It’s not just about back treatment at Meek Chiropractic.
The company is expanding its services with its 180 Health clinic that is slated to open by April 2020.
“Chiropractic will always be our first route of care. But you start to see patients that have situations going on where more is needed, so by integrating our office the way that we are to a true medical center, that increases our scope of practice,” says Clint Cunningham, wellness coordinator and certified health coach.
Dr. Gary Meek launched the practice in 2010 after 17 years working for chiropractors in Kansas City and his hometown Springfield. With the new clinic plans, he’s diversifying into a new realm of health care for one key reason.
“The biggest thing is the opioid crisis,” Meek says. “It’s a huge problem.”
Citing a statistic from the Parker Seminars in Dallas last month, Meek says one out of every four people prescribed an opioid in a primary care setting will struggle with opioid addition.
“Overall, the chiropractic industry has become aware of the repercussions of overprescribing,” adds Cunningham, who will lead the new clinic.
There won’t be prescriptions offered at 180 Health. Rather, patients will be treated for pain management through procedures like platelet-rich plasma and joint injections to avoid the use of prescriptions or surgery.
“We can actually go in and do an injection to actually repair the damage that has been done to that specific joint,” Cunningham says.
Meek Chiropractic is adding 5,000 square feet adjacent to its current clinic at 1934 S. Glenstone Ave. The new clinic will add a medical doctor and nurse practitioner for its initial staff of four.
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services data show 10.3 million people misused prescription opioids in 2018, with 47,600 deaths reported from opioid-related drug overdoses.
Meek aims to bring down those numbers through 180 Health – his complement to chiropractic care.
“That’s where the regenerative side of everything will be happening,” Cunningham says. “It’s kind of like an in-between – before you go to the drastic measure of surgery, but also it could be something the chiropractic side isn’t helping.”
Regenerative medicine, like stem cell therapy and joint injections, will be offered initially, while IV therapy and other services will be added later. Patients will receive rehab and physical therapy with the injections.
“Everything from pain management to the procedures we do will be handled naturally. It’s kind of a platform to show there’s another option out there,” Cunningham says of the new clinic. “I think a lot of people with age get bad knees or bad back problems and they think surgery is the only option or to be on a prescription to manage that pain.”
Oak Grove Construction Services Inc. is scheduled to start infill work in January 2020, with Derington Architects LLC handling design work.
According to the American Chiropractic Association, back pain in America accounts for more than 264 million lost work days a year, or two work days for every full-time worker. The ACA also states lower back pain costs Americans at least $50 billion in annual health care costs.
Opioid prescriptions are a leading cause for missing work days with back pain.
“You put them on pain medication and they can’t use any machinery or anything, so even if they’re feeling better with it, they can’t function on the treatment,” Meek says.
The 30-person Meek staff uses techniques in adjustments, decompression, pregnancy and pediatric chiropractic care, ultrasounds and sports injury rehabilitation.
“We don’t just focus on the symptoms; we focus on the whole body,” Cunningham says. “We really strive to find the root cause of what’s causing those symptoms to occur.”
Meek Chiropractic offers food sensitivity testing. The service uses an Immunoglobulin G, or antibody, inflammatory panel with 96 different foods to check for problems in a patient’s immune system.
The tests help properly diagnose symptoms in patients for such conditions as attention deficit and hyperactivity disorders.
“They’re saying percentagewise that a lot of the children diagnosed with ADD or ADHD could actually have what’s called NDD, which is nutrition deficit disorder,” Cunningham says. “A lot of the behavioral issues that kids have, it’s the food that we’re eating and the chemicals in the food that we’re eating.”
The patient count at Meek Chiropractic is growing by 25-50 patients a week, Cunningham says, depending on marketing campaigns.
“We’re seeing close to 700 patients a week,” he says.
The company reported $2 million in 2018 revenue.
The clinic also offers health practice classes that cover such topics as reading ingredient lists and shopping for healthy groceries.
Dual classes have been held featuring guest speakers with staff from MaMa Jean’s Natural Foods Market LLC. Cunningham says he refers patients to MaMa Jean’s for products not carried by Meek Chiropractic.
The clinic is working with JumpSix Marketing for online guides for nutrition and back pain.
Joseph Beam, inbound marketing specialist for JumpSix, said the nutrition guide has been live on Meek’s website for the last few weeks.
“Most of it is best practices, some recipes and a couple of specific diets,” he says.
The 12-page back pain guide has been live for about six months, Beam says, and covers causes and advice, along with diet tips for inflammation.
JumpSix worked with Cunningham on both guides.
“I think we’ve kind of shaken things up a little bit in terms of health care,” Cunningham says. “When you change your scope from chiropractic to medical there’s just so much more that you can work with a patient on.”
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