When he had to pick a topic for his informative speech in public speaking, Chris Lofquist, ’05, decided to research chiropractic medicine. As an athletic training major, Lofquist was being exposed to different health care professions, but he had never been to a chiropractor before. The speech changed the course of his career.
“It was the way I thought medicine was supposed to be practiced,” he said. “Trying the least invasive option first, treating the whole body. I wanted to pursue this.”
Lofquist continued to explore health care careers, but chiropractic medicine stuck with him. After Heidelberg, he went to chiropractic school, where he excelled and found his calling.
“From a clinical standpoint, I was leaps and bounds ahead of my classmates,” he said. “I believe my anatomy background from Heidelberg was the framework for my success.”
Lofquist started out as an associate chiropractor in a large practice, but wanted his independence. Striking out on his own was intimidating, but came with lots of benefits. Lofquist’s practice – Flag City Sport and Spine in Findlay, Ohio – shares a building with another practice. In addition to the cost-savings benefits, the proximity provides another professional for Lofquist to bounce ideas off of and troubleshoot problem cases.
“It’s where medical practice is headed,” he said. “It’s nice having another set of eyes.”
Lofquist sees a lot of tough and interesting cases. The bulk of his patients come to him with lower back and hip issues, but he works on everything from shin splints to rotator cuffs to plantar fasciitis and even headaches. Many people come with bad motion or poor quality of motion in one of their joints.
Lofquist has made a name for himself in the area of soft tissue specialization by using the Active Release Technique (ART). Active Release Technique is especially useful for treating injuries of repetitive motion and has been proven to work faster than conventional techniques.
This specialization combined with Lofquist’s background in athletic training helped him find a niche customer base of athletes, especially runners, who are frequently affected by repetitive use injuries. He uses an integrated diagnosis where he troubleshoots and analyzes biomechanical problems. Many of his patients have abnormal adhesions from inflammations in their soft tissue.
“Adhesion is something no one talks about,” Lofquist said. “Scar tissue can severely restrict motion and ART breaks down scar tissue.”
The ART method works by treating muscle, fascia, nerve, and tissue entrapments and adhesions. It’s a multi-visit process, where each session, Lofquist helps the patient “sand down” the scar tissue to allow better quality of motion.
Serious athletes seek out Lofquist for his ART specialization. He has worked with two Olympic-caliber track and field throwers and a professional triathlete.
“These athletes are successful on their own, but the work I do with them has taken them to the next level,” he said.
Sometimes, it’s not just fixing an injury, but analyzing a patient's movement and finding biomechanical restrictions that hinder them. These athletes are extremely attuned to their bodies and notice the subtle affects ART can have on their performance.
Lofquist doesn’t only work on athletes. Repetitive motion injuries can come from training for an Olympic triathlon or working on a factory line. In addition to his practice, Lofquist runs a corporate wellness program at a Fortune 500 company’s factories. On select days, he sets up in the factory and works with employees on issues that are caused or aggravated by work. Since he has started the program, the cost savings for the company are 8-1 and worker-compensation, insurance premiums and costs are down.
The variations in his routine keep him sharp.
“It’s challenging every day,” he said. “I work hard to stay on top of my game.”
With his rehab background from Heidelberg, spine and joint work in chiropractic school and soft tissue specialization through the ART certification, Lofquist has given himself the ability to vary his clientele and programs.
“This is not a cookie-cutter job. I learn something new every day,” he said.
Lofquist is so thankful for his Heidelberg education that he has stayed connected to his alma mater. He serves as an adjunct professor in Heidelberg’s Health Science Program, teaching classes like kinesiology and biomechanics. Assistant Director of Athletic Training and Clinical Education Coordinator Ryan Musgrave likes having an alum work with current students because they can learn from his expertise and see what their education can do for them.
“Students get to see someone who is a graduate of this program and what he’s made of himself,” Musgrave said. “It’s always nice to see a student overcome challenges and prosper.”
Lofquist has prospered, in part because of the support from Heidelberg professors like Musgrave - even when that support was tough love.
“Ryan gave me a kick when I needed it,” Lofquist said. “Even though I didn’t want to hear it, it was impactful at the time.”
Musgrave believes Heidelberg’s Health Science Program’s focus on exposing students to different healthcare fields and experiences is the key to their success in varied careers. As a student, Lofquist was able to explore his interests and discover the right path for him.
Lofquist’s journey began as a class project and it has led him into a fulfilling career. The passions, ideas and friendships he developed at Heidelberg are still strong today. Between working with varying patient problems, teaching college classes and volunteering for weekend road races, Lofquist is as busy now as he was in college. He continues to work hard, not only for himself, but for Heidelberg grads everywhere.
“I feel like being a Heidelberg graduate has a level of value,” Lofquist said. “I want people in my field to continue to value all Heidelberg grads and their skill level.”
His repetitive excellence is clear proof of that.
These athletes are successful on their own, but the work I do with them has taken them to the next level.