Sometimes, explains Dr. Sean Drake, D.C., owner of Athlete Chiropractic, the part of the body where a person is experiencing pain isn’t always the location of the actual problem.
“Unless it’s a specific trauma, you have to look at the whole person,” he explains.
This whole-body approach is what drives Dr. Drake’s reputation as a healer, drawing everyone from children to grandparents to a long roster of well-known professional athletes to his Scottsdale practice to fix a variety of aches, pains, limitations, and even to increase athletic abilities.
“We look at it from the cellular approach, as well as a physical approach,” he explains. “There are so many pieces of the puzzle, ranging from the joints to the brain. Those three things need to work together, and a lot of times, people look at just one thing—a joint, or a muscle, for example. A lot of times, you have to look at the pain from a different perspective—where the pain is often isn’t where the problem is. It’s the result of stress and strain on the systems, which breaks down parts of the body. At Athlete Chiropractic, we go after the ‘why.’
“I look to put all the pieces together to see if it’s a joint problem, muscle problem, a brain problem, or something else, and from there, we can come up with a plan to tackle it.”
Dr. Drake speaks from personal experience. A seven-sport athlete in high school, he later headed to college set to specialize in track and field, with dreams of eventually joining the Air Force as a pilot.
That all changed when he was in a horrible car accident.
In pain and told he’d never run again, he began searching for answers.
Then he found a chiropractor who changed his life—and who had him jogging again within three visits.
Encouraged, he delved into the naturopathic world, using what he learned to wean off all his pain medications.
Today, he brings his experiences and understanding to those he works with, offering customized treatments for each person who walks through his door.
“Our approach starts with the concept that not everyone is the same. Each individual has their own strengths, and their own physical, environmental, mental, or technical limitations in their lives. We strive to assess each person for their goals in life, and create a plan that accomplishes those. We typically don’t treat the area where pain signals are firing—we look at all aspects of the body in front of us, including each joint, and how its function, or non-function, impacts the rest of the body. We also delve into any prior injuries, scars, traumas, and environmental effects on the body,” he explains.
Beyond Dr. Drake’s assessment and sport specific screenings, he has a variety of technologies in his clinic that can enhance performance and recovery.
“This complements our philosophy that training/living outside our office is the real treatment; however, we can guide in the journey to performance. Some of the tools we use are P.E.M.F., which is cellular exercise—imagine your cells being a battery. This device speeds charging which speeds up recovery, healing, and performance. Hyperbaric treatments enhance the body’s ability to heal and function by creating an oxygen-rich environment. Our cold laser attacks inflammation and accelerates healing at the cellular level, as well. We also teach our clients how to take care of their body when they aren’t in our clinic so that they don’t need to be on a plan for the rest of their lives, seeking treatment.”
Dr. Drake, who spent years traveling with professional sports teams and teaching at places such as Titleist Performance Institute, believes that no matter a person’s age or athletic ability, everyone is an athlete.
“‘If you have a body, you are an athlete,’” he says. “This quote is from Bill Bowerman, someone who I look up to and who challenged the way we competed in sport. Most people have forgotten the athlete inside themselves.
“Here, we aren’t a clinic; we are a community. You will find [a range of types of people]. We want each individual to improve their potential. My goal with this clinic was to take what I learned from working with professional athletes over the years and bring that to my community. I want each person who walks through the door to feel like a professional athlete. I want them to know I am on their team and will do whatever is in my power to help them reach their goals.”