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Alternative Care Puts Swimmer Back in the Water!
By Mary Jane Morgan

Emily Hanson with Dr. Zoellner
Dr. Zoellner with Emily Hanson and Coach Turner.

Swimming has been a life-long love for seventeen-year old Jenks junior, Emily Hanson. She began lessons at age three and competitive swimming at age eight. A wall full of medals and a dream to swim at the university level was about to come crashing to an end for the distance freestyle junior.

Chronic, intense back pain for two years had finally worn her down. “If my pain hadn’t gotten better, I was ready to quit the swim team for my senior year,” said Emily. Then her life turned around when she started getting treatment from Dr. Charles Zoellner, a Tulsa chiropractor.

Prior to seeing Dr. Zoellner, Emily had seen her pediatrician, a sports doctor and finally an orthopedic doctor for pain. The orthopedic doctor prescribed three epidural injections in her thoracic spine plus physical therapy.

The injections gave her only brief periods of relief. “On a scale of one-to-ten, my pain level was a seven or eight,” says Emily. During two-hour swim practices, she was lucky to be able to stay in the water for thirty minutes.

Jenks swim coach, John Turner, who endured chronic back pain a full year, recommended Dr. Zoellner to her. “I’d been on eight to ten pain pills a day and after only four visits, I was able to get off my pain meds.”

Emily made her first visit to Dr. Zoellner in October 2007. “He started seeing Emily before he even had his new business totally up and running,” Emily’s mother, Cathy Hanson, said. “Most people wouldn’t have gone out of their way like that.”

Emily’s pain began lessening from the beginning. As Dr. Zoellner started adjustments, active release technique and therapeutic exercises for Emily’s back, it began loosening and getting some movement.

Active release technique is a state-of-the art, soft tissue movement-based therapy that has had wide success in treating injuries. “Active Release Technique (ART) is very good at releasing muscles that are overly tightened or have scar tissue that’s limiting the range of motion,” says Dr. Zoellner, who is certified in ART.

In late December, Cathy went to swim practice to pick up her daughter. “Look who’s still in the water,” Coach Turner said with a grin.

For the first time that season, Emily had been in the water the entire two hours of practice. Her swim times were faster and more consistent and she was again eager to compete.

“I really like what Dr. Zoellner is doing with athletes,” says Coach Turner.

Dr. Zoellner, himself a competitive triathlete, knows first-hand how crucial recovery is for athletes. “Rather than focus on pin-pointing the pain and treating only that location, I look at how all of the body’s mechanisms work together as one and then figure out what mechanisms are failing,” he says.

The Hansons can’t speak highly enough about Dr. Zoellner. He helped Emily’s body recover from a chronic injury when she was ready to give up.

“It is very fulfilling to help people who are in pain or have limited movement,” says Zoellner. “When people are in pain, there’s some part of the body that’s not working properly and the rest of the body has to compensate. When that compensation begins to fail, that’s when people tend to have repetitive injuries.”

Because of Dr. Zoellner’s comprehensive treatment, Emily Hanson is ready to break more records for her senior year. “I didn’t even hurt after competing at State,” she told Dr. Zoellner with a smile.

To find out if chiropractic care or Active Release Technique could benefit you, call Zoellner Chiropractic today at 488-8600 and schedule your free ten-minute consult.