What to Expect at Your First Visit as a New Patient

Picture of Dr. Nate Wiechmann checking in a patient at Pott. County Sports & Family Chiropractic

Embarking on your journey with us? Here’s what you can expect during your initial visit as a new patient:

Patient History Questionnaire
We’ll start by getting to know you and your health concerns through a detailed patient history questionnaire. This helps us understand your symptoms, conditions, and any relevant medical history.

During this assessment, we’ll delve into details like:

  • When your pain or condition started
  • The location and nature of your condition
  • Factors that worsen or improve your symptoms

Physical Assessment

We will perform a comprehensive physical assessment to evaluate your condition and identify areas of concern.

Treatment Plan
We prioritize personalized care over one-size-fits-all approaches. Unlike some practices, we don’t believe in pushing big treatment plans or maxing out insurance visits. Instead, we tailor our protocol to your unique needs and continuously assess your progress along the way.

Our goal is to provide you with effective, efficient care that supports your health and wellness journey. Your well-being is our top priority, and we’re committed to partnering with you to achieve your goals. Contact us to learn more or book an appointment.

What to Expect During HBOT

Curious about hyperbaric oxygen therapy? Here’s what you can expect during a typical session at our Council Bluffs clinic.

You’ll lay in our HBOT chamber while breathing in pressurized oxygen — up to 3x the amount in the everyday environment. This helps pump oxygen to your body’s tissues, promoting healing, reducing inflammation and supporting overall wellness.

Once inside the chamber, you’ll hear air beginning to circulate. There are two windows at the top of the chamber — one on each end — where you’ll be able to see and talk to us. And we’ll communicate with you the whole time so you know what to expect.

As the chamber fills with air, you may experience a full sensation in your ears, similar to changing altitudes in an airplane or driving up a mountain. Once the chamber reaches its prescribed pressure, the fullness in your ears should subside.

You can take items inside the chamber with you, so you can listen to music or your favorite podcast, catch up on some reading, or just use the time to relax.

Near the end of your session, we’ll gradually decrease the pressure. This is the decompression phase, which usually lasts about 5-10 minutes. During decompression, you may experience an automatic “popping” sensation in your ears as a result of the decreasing pressure — again, just like you’d feel on an airplane.

After that, you’re free to go about your day or stick around for an adjustment. Either way, you’ll continue reaping benefits from the chamber long after your session ends. (But depending on your situation, you may want or need a few more.)

Whether you’re recovering from an injury, managing a chronic condition or simply looking to optimize your health, hyperbaric oxygen therapy is where it’s at!

In particular, it can help provide relief fo:

  • Anemia
  • Brain abscesses
  • Bubbles of air in blood vessels (arterial gas embolism)
  • Burns
  • Carbon monoxide poisoning
  • Crushing injuries
  • Deafness
  • Decompression sickness
  • Gangrene
  • Infections
  • Lung issues
  • Nonhealing wounds, such as diabetic foot ulcers
  • Radiation injuries and skin grafts
  • Sports injuries, including medial collateral ligament and anterior cruciate ligament injuries
  • Traumatic brain injuries and concussions

Contact us to learn more or book a session. (New patients get $25 their first one!)

Benefits of Chiropractic Care for Weightlifters and Crossfitters

Chiropractic care offers several benefits for people of all ages and walks of life, but athletes and weightlifters are among the groups that can benefit the most. If you’re a weightlifter or Crossfitter, read on to learn how it can help you.

Improves posture and performance

Weightlifting puts a lot of stress on the joints as well as the upper and lower back. This stress can increase the risk of misalignment and impact your performance. If your spine or other joints are misaligned, your body will distribute weight unevenly. When you’re lifting, this can cause one side of the body to bear more of the weight than the other side, which can lead to uneven gains.

Chiropractic adjustments help restore natural balance by ensuring the body is properly aligned. Adjustments also help restore proper function to the nervous system, which in turn helps regulate muscle function and promote recovery.

Prevents injuries

Weightlifters and Crossfitters expose themselves to a variety of injuries, including sprains, strains and pinched nerves that can affect the upper and lower back as well as the shoulders, hips and knees. With regular chiropractic adjustments, you can ensure your body has the proper mechanical balance, which in turn helps increase range of motion and optimize performance.

As a board-certified chiropractor and former personal trainer and collegiate athlete, Nate Wiechmann, D.C., understands the physical demands that are required to live an active lifestyle. He can recommend specific exercises that you can use to increase range of motion, build strength and prevent future injuries. (We also have a squat rack in our clinic to assist power lifters and athletes with proper form for injury prevention.)

Treats injuries

When injuries do occur, chiropractic care can help speed up the recovery process. In addition to chiropractic adjustments, some of the other treatment options we provide for weightlifters and Crossfitters include:

  • Cupping therapyCupping involves applying glass or silicone cups to the skin to create pressure. (We use silicone cups at our clinics.) The suction promotes blood flow to the affected areas, which in turn helps stimulate the natural healing process to relieve tension and inflammation in the muscles.
  • Graston Technique® – This type of soft tissue mobilization utilizes specially designed stainless steel instruments/tools to break down scar tissue and fascial restrictions in the body. As the instruments are moved over the affected area and come in contact with the adhesions, they break up scar tissue and fascial restrictions, which in turn helps relieve pain and restore movement.
  • Hyperbaric oxygen therapy – Our newest treatment option, hyperbaric oxygen therapy or HBOT, involves lying inside a pressurized chamber that releases 95-100% pure oxygen that’s increased two to three times the normal levels provided in our everyday environment. When your blood carries this extra oxygen throughout your body, it helps fight bacteria and stimulate the release of substances called growth factors and stem cells, which promote healing. (Typically a session goes for $80-100, but we’re offering 50% off your first session through the rest of the summer.)
  • Taping – Functional Movement Taping (FMT) helps provide support and stability for weak or injured muscles. It can be used on its own or in conjunction with other treatments. It’s important to have a certified practitioner, like a chiropractor, apply the tape to ensure it’s properly placed for optimal benefit.
  • TheraGun – TheraGun provides deep muscle massage that helps break up tension and increase range of motion. Oftentimes, this can be added on to other services for a minimal or complimentary fee.
  • Trigger point dry needling – This type of treatment involves inserting a dry needle (one without medicine) into a “knot” or trigger point in order to relieve pain and tension in the muscles.

In addition, we provide functional movement screens and sports physicals to help athletes address faulty movement patterns and reduce the risk of injury.

Of course, athletes aren’t the only ones who can benefit from regular chiropractic care. As a board-certified chiropractor, Dr. Wiechmann treats people of all ages and fitness levels, including elite athletes, weekend warriors, pregnant mothers and children. Call 712-249-8231 for more information, or use our online scheduling tool to book an appointment.

FAQs About Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy

We’re thrilled to announce that we’re now offering hyperbaric oxygen therapy at our Council Bluffs clinic. Read on to learn how it works and what you can expect during and after treatment.

Picture of Dr. Nate Wiechmann helping a patient climb into the hyperbaric oxygen therapy chamber at Pott. County Sports & Family Chiropractic

What is hyperbaric oxygen therapy?

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy involves lying inside a pressurized chamber that releases 95-100% pure oxygen. Often, pressure in the chamber is between 1.5 and 3 times greater than normal air pressure. When your blood carries this extra oxygen throughout your body, it helps fight bacteria and stimulate the release of growth factors and stem cells, which promotes healing. With repeated treatments, the extra oxygen can help increase your normal oxygen levels, even after the session ends. This means you can continue reaping benefits of the treatment long after you leave.

What are the benefits of hyperbaric medicine?

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (or hyperbaric medicine) has become a popular recovery tool for athletes and non-athletes alike. The non-invasive treatment option can be beneficial for anyone looking to obtain better overall health and wellness. In particular, it can help provide relief for the following conditions:

  • Anemia
  • Brain abscesses
  • Bubbles of air in blood vessels (arterial gas embolism)
  • Burns
  • Carbon monoxide poisoning
  • Crushing injuries
  • Deafness
  • Decompression sickness
  • Gangrene
  • Infections
  • Nonhealing wounds, such as diabetic foot ulcers
  • Radiation injuries and skin grafts
  • Sports injuries, including medial collateral ligament (MCL) and anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries
  • Traumatic brain injuries and concussions
  • Vision loss

Other benefits include:

  • Increasing collagen production
  • Reducing pain and inflammation
  • Speeding up recovery time after an infection, sprain, strain, concussion or head injury
  • Decreasing the risk of re-injury

Is hyperbaric oxygen therapy safe?

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is a safe, non-invasive treatment option. A typical session at our clinic lasts about an hour, and the pressure is constantly monitored to ensure your safety and comfort. However, hyperbaric medicine is not right for everyone. You shouldn’t receive hyperbaric oxygen therapy if you:

  • Have certain types of lung diseases or a collapsed lung
  • Are experiencing a cold or a fever, or have tested positive for COVID-19 within 24 hours
  • Recently had ear surgery or have a history of ear problems
  • Do not like small enclosed spaces (claustrophobia)

In some cases, patients may experience the following side effects, which resolve within a few hours:

  • Fatigue or lightheadedness
  • Sinus pressure
  • Fluid buildup or ear discomfort

Can hyperbaric medicine be used in conjunction with other treatments?

Yes. Like many of the services provided at our clinics, hyperbaric medicine works well in conjunction with other treatments, including chiropractic adjustments, trigger point dry needling, soft tissue therapy and laser therapy.

Is hyperbaric medicine covered by insurance?

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is an out-of-pocket expense. For your convenience, we offer competitive cash pricing options (see below).

How much does hyperbaric oxygen therapy cost?

We offer competitive pricing for hyperbaric oxygen therapy:

  • $75 for a one-hour session / $50 for your first session
  • $350 for five one-hour sessions ($25 savings)
  • $700 for 10 one-hour sessions ($50 savings)
  • $1,025 for 15 one-hour sessions ($100 savings)
  • $1,300 for 20 one-hour sessions ($150 savings)

To book an appointment, use our online scheduling tool, or contact us for details.

Pinpointing Pain with Trigger Point Dry Needling

Have you ever experienced hard “knots” in your muscle? Those knots are known as “trigger points,” and they can cause significant pain over large areas, making it difficult to perform daily tasks. A common treatment option for relieving myofascial trigger point pain is dry needling.

What is the difference between trigger point dry needling and acupuncture?

Both trigger point dry needling and acupuncture use dry needles (ones that don’t involve medication) to gently prick specific spots in the body, but the treatments vary greatly. Acupuncture is primarily used to treat internal issues, such as digestive problems, stress and allergies, by removing blocked or interrupted “chi.” Dry needling is used to treat muscular pain, tension and myofascial dysfunction. Research published in the Journal of Orthopaedic & Sports Physical Therapy shows this helps release tight muscle bands associated with trigger points, leading to decreased pain and improved function.

What are the benefits of dry needling?

Benefits include:

  • Reducing pain and stiffness
  • Improving flexibility
  • Speeding up the recovery time
  • Improving range of motion
  • Easing joint pain
  • Decreasing neurological pain

What conditions can dry needling help treat?

Dry needling can provide relief for several medical conditions, including:

  • Back pain or neck pain
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Headaches and migraines
  • Joint pain
  • Muscle pain
  • Pelvic pain
  • Plantar fasciitis
  • Shin splints
  • Shoulder impingements
  • Spinal issues
  • Sports injuries
  • Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) dysfunction
  • Tendonitis
  • Tennis elbow
  • Trigger points
  • Whiplash and auto accident injuries

Is dry needling safe?

Trigger point dry needling is a safe and effective way to relieve muscle pain and tension in patients of all ages, including pregnant women and children. I use individually packaged, sterile single use and disposable needles. They are extremely fine (.16 to .30mm) and rarely cause bruising or bleeding. Some patients experience a slight tickle, while others say they feel a short period of pain. It can be normal to experience muscle soreness as the trigger point continues to work itself out, but that should clear up after one to two days.

What can you expect during a session?

After I identify the trigger point causing your pain or dysfunction, I gently insert a dry needle and manipulate it at the site until there’s a twitch response, indicating the muscle knot has released. The needle may be placed deeply or shallowly, for a short or long period of time, depending on your condition. Depending on the severity of your muscle tightness, you may need two to four sessions spaced one to two weeks apart to get lasting relief.

Can dry needling be used in conjunction with other treatments?

Like many of the services provided at our clinics, trigger point dry needling works well in conjunction with other treatments, including chiropractic adjustments, cupping, soft tissue therapy, laser therapy and rehabilitative taping.

Please use our online scheduling tool to book an appointment, or call 712-249-8231 for more information.

Online Scheduling Made Easier

Big things are happening at Pott. County Sports & Family Chiropractic! In addition to relocating our Council Bluffs clinic, we recently updated our online scheduling options to make it easier for you to conveniently book an appointment from your desktop, tablet or mobile device. Simply click the link on our homepage or visit scheduler.chirofusionlive.com/pcsfchiropractic to book an appointment today!

Appointments are available at our clinics during the following times:

Council Bluffs Clinic Hours

  • Mondays and Wednesdays – 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Fridays – 2 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Oakland Clinic Hours

  • Tuesdays and Thursdays – 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Fridays 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

For more information or help setting up an appointment, call 712-249-8231.

Five Benefits of Pediatric Chiropractic Care

Chiropractic care is not only for adults. From babies to toddlers to teens, children can also benefit from a trip to the chiropractor’s office.

As a father myself, I observed several benefits with our daughter, who was born 12 weeks early. Because she was born prematurely, she was at an increased risk of certain neurological and digestive disorders. She also had to spend several weeks in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), hooked up to several cords that limited her range of motion. Shortly after we brought her home, my wife and I noticed that our daughter occasionally had trouble latching or going to the bathroom, and would become overly fussy or inconsolable. When these things would happen, I’d gently assess her spine to provide relief. I could instantly tell a difference, as her body would relax into my arms and she’d stop crying. In many cases, she’d be able to resume nursing right away and/or go to the bathroom within 12-24 hours. Having a little one of my own has made me more aware of the importance of regular pediatric chiropractic care, and I’m honored to be able to help parents find similar relief for their children.

Below are five important benefits of taking your child to the chiropractor.

Improved Sleep

Sleep is an essential part of a child’s life. It doesn’t just help them function. It’s also important for their development and emotional wellbeing. Unfortunately certain tensions can make it difficult to sleep, often leading to insomnia. Since chiropractic care works to relieve stress in the body, it can also improve sleep.

Immune System Function

Chiropractic care has many benefits for a child’s immune system. It can help those suffering from a cold or infection, as well as improve immunity functions. Going to a chiropractor can also improve a child’s digestive system and target related issues, such as stomach problems, constipation and acid reflux.

Better Behavior

Less stress leads to better behavior. Chiropractic care helps children improve their attitudes by releasing tension. Improved sleep can also reduce stress, which can help your child function better during the day.

Nervous System Support

The benefits of pediatric adjustments extend into the nervous system. Chiropractors make sure the spine is growing in the correct way. This prevents and treats certain nervous system issues like ear infections. Pediatric chiropractic care can also treat asthma, allergies and other respiratory issues by targeting misaligned nerves that affect a child’s respiratory system.

Brain Development

Chiropractic care can improve your child’s neural brain development by releasing pressure on bones and joints as well as the spine. Increased brain development promotes better concentration, improved focus and reduced hyperactivity. This includes targeting conditions like ADD and ADHD.

Please use our online scheduling tool to book an appointment, or call 712-249-8231 for more information.

Our Council Bluffs Clinic is Moving

As many of you know, we have been looking for a new location for our Council Bluffs clinic for quite some time. We’re thrilled to announce that we have finally found the perfect spot! Starting next month, our Council Bluffs clinic will be moving to 15 State Street, next to In Motion Gymnastics & Entertainment off E. Broadway, Downtown.

We’re excited about the move, as it will allow us to bring even more services to our patients. In addition to our current offerings, we will have more space for functional movement and rehab-based treatments as well as new modalities like Bemer Therapy, Ionic Foot Bath and more. (Stay tuned for details.)

We’re currently accepting patients at our new location while we continue transitioning into the space, but we plan to have everything officially set up by early July. Stay tuned for details on an open house coming later this year.

Please use our online scheduling tool to book an appointment, or call 712-249-8231 for more information.

Ionic Foot Bath: What Is It and How Does It Work?

We’re honored to be one of the only providers in the region to offer the Ionic Foot Bath, a foot soak treatment that helps restore the body’s balance and energy levels by detoxifying or eliminating harmful toxins and pollutants.

What are the benefits of an ionic foot bath?

Ionic foot baths offer several benefits, including:

  • Improving lymph circulation, similar to a Swedish massage
  • Relieving migraines and headaches
  • Improving skin conditions
  • Increasing natural energy levels
  • Improving sleep quality and relaxation
  • Strengthening immune system function to help fight off viruses
  • Relieving muscle/joint pain and swelling

How does an ionic foot detox work?

An ionic foot bath combines water, salt and a small electrical current to produce charged ionic energy that helps promote detoxification. During the 30-minute session, the water in the bath changes color. This change in color is caused by the oxidation of the metal plates in the bath reacting with solutes in the water as toxins release from the body. Over the next 24-48 hours, toxins continue to flush out of the body naturally through the lymphatic system (network of tissues and organs that help rid the body of toxins) and excretory system (part of the body that performs excretion or discharges waste).

What do the colors in an ionic foot bath mean?

Each person’s foot bath looks a little different. Some baths are really thick and full of multiple colors, while others are thinner and not very colorful. Patients who do regular sessions may notice that their foot baths become less murky as time goes on and they begin to feel better.

Depending on your specific condition(s) and environmental exposures, you may observe the following during your session:

  • Yellow-green: Indicates detoxification of the kidneys, bladder, urinary tract and/or female prostate area; may be an indication of gynecological or prostate disorders.
  • Orange: Indicates detoxification of the joints or arteries; may be an indication of arthritis, gout, neuropathy or pleurisy (inflammation of the tissues that line the lungs and chest cavity).
  • Brown: Indicates detoxification of the liver, lungs, tobacco or cellular debris; often seen in patients who smoke or have been exposed to heavy second-hand smoke or another air pollutant.
  • Dark green or black: Indicates detoxification of the gallbladder or liver; may be associated with gallstones, acid reflux, a weak immune system or nausea.
  • Red flecks: Typically a sign of blood clot material; may also be associated with arterial blockage, bruising, hypertension or cold hands/feet.
  • White foam: Indicates detoxification of the lymphatic system or lymph nodes; may be an indication of a menstrual disorder, tender lymph nodes or clogged skin caused by an allergy.
  • Black flecks: Indicates detoxification of heavy metals; other symptoms of toxicity may include chronic fatigue or memory problems.

Who is a good candidate for an ionic foot bath?

Nearly everyone, except for those with open sores or an infection on their feet, can benefit from an ionic foot bath. The body is built to detoxify on its own. However, we are constantly bombarded by toxins, which can place added stress on the body, causing pain and dysfunction. An ionic foot bath is a safe and effective way to assist the body in detoxifying these stressors.

How long does a foot bath take?

This treatment lasts approximately 30 minutes and can be offered in conjunction with other treatments or on its own.

Please use our online scheduling tool to book an appointment, or call 712-249-8231 for more information.

Seven Tips to Manage Stress

person grabbing faceElections are stressful — and this one particularly so. It’s hard not to feel overwhelmed, helpless and anxious when it feels like the fate of our country is so precarious.

Fortunately, there are steps you can take to minimize conflict and take care of yourself.

  1. Seek chiropractic careChiropractic services, such as adjustments or manipulation, trigger point dry needling and soft tissue therapy, can help release muscle tension, soothe irritated spinal nerves and improve blood circulation — changes that can often alert the brain to switch off the fight-or-flight response and help your body relax.
  2. Schedule a massage – Regular massages can rebalance your hormones and release muscle tension caused by stress. Research also shows that it can lower your heart rate and blood pressure, as well as increase the production of “feel good” endorphins, serotonin and dopamine.
  3. Make time for fitness – Your body can fight off stress better when it’s physically fit. Consider going for a walk, lifting weights or swimming for at least 30 minutes most days per week to stay active and keep your body in shape.
  4. Practice relaxation techniques – Yoga, meditation and Tai Chi are great relaxation techniques for managing stress. Practicing these methods for even a few minutes each day can provide a sense of overall calmness as well as ease anxiety.
  5. Get adequate rest – In addition to regular exercise, your body needs proper time to recover. Give your body the rest it needs by taking breaks when necessary and getting at least 7-9 hours of sleep (more for children and teens) each night.
  6. Eat a balanced diet– Chronic stress can make you more susceptible to viral illnesses, GI issues and infections. Consuming processed food and beverages, like chips, soda and candy, actually increases the volume of stress on your body and contributes to other health issues. Consider reaching for nutrient-dense foods that promote good gut bacteria, such as prebiotics and probiotics. Fruits and vegetables with inulin, like asparagus, bananas, garlic and onions, contain prebiotics. Fermented foods, like kefir, kimchi, kombucha, sauerkraut and yogurt are great sources of probiotics.
  7. Avoid drugs and alcohol – If you typically reach for a cigarette or a glass of wine when you’re stressed, consider a new vice. Drugs, alcohol and tobacco can stress your body out even more and often lead to serious health issues like heart disease, liver disease, respiratory diseases and GI problems.

While it’s impossible to completely eliminate all stress from your life, the strategies above can help you manage your symptoms. Prioritizing self-care first can help you cope with what comes next. And remember, there’s nothing wrong with asking for help. For more information or to schedule an appointment, call 712-249-8231.