Dr. Edward Earhart wants Beatrice to know that chiropractic care is about much more than sore backs and achy joints.
From care after an auto accident to digestive problems to sinus trouble, Earhart said he has helped people with an incredibly wide variety of ailments.
Originally, Earhart studied business in college until he began struggling with leg pain when he drove his car. He visited his older brother, who was a student in chiropractic medicine at Palmer College in Davenport, Iowa. He said his brother gave him a chiropractic adjustment, and the relief he felt inspired his interest in chiropractic work.
Earhart graduated in 1980 and has been in Beatrice ever since. For the first five years he worked with another chiropractor until he began his own private practice near the old library building.
While people often think that chiropractors can only provide muscular and skeletal treatment, Earhart said that nerve flow affects the whole of the body. Earhart said that all kinds of aliments for people of all ages could be helped by chiropractic care.
Earhart said that he most often sees cases of sciatica, neck, and low back pain.
“When a person come to us, we try to see and treat them as a whole,” Earhart said.
Earhart employs many different techniques with his patients to achieve results including changes in nutrition, posture, exercise, and sleeping. He said convincing people to make lifestyle changes around diet is the most difficult.
The medical establishment has not always trusted chiropractors, Earhart said, and there has been a big transition away from older trepidations as more patients saw good results from chiropractic care.
There are even chiropractors in hospitals now, he said. While he cannot prescribe medication, Earhart does supply his patients with supplements. Earhart said patients stay with the clinic for a wide range of time-frames because of factors including what brought them in, their line of work, age, and other things.
Earhart said that it is important for people to realize that chiropractic care is safe for people of all ages, as he said there has been a substantial amount of misinformation circulated about his profession.
Despite the many challenges, Earhart said he enjoys his job immensely.
“There has never been a day I’ve said, ‘I don’t want to go to work,'” he said.
In Earhart’s time in the profession, many things have changed. He stressed that new and groundbreaking pieces of equipment are always being developed for chiropractic use, and that those technologies greatly increase the ability of chiropractors to give their patients adequate care.
Earhart also said that more women have joined the trade since he began, breaking the formerly held stereotype that chiropractors needed to be male, large and muscular. With new techniques that have been developed, he said, many more people can be involved in the profession.
Earhart cites the improvement of the X-ray machine as a major shift forward in chiropractic care, allowing him to diagnose patients more accurately and easily. Another addition to the field has been acupuncture, which he considers safe and beneficial for some patients suffering from a variety of ailments.
For Earhart, providing a service to the community is a major component of why he enjoys his work.
“I like the challenge of helping others,” he said.
Earhart said that he enjoys working in Beatrice because of the people in the community, as he considers them to be hardworking and kind.
Earhart said he helps all kinds of people, from factory workers to bank presidents, and that many forms of insurance cover chiropractic care.
Susan Schwartz works as a limited radiographer for Earhart, assisting with some X-rays among other things. An employee of Earhart for 25 years, she said the biggest change for her in the industry has been the number of insurance companies covering chiropractic care, and electronic filing.
Schwartz said the best part of her job is seeing people’s health improve and making their day better. She thinks many people can benefit from Earhart’s care.
“Chiropractic is the best place to start for any problem, because your body can heal itself,” she said.