Dr. Johnson’s story of how North Shore Spinal & Sports Rehabilitation came to be

Posted On: January 18, 2012

I graduated with honors from the Logan College of Chiropractic in December of 1987 with both a bachelors of science and my doctor of chiropractic degrees. I was 24 years old and was ready to take on the world as a chiropractic physician.

My biologic father, Bruce Campbell was living in Lake Forest, Illinois and had agreed to cosign my original business loan. He asked me where I wanted to practice and I told him, Lake Forest.� �Lake Forest,� he exclaimed, �you�re not ready for Lake Forest!�� To which I replied, �Lake Forest isn�t ready for me!�

So I opened my original practice, Chiropractic of Lake Forest in 1988 as soon as I had my license to practice.� I was good with my hands as a chiropractor and had worked hard to be a good diagnostician and as a result my practice flourished.

Soon the practice was expanding and I was ready to buy my first x-ray machine. I went to the bank to get the loan only to have the banker tell me I was too young to do what I was doing. So I went to the bank across the street and got a loan big enough to buy the x-ray machine and pay off the remainder of what I owed on my original note.

Times were good, the practice was expanding and I was helping a lot of people get well with the skills I was taught at Logan. My practice was changing; I was incorporating more and more exercises into my patient�s programs. I built out a gym next to my x-ray suite. It was pretty cool as it had all types of exercise tubing, an old Cybex machine and some free weights. It was nothing fancy, but it was quite functional.

My early employees were quite interesting; I had an x-ray tech, who also was an aerobics instructor, a number of nationally renowned personal trainers, a massage therapist and a great chiropractic student intern. We combined to help hundreds of people and had a good time doing it.

I was doing a lot of teaching and taking courses in my early years. I went and got certified as a chiropractic sports physician, I got certified to teach coaches how to safely teach children and I even got certified as a personal trainer. I lectured on injury prevention at the 41 sports club and at the Lake Forest Recreation Center. I was even named to the NFL players association�s list of approved chiropractors for their players.

The practice grew and I moved to a larger location on the ground floor across from the Lake Forest train station. I was looking for employees to help me help my patients and I found a young chiropractor, who also was a physical therapist. I brought him aboard and North Shore Spinal & Sports Rehabilitation was born.

My clinic continued to grow. We were now quite multidisciplinary with chiropractic physicians, physical therapists and massage therapists on staff. We learned to work together as a team and were getting great results.

The common ground that we were able to come together on was based on directional based therapy, for people with lower back problems. I had first been introduced to the concepts of directional therapy through a McKenzie course I took in the early 1990�s. I then built entire protocols building spinal stabilization programs based on which direction we should rehabilitate a patients back condition with. It is a pretty simple concept, but one that was quite forward thinking at the time of it�s conception. As we were the only ones in the area at the time with such an approach we got a huge jump on our competition.

We also found ways to weave in myofascial release and chiropractic techniques in all cases where it was appropriate to do so. We basically took those things, which we knew to be effective and combined them together to get excellent and reproducible results.

The practice continued to grow and I purchased a building in Lake Bluff. In 1997 we moved the practice to Lake Bluff into our beautiful 2500 square foot state of the art facility. We have been located in Lake Bluff since then and in 2001 we opened our second Facility in Highland Park.

As the practice grew I continued with my pursuit of education. I completed course work to get my board certification in orthopedics as a chiropractor. I taught nationally for the Northwestern College of Chiropractic�s sports injury program. I took course from the San Diego Spine Research Institute to learn the mechanics of whiplash injuries and I ended up teaching a course on whiplash for the Logan College of Chiropractic. I also sat on the ambulatory care panel at the Chicago Medical School and helped train third year medical students by rotating them through our clinics.

Finally in 2007 I went back to get my doctor of physical therapy degree which I completed in 2010 at the Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science. It was a good program and I increased both the breadth and depth of my knowledge in rehabilitative. At the end of my stay there as part of a final project I was teaching graduate students in physical therapy both anatomy and the research behind spinal manipulation.

At 24 years old, when I first started my practice, I envisioned having a thriving sports rehabilitation facility. My dream has been realized, but there is still more to do. As I look forward to the future, I want to leave a legacy of having developed clinics that deliver the highest quality orthopedic rehabilitation so that our patients can achieve their personal goals.




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