expand his practice from his current 25 patients to 100.

“At that point I could hire another doctor,” Harman said.

Because he's new to the area, Harman said he is looking for ways to get involved with helping local athletes at the professional, college and high school levels.