The Joint Chiropractic office manager Brooke Fortenberry (left) and Gadsden location owner Kip Rapp (right) discuss the new location. Katie Bohannon/Messenger.
By Katie Bohannon, News Editor
An innovative new approach to health and wellness is gracing Gadsden later this year.
Housed at 510 East Meighan Boulevard next to Moe’s Southwest Grill, The Joint Chiropractic introduces a modern era of routine chiropractic care crafted for the 21st century consumer, with the betterment of the Etowah County community in mind.
Established in 1999 with the purpose of improving quality of life through routine and economical chiropractic care, The Joint differs drastically from traditional chiropractic clinics, promoting three pillars that uphold its mission: affordability, accessibility and convenience. While traditional chiropractic clinics schedule appointments for patients with set office hours, The Joint operates as a membership-based model, similar to a gym. The Joint’s monthly memberships and wellness packages vary in pricing, but all pose affordable options for patients, with no insurance co-pay required.
Adult memberships are $70 and youth memberships are $40, covering the cost of four visits each month.
No appointments are necessary; walk-ins are welcome, with The Joint remaining open in the evenings and during weekends to accommodate members’ personal schedules. Strategically placed in shopping centers, co-existing alongside retail stores and neighboring frequented restaurants, The Joint’s central locations nationwide (and in Gadsden) enhance the clinic’s emphasis on convenience, allowing patients to incorporate wellness into their busy routines with ease. With each of its over 530 clinics across the country, The Joint eliminates barriers, creating an accessible path to holistic care.
Professionally trained doctors at The Joint only perform one service – spinal adjustments conducted by hand. This simplification generates a quicker pace at which patients are treated, with adjustments requiring only minutes out of their day, following a visual and tactical consultation. Considering The Joint clinics do not specialize in acute care, the staff do not perform X-rays to assess their conditions. Should a chiropractor determine a symptom acute or identify an injury, he or she will refer that member to another chiropractor or doctor to address the issue.
Gadsden location owner Kip Rapp discovered The Joint Chiropractic through his son, who interned at a clinic. As someone who experienced scoliosis and frequently visited a chiropractor himself, Rapp was no stranger to chiropractic care as an essential component in overarching wellness. He witnessed firsthand the transformative nature of the practice, emphasizing that chiropractic care addresses and strives to correct physical ailments without the use of medication or surgery.
As Americans nationwide struggle to alleviate pain through various methods, opioid and prescription drug abuse surges, resulting in cases of addition across the country. According to an American Chiropractic Association article entitled “Chiropractic and the Opioid Epidemic: Rethinking Our Approach to Pain,” in 2015 non-profit organization The Joint Commission, responsible for accrediting over 22,000 health care systems (including hospitals), recognized holistic approaches to wellness such as chiropractic care and acupuncture as beneficial additions to its pain management standard. Later guidelines of both the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American College of Physicians addressed non-invasive, non-drug treatments as first-time recommendations before restoring to drug therapies. When battling pain, chiropractic care emerges as a powerful alternative to medication, addressing the root-cause of the issue, rather than simply treating the symptom.
“A lot of people are in debt because of medical bills,” said Rapp. “If you’re physically not fit, it’s really hard to be happy. It’s hard to do things when your body is letting you down. With some traditional medicine and pain relievers, it’s not fixing the problem – it’s masking the problem.”
Chiropractic care reinforces the body’s reliance upon the brain, spinal cord and nervous system for control. It is essential for the body’s nervous system to remain free of interference for the body to function properly, without complications. Chiropractic care removes nerve interference that often accumulates over time, reestablishing spinal function through correcting structural misalignments and postural imbalances with spinal adjustments. Since the nervous system correlates directly with the spine, improved spinal function results in improved nervous system function, contributing to a person’s overall state of wellness.
While Rapp believes in the efficiency and effectiveness of chiropractic care, he recognized an opportunity for the practice to modernize. An industrial engineering student in college, Rapp possesses a wealth of knowledge concerning process and product improvement, with a background in manufacturing environments. Prior to owning and operating The Joint, Pittsburg, Pennsylvania native Rapp worked in software development, performing numerous jobs nationwide and living in cities like Memphis, Houston, Seattle and Atlanta.
Rapp’s seasoned experience in assisting companies across America and his keen eye for refining and advancing processes coincided with his interest in The Joint, which initially attracted him to the franchise’s business model. Furthermore, The Joint’s pursuit of expanding quality healthcare in an attainable manner appealed to Rapp’s own compassionate nature. He recognized The Joint’s efforts as a catalyst for educating people on the importance of physical wellness, while simultaneously giving them the ability to practice healthy habits. As someone who strives to assist others wherever he finds himself, Rapp invests in what matters most to him – people and the communities they call home.
“With anything you do, you need to be passionate about it,” said Rapp. “You need to believe in it – get up, be happy, help the community, people and your team. I think that’s why we’re here…to help each other out. If you want to have a great anything, it starts with having great people and giving everyone a great mission to follow. My kind of personality is one that finds the passion in the mission in what I’m going down the path to and it invariably comes down to helping others. You are making people’s lives better.”
Rapp shared that The Joint’s friendly and welcoming staff create a relaxed environment that members enjoy visiting. With a small unit of caring individuals, such as chiropractor Dr. Boyce Callahan Jr. and operations manager Brooke Fortenberry, Rapp envisions patients developing relationships with The Joint team. When a patient enters the clinic, he or she finds comfort in a warm greeting and familiar faces who remember one another and take interest in their lives.
“The flexibility and convenience of The Joint is going to bring another wellness opportunity for our community,” said Fortenberry. “It’s going to help people steer towards a more healthy lifestyle. It’s this overall wellness journey that I feel a lot of us are trying to get on these days. Being adjusted on a normal basis will help people feel better overall. I just thought this would be a great opportunity to give back to the community and help other people feel better.”
Valuing people, their time and lives emerges as Rapp’s commitment to the Gadsden community, which he discovered is a hub for small-town business development. While in other locations or countries, connecting with the right people might pose a challenge, Rapp shared that those connections form organically in Gadsden – all he has to do is talk to people and they prove eager to help. With his anticipated opening date still a few months away, Rapp’s contributions to Gadsden already demonstrate his enthusiasm and dedication to partnering with the community as an involved and active resident. From joining The Chamber of Gadsden and Etowah County to visiting schools, to sponsoring fundraisers and supporting non-profit organizations, Rapp hopes his role in Gadsden uplifts the city and nourishes its further growth.
As The Joint fosters wellness, Rapp nurtures a narrative of his own. Through educating others and providing those around him with resources readily available for their prosperity, he illustrates that a business is more than the services it offers, but the people it represents – a collection of individuals aiding their community, inspiring stories of success on the horizon.
“We’re here to help each other,” said Rapp. “We believe in wellness care and we want to make it convenient and affordable, so you can live the life you want to live with your family and at work. I certainly have a passion to give back; not only from the business model side, but I want to invest in the community. Happier lives promote happier businesses. I believe in it, and you can make such a difference for people. Even one visit can make a big difference – it’s exciting to say I’m learning and I can potentially help you learn. We can be successful together.”
The Joint Chiropractic anticipates opening in December or January. For more information on The Joint, call Kip Rapp at 256-467-7011 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.