WINNEBAGO - Dr. Chasten Fenger knows what it's like to work on a farm, with the toll it can take on the body.
"Growing up on a farm [near Wabasso], I have a respect for farmers," he said. "The job has to get done."
As a chiropractor, he knows ways to relieve people's pain and keep them from hurting in the first place.
"The focus of chiropractic is [that] the nervous system operates the control panel of the human body," Fenger said. "When the bones become misplaced, they impinge on the nerves, creating interference. The nervous system cannot operate at full capacity. Chiropractors locate misalignments of the spine and correct them using light adjustments with their hands [or small instruments] to allow the nervous system to operate fully."
A chiropractor can treat many problems, Fenger said, including numbness and tingling in the hands and feet; tennis elbow; bursitis; sprains; strains; plantar fasciitis; and other conditions.
"If it's a joint that can move, we can work with it," Fenger said.
Chiropractic adjustments can alleviate dizziness, vertigo, headaches and fullness in the ears, just to name a few.
Fenger says he can work with any age patient.
"From newborns to 100-plus," he said.
Chiropractic treatment can be used prior to more drastic measures, such as surgery, Fenger suggests.
"Best to try a conservative approach first," he said. "If that doesn't give you relief, then we can talk about [surgery]."
He offers adjustments, X-rays, therapeutic ultrasound, muscle stimulation, exercises for rehab, and "basic training, stretches and strengthening," he said. His office also provides physicals, pillows, supplements and foot exams to see what type of shoe insole will keep a person's body working properly.
He noted that 90 percent of insurances cover chiropractic work.
After earning his doctor of chiropractic degree, Fenger wanted to practice in a small town.
"I'm from a town of 650 population; my wife (Amy) is from a town of 1,200," Fenger said.
"You know what you get in a small town," he said. "A helping hand, people willing to help you get started. You don't get that in a big city."
The couple came to Winnebago where Dr. Kevin Arndt had practiced for about 30 years. Fenger worked with Arndt for a few months before Arndt retired in December. Fenger then took over the practice and re-named it Winnebago Chiropractic, but it's still located at 115 First Ave. NW. The phone number is (507) 893-4412 or visit firstname.lastname@example.org
Fenger's wife works at the office. She has earned her doctor of chiropractic degree and is waiting to take her medical boards. When she gets her license, she will practice alongside her husband, with a concentration on children.
Although they hope their business does well, they would like to see people to take better care of themselves. Chasten Fenger offered some tips.
"I always tell people the catalyst behind the human body is water," he said. "You should drink half of what you weigh."
As an example, he said a 160-pound person should drink 80 ounces of water per day.
Other advice is eating healthier, with more vegetables and fruit, and less red meat; getting seven to nine hours of sleep per night; along with 45 minutes to an hour of exercise per day.
"Break it up into six 10-minute sessions," he said.
One mistake Fenger sees people make is lifting objects, even heavy ones, with their backs and away from the body.
"Lift with the legs," he said, and don't twist while lifting. Center yourself over the object and lift straight up.
For those who spend a lot of time sitting at desks, Fenger recommends sitting up straight with your shoulders over your hips. Keep your wrists straight, not bent up or drooping down. And don't sit for too long.
"Take micro-breaks through the day," he recommended. "Get up every hour and move for 5 to 10 minutes."