WASHINGTON D.C. — Eaton Chiropractor Dr. Dean Smith was recognized as the American Chiropractic Association’s Researcher of the Year on Saturday, March 3. Dr. Smith is a chiropractor at Essence of Wellness Chiropractic Center as well as a researcher and clinical professor at Miami University in the Department of Kinesiology and Health.
He was also on a team that won a National Board of Chiropractic Examiners (NBCE) scientific award for chiropractic research the next week at the ACC-RAC (Association of Chiropractic Colleges – Research Agenda Conference) conference held March 9 and 10 in Dallas, TX.
According to Smith, an injury as a kid inspired him to become a chiropractor later in life.
“I had a knee injury from playing soccer when I was eight years old. I had gone to a medical physician at the time who recommended rest and to take pain medication if needed. The physician recommended that I not play soccer for about six weeks. At that age I was restless to play and eager to find help for my knee. My mother took me to a chiropractor,” he said.
“The chiropractor touched my knee and examined my spine. The chiropractor explained what he was doing as he was doing it. The chiropractor then adjusted my knee as well as my spine. I was back to playing soccer well before the six weeks were up and felt better than ever. Prior to getting my first adjustment, I would also get some lower back pain consistently while playing hockey after about 20 minutes on the ice.
”I’ve never had that problem again since being adjusted. In addition, my brother had asthma like symptoms which completely resolved following a few weeks of chiropractic care. Being able to help people without drugs or surgery always appealed to me, and still does.”
In fact, that is what his mission as a chiropractor is – to improve and better lives through his work and research. At time of press, Dr. Smith explained, Essence of Wellness Chiropractic Center wants to use the science in a way that addresses more than just pain. Services at the center include: chiropractic, occupational therapy, massage therapy, exercise, nutrition, laser, sports, and more.
Dr. Dean Smith and his wife Dr. Jane Smith work to provide this multi-dimensional approach in an individualized health and wellness program. They aim to prevent pain and illness in the first place. Dean Smith explained, this is different from conventional medicine that aims to treat symptoms and diseases once they occur.
Chiropractic can provide relief from recent injuries or chronic issues, but it can also correct underlying bio-mechanical problems and maintain functional capacities following an acute phase of treatment. Millions of people have found relief in chiropractic for a variety of conditions.
In his personal research, Dr. Dean Smith has been looking beyond chiropractic as pain treatment, and towards different ways chiropractic practices can improve the lives of many – including the performance of military personnel.
He explained, “Some of my recent research has examined the effect of chiropractic extremity adjustments on postural control, how aerobic exercise impacts movement time, and the effect of chiropractic treatment on the reaction and response times of special operation forces military personnel. It was a privilege to be able to work with researchers from Palmer College on this military study.
“This military study was a two-group randomized controlled trial with each group comprising 60 participants. One group received four chiropractic adjustments while the other received no treatment within the two week study period. Both groups received two sets of bio-mechanical assessments each consisting of five different tests of reaction and response time.
“One set of assessments was conducted at the beginning of the two week study period and the other at study completion. A single session of chiropractic care was shown to have an immediate effect of reducing the time required for asymptomatic special operations forces qualified personnel to complete a complex motor response task.
“My doctoral studies in motor behavior as well as my observations in clinical practice have biased me to seek how chiropractors may change the way humans perceive and act. To this end, I do have a significant research interest in how chiropractic care affects human performance. Because athletes and military personnel are high performers, they are populations I have particular interest in studying.”
He added, it was interesting cases during his first year in full-time practice that inspired him to conduct research in chiropractic science. Not only is Dr. Dean Smith an avid physician and researcher, but he also hosts a podcast called Chiropractic Science.
“Chiropractic Science is available on iTunes and it is a podcast that gets the word out about chiropractic research. Chiropractors, patients and the public will learn about chiropractic research from the experts who are doing the research. You’ll get the information in plain English, not through the media, nor a middleman. The podcast is also intended to motivate and assist the chiropractor and student to pursue research careers in chiropractic science,” he said.
In the future, he sees the chiropractic field being more recognized and having a farther reach. He stated, he looks for chiropractic to be included in more national guidelines, with an expansion of services within Medicare, Medicaid, and the VA. He expects their continued research to continue to drive referrals from medical physicians and other health care practitioners.
As for the award itself, Dr. Smith said, “Being nominated and receiving this award from my peers is the biggest honor I could receive. When I was notified, I was in disbelief. I knew who were the previous award recipients, including my mentor Dr. Gregory Cramer. I thought it was a joke. I actually called him to ask, and he told me they were serious. I guess I couldn’t believe that anyone would consider me.
“To be considered in such company as the previous award winners is such an amazing honor. It was such an amazing experience and I am so humbled.”
Reach Kelsey Kimbler at 937-683-4061 or on Twitter @KKimbler_RH