Born and raised in Cleveland, and after beginning his career with a brief stop back in Cleveland just over 20 years ago, he has finally come full-circle. Massey, who has lived in Cleveland with his family for the past 10 years, has maintained a busy chiropractic practice in Athens for just over 19 years … and now he is open for business in Cleveland as well.
“It’s great to be home,” Dr. Massey said.
Sharing office space in Cleveland with Dr. Lindsay Hathcock for only a few weeks now, Dr. Michael Massey can be reached at 478-8995 in Cleveland, 423 Central Ave., NW, and at his Athens office, 740 Tell St., Suite 400, at 745-8500.
He graduated from Life University in Marietta, Ga., in 1989 with a doctorate degree in chiropractic sciences. He first worked briefly in Cleveland as an associate doctor at the busy practice of Dr. R.D. Akers. Thereafter, he worked for two years as the director of a corporate-owned chiropractic clinic in Crossville. When the opportunity to run his own clinic opened up, he took it, purchasing what is now still his main office in Athens.
“I wanted to be my own boss. I didn’t like others telling me how to manage my patients,” Dr. Massey said. He’s been there for almost 20 years now. “Everything’s been great there. I have made so many friends and business contacts over the years in Athens.”
But potential and existing patients kept asking him to open a clinic here in Cleveland.
“Requests became louder and more frequent,” he said. “Even Athens people who worked in Cleveland wanted to see me in Cleveland too. We have folks who were making the drive, but realized over time it was more inconvenient than they’d expected.”
So, “by popular demand,” Dr. Massey extended his office’s reach into Cleveland. Having been friends with Dr. Lindsay Hathcock for years, Dr. Massey is working his new two-day clinic within Dr. Hathcock’s existing downtown office space.
Treatment for each patient begins with a consultation, finding out about the patient’s physical history and complaints, as well as an examination involving typical orthopedic and neurological tests and maybe even an X-ray study of the area in question.
“Then, if a patient is accepted for care, I formulate a diagnosis and a treatment plan,” Dr. Massey said. “It’s tailored to individual patient needs.”
Lower back pain is what he treats the most, with neck, rib cage and mid-back pain, stiffness and discomfort next. Headaches, carpal tunnel syndrome and TMJ are also common complaints.
Dr. Massey, however, helps clients with a variety of other issues, some of which include sports injuries, work injuries, injuries from accidents, rehabilitation, wellness and prevention. He maintains a post-graduate certification in sports injury evaluation and management, and puts it to use regularly.
“I try to evaluate both the injury and the potential underlying cause,” he said. “Then I recommend an injury management plan. I manage the cause and not just the symptoms. Some offices like to do pain management. I like to do ‘condition management’.”
That’s his philosophy of treatment. He emphasizes prevention and self-care as much as relieving whatever issue from which a patient is currently suffering.
“We don’t just do chiropractic manipulation,” Dr. Massey said. “It is one of the most-used tools in our box, but we offer so much more.” He also provides in-office exercise and rehabilitation training, electro therapy and therapeutic ultrasound, which are commonly used for injury management. Electrotherapy helps relax muscular tension, and helps healing after traumas like a car accident, sports injuries, or overuse.
“It’s very comforting and soothing,” he said. “People love it. They really do. They often jokingly ask: ‘Can I take it home?’”
Ultrasound therapy is a common therapeutic modality used to decrease tissue inflammation, scar tissue, and calcification. But the most recent technique he has incorporated into his practice is called Kinesiotaping. Developed in Japan, it is a functional taping technique that allows the patient to continue to use the injured area, providing easier and earlier healing.
“It allows injured athletes to perform sooner than normally expected. Movement is the key to recovery,” Dr. Massey said. This taping technique allows a patient to do normal activity, to continue to function while they heal with less pain. Regular athletic tape is inflexible, and it doesn’t allow much movement, by design. It’s meant to bind and restrict movement of a particular area. This newer taping technique is lightweight and flexible and allows a patient freedom of movement while tractioning the tissues and relieving pressure from painful or potentially-painful structures. It is also supportive, but less restrictive. In fact, healing is sped up specifically because of this freedom of movement. And it’s not just for injuries to commonly expected joints, such as the ankle, this revolutionary taping method is also great for back injuries, the rib cage, the shoulder and more. “It’s also ideal as an injury prevention and stability-assistance technique. It’s widely used in competitive athletics, gaining popularity at the last summer Olympic games. Now you see it everywhere.”
Dr. Massey also makes a point of working closely with the patient’s other health care providers.
“We are not an island,” he said. “We want to work with others for the total good of the patient.”
Taking additional classes every year to keep abreast of the newest and latest techniques, he is always looking for new and better ways to help patients.
Outside the office, Dr. Massey also currently is serving his second consecutive term on the Board of Chiropractic Examiners. Appointed by Gov. Phil Bredesen, he currently is president of that Board. He also serves as state delegate to several chiropractic organizations, including the American Chiropractic Association, the National Board of Chiropractic Examiners, and the Federation of Chiropractic Licensing Boards. He also owns his own practice, consulting business, and is often found lecturing around the state and around the country on matters of risk management, proper documentation, and procedural coding.
But what sets him apart from others is “the approach that’s different.” He wants to “empower” his patients to help them rehabilitate themselves and then also to prevent problems in the first place. He’ll help educate his patients on life skills, such as sleep habits, lifting advice, work ergonomics, the pros and cons of supplements, improving balance and posture, etc. He also has additional advice for both the serious and the casual athletes, such as improving performance and minimizing injury risk, whether or not they are participating in competitive sports, biking, hiking or just walking.
“I’ve treated everyone from the weekend warrior to the Olympic and professional athlete,” he said.
Lots of people have commented on how happy they are that Dr. Massey has an office here in Cleveland now.
“It’s been very gratifying,” he said. “I’m glad to finally be more accessible to patients, family, and old and new friends alike. The welcome has been mutual.”