Dr. Abe Beaber grew up playing sports, so when he went into the chiropractic field, he knew that he wanted sports to continue to be a big part of his career.
“That’s where my passion is,” he says.
That’s also what prompted him to put in the extra time to become a sports chiropractor, which requires specialized certification. Only 14 chiropractors in the state of Indiana hold a certified chiropractic sports physician certification, and Beaber is one of them. He’s also the only person in the Hoosier state to be certified as a Diplomate of the American Chiropractic Board of Sports Physicians®, which is the highest level of sports training in the field of chiropractic. Just 300 chiropractors in the U.S. have that certification.
In 2006 Beaber took over Hamilton County Chiropractic, which at the time was a family chiropractic clinic. As Beaber became more specialized in advanced sports medicine and began hiring athletic trainers, physical therapists and massage therapists, the clinic transitioned to more of a full-service, multidisciplinary clinic than simply a chiropractic clinic. At that point he changed the name to Midwest Sport and Spine.
They recently built out an additional 3,500 square feet devoted entirely to rehab and sports-performance-based services. In that space they have an AlterG® anti-gravity treadmill. This piece of equipment is ideal for an athlete who, for instance, has suffered a stress fracture and can’t bear weight, yet doesn’t want to stop training and lose hard-earned progress.
“An AlterG® allows us to de-weight their body up to 80% so they can still train while rehabbing and recovering from a stress fracture,” says Beaber, clinic director of Midwest Sport and Spine. “We use it for post-surgical needs to work on improving gait and getting mobility and conditioning back much sooner than normal.”
The staff of 11 includes three chiropractors, a physical therapist, five athletic trainers and two massage therapists. Four people on the team are certified in dry needling, a technique that breaks up scar tissue and adhesions to reduce pain and facilitate rehab for those with chronic muscle weakness.
“Athletes with chronically tight muscles have a deficiency that can cause a lot of pain and problems,” Beaber says. “If you can’t get through a muscle tightness, it can prevent people from progressing in rehab.”
The staff offers physical therapy tools and gadgets such as cold laser therapy, which can work for conditions like plantar fasciitis and other acute injuries as it helps to promote healing at a cellular level.
“Since the laser produces no heat, you can start it immediately after an injury,” Beaber says.
The facility also has a machine for radial pressure wave therapy, a non-invasive treatment that delivers acoustic waves to injured soft tissue to reduce pain and promote healing.
“It offers similar effects to dry needling so it’s great for those who don’t like needles,” Beaber says.
At a typical chiropractic clinic, staff will take films and do an adjustment. At a typical physical therapy clinic, the staff does not always address the structural side of things – only the functional deficits. At Midwest Sport and Spine, however, due to the team’s advanced certifications, they can look at the whole body and tie everything together, providing a thorough diagnosis and treatment plan.
While most clinics just treat and manage pain, Beaber and his team get to the root of the pain to get athletes performing at a high level again.
“Our passion is helping people,” Beaber says. “When someone has been to another chiropractor or tried the PT route with no success and then they come to us and we’re able to help patients achieve their treatment goals, that’s really rewarding. It’s great to be able to diagnose what’s wrong with an athlete and get to the bottom of a diagnosis to fix it.”
He notes that many doctors give blanket diagnoses, such as a general diagnosis of back pain. Beaber knows it’s not that simple. Instead, there is often a very specific issue keeping people from getting proper treatment. Say you’re having a shoulder issue. It might not be your shoulder that’s the root of the problem. It just may be that the shoulder is where the pain is settling. For instance, it might be a disc in your neck that’s shutting off the muscle that controls your shoulder blade that leads to a rotator cuff issue.
“We look at the whole picture to make sure you’re getting the best care possible so that you aren’t just running through cycles of pain and looking for the next provider,” he says.
At Midwest Sport and Spine, the team puts athletes through a thorough evaluation whether or not they are experiencing pain. This way, if they see indicators that could lead to injury, they can get out in front of it.
“Once we get someone rehabbed, we like to determine how to keep this from happening again,” Beaber says. “The best kind of injury is one that never happens.”
At Midwest Sport and Spine, the team offers company events and training opportunities to teach ways to avoid pain.
“We’ve done things with police and fire departments, asking them the top three ways they tend to get injured on the job,” Beaber says. “Then based on their responses, we provide specific exercises to help prevent those injuries.”
Midwest Sport and Spine is the medical provider for the Indy Premier Soccer Club as well as the official sports chiropractor for the Indy Fuel hockey team. Beaber is also part of the medical team for Marian University. He and his team are dedicated to getting athletes back in the game, whether they’re weekend warriors or professional athletes. Beaber invites anyone who is not getting any relief from chronic back problems, shoulder pain, knee issues or headaches to contact his practice.
“If you have nagging injuries that are keeping you from performing at 100%, give us a call so we can evaluate you,” Beaber says.
Midwest Sport and Spine is located at 220 Lakeview Drive in Noblesville. For more information, call 317-776-1061 or visit midwestsportandspinecenter.com.