In the past 50 years, Dr. Gerald Zumwalt of Hillsboro has treated more than 10,000 patients at Zumwalt Chiropractic Clinic in Hillsboro, including four generations in some families.
“Chiropractic care fits into the recovery phase, helping to get rid of pain,” said Dr. Zumwalt. “Seeing that recovery is very rewarding.”
Dr. Zumwalt was raised on a farm in Pike County, before attending Culver Stockton College in Canton, MO. He would later transfer to Logan Chiropractic College in Chesterfield, graduating in 1967.
With a bachelor of science degree and a chiropractic doctorate degree, the college approached him to teach after his graduation.
He taught a few years before purchasing the building for Zumwalt Chiropractic Clinic from Dr. Weie in 1971.
“Dr. Weie was practicing here and he put up a notice that the practice was for sale,” said Dr. Zumwalt. “I was looking to get out of St. Louis and get back into country life.”
For him, the best part of chiropractic care is that the natural healing science is logical and easy for him to understand. He added that much of the research he was taught in the 1960s and 1970s is still the same today, focused on natural, healthy solutions to get rid of pain.
“When I go into a room, I expect to be able to help patients with relief of pain and getting back to a normal life,” he said. “We also work to prevent recurrences of the pain. At least 80 percent of the patients I treat, even those with arthritis, are able to recover.”
In addition, he treats many patients with internal organ problems, like indigestion or acid reflux, and is able to help them with dietary changes so they can avoid a lifetime of prescription drugs.
“The average patient over 60 is taking eight to nine drugs per day,” he said.
Another aspect he enjoys about chiropractic care is the continuing education and a chance to keep learning as medicine evolves. Although not officially a radiologist, Dr. Zumwalt has logged more than 400 hours of classes in how to look at and read MRI and CAT scans to help patients.
“We are trained to recognize disease and over the years, I’ve found a number of diseases in patients,” he said.
As his practice turns 50, Dr. Zumwalt said he has no plans to retire, and hopes to be able to help patients as long as he can. He is in the process of working with Logan Chiropratic College to find a young preceptor to work with him and help out at the clinic.
“I’ve been practicing a long time,” he said. “Some of the same patients have been coming to see me since I opened in the 1970s.”