GET ADJUSTED — Dr. Brian Scharf, D.C., a Springville native, operates Chiropractic Care PLLC. Photo by Jessie Owen.
SPRINGVILLE — When Dr. of Chiropractic Brian Scharf was 7 years old, his sister was involved in an accident that could have unfavorably affected the young boy. However, he said that watching the post-accident treatment his sister received helped him to discover, even at that early age, what he wanted to do with the rest of his life.
Scharf, a Springville native, graduated from Springville-Griffith Institute. Keeping his eye on his childhood dream, he pursued a Bachelor of Science Degree in human biology. He also earned his Doctor of Chiropractic Degree from the National College of Chiropractic and is a certified chiropractic sports practitioner.
Today, Scharf runs Chiropractic Care PLLC in the village of Springville and uses his knowledge of the human body to treat people who, like his sister, experience spine-related pain.
According to the American Chiropractic Association, approximately 80 percent of Americans will suffer with back pain, at some point in their lives. Treatment for this type of ailment sets Americans back $50 billion, every year, in health care costs, making back pain one of the top 10 most costly conditions treated in this country.
Doctors of chiropractic use a drug-free, less invasive approach to treating back pain. “Chiropractic care has been proven, by research, to be effective,” Scharf said, explaining that, in his chosen field, “we apply mechanical force, to help restore normal motion and alignment. We improve the way the joint moves.”
The ACA explained that chiropractors “treat the whole person and address the root of the problem, not just the symptoms.”
Scharf said that spinal-related pain, such as low back pain, mid-back pain, neck pain, headaches, disc injuries and sciatica – pain, weakness, numbness or tingling in the leg – can be caused by injuries at home or at work, poor posture, ergonomics, automobile accidents, misalignment or overuse.
Treatments can consist of spinal adjustments, electrical stimulation, ultrasound therapy and/or patient education about rehabilitation exercises, nutrition and healthy lifestyle choices.
Electrical stimulation augments adjustments, to produce better results, according to Scharf. He added, “Adjustment and manipulation is the key to correct everything. Everything else is there for support.”
While much of chiropractic care is hands-on, Scharf said that no brute strength is needed. “We use leverage,” he said. “A lot of components go into this: how much force, what direction to go into and when and when not to do something.”
The ACA called chiropractic care “safe and effective” and added, “It can often help patients avoid surgery and decrease medication use.” Scharf pointed out that many medications have side effects that a lot of individuals find unpleasant and said that chiropractic care addresses and combats pain, without a prescription.
“It’s a science, but it’s also an art,” he said. “We diagnose and then take it from there.”
COME ON IN — Chiropractic Care PLLC is located at 85 Franklin St. in the village of Springville, across from the Concord Town Hall.
The staff at Chiropractic Care will note a patient’s medical history, do a physical exam, look at the spine and see how it moves, check the patient’s reflexes and muscle strength and arrive at a diagnosis and treatment. The diagnoses sometimes involve CT scans, MRIs or X-rays, to rule out other concerns and obtain more details about patients’ spines. Those tests are done at a local hospital or other facility.
Scharf advised back pain sufferers to address their discomfort as soon as possible. “If we can see someone within seven days, the chances are they will heal a lot quicker,” he said. “After that, the body will take longer to correct.”
The ACA provided the following tips to take, to prevent back pain: maintain a healthy diet and weight, remain active under a doctor’s supervision, avoid prolonged inactivity or bed rest, warm up or stretch before exercising and other physical activities, maintain proper posture, wear low-heeled shoes, sleep on a mattress of medium firmness, lift with the knees and do not twist when lifting and quit smoking.
“Smoking affects the circulation,” Scharf said. “The spine does not have a lot of circulation, anyway. Smokers experience greater recovery times.”
The Springville chiropractic office includes three receptionists, in addition to Scharf. The business is currently accepting new patients and recognizes all major health insurance providers.
Scharf’s care for others extends beyond his medical practice and into his role as pastor of Orchard Park Emmanuel United Methodist Church, where he has been serving for 20 years. “Both are caring professions,” he said, of the two seats he fills, on a day-to-day basis. “I minister to people and try to tend to their needs here, as well. I see it as a ministry.”
Scharf’s education continued with his earning a Master of Divinity from United Theological Seminary.
He is a member of the ACA, the New York State Chiropractic Association and the Christian Chiropractors Association. In 2003, he was named the Christian chiropractor of the year, by the CCA.
The doctor of chiropractic is the president of the CCA, served on the board of directors of the Samaritan Pastoral Counseling Center’s Springville satellite office, sat on the Bertrand Chaffee Hospital Board of Directors and was a coach for the Springville Youth Incorporated summer soccer program.
He has visited Jamaica as a short-term missionary 20 times, since 1992, and has spent time ministering in Ukraine, providing healthcare to natives in the rural villages of those countries.
Scharf said that he and his wife Susan, who works at Springville Elementary School, are thankful that they had the opportunity to raise their three children in the Springville area and see themselves in this area, for the foreseeable future. “This is a great community,” he said. “Springville is a wonderful place.”
Chiropractic Care PLLC is located at 85 Franklin St.. The office is open Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays, at 7 a.m. Evening hours are available, on Mondays and Wednesdays. To schedule an appointment, call 592-2923. For information about the ACA, visit www.chirohealthy.com