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Profile: Chiropractors in the SCV will do free adjustments for charity in October

Posted: October 7, 2010 9:17 p.m.
Updated: October 8, 2010 4:55 a.m.
Dr. Kelly Herta Dr. Kelly Herta
Dr. Kelly Herta

Any person who has experienced therapeutic relief from a spinal adjustment performed by a board-certified chiropractor might be surprised to learn that, for a period of time, the American Medical Association railed against the practice, urging people to boycott the treatments and calling the practice an “unscientific cult.”

That is, until the AMA lost an antitrust case in 1987.

Chiropractic care today is widely considered to be a drug-free alternative to what many people call “traditional medicine.”

Aligned Health
Local resident Kelly Herta is a board-certified chiropractor and “active-release technician.” Active release is a patented soft-tissue chiropractic technique. She received her doctorate in chiropractic from the Southern California University of Health Sciences, and earned a bachelors of science in kinesiology from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo.

Herta and her husband, Steve Himes, are avid hikers, and when they are not out on the trails, professional careers keep their schedules full.

Himes is an art teacher at Canyon High School and also the head coach of the school’s varsity swim team.

Herta, 32, of Aligned Health Chiropractic and Wellness Center, offers therapeutic services for patients who are experiencing symptoms such as pain, swelling, decreased strength, tingling and numbness. While spinal adjustments often correct a problem, Herta also focuses on treating soft-tissue problems involving muscles, tendons, ligaments and nerves, often damaged or inflamed by sport, accident or repetitive strain injuries.

The Aligned Health Chiropractic and Wellness Center opened for practice in January 2007.

“An average chiropractic treatment runs two to three visits for basic pain relief,” said Herta. “But it really depends on how severe and chronic the pain is.”

Herta said she makes an effort to get patients in and out the door within 15 to 20 minutes, making appointments as convenient as possible for patients with busy schedules to keep, so that patients will continue their treatment plans.

For patients suffering from a recent accident or chronic pain left unaddressed, Aligned Health works to bring the patient into the office as soon as possible to begin the pain relief process for the patient.

Herta says her practice sees workers’ compensation cases, car-crash victims and people injured in slips and falls. She also said that she sees a lot of pregnant women and young patients with sports injuries.

“I treated a 17-year-old who was suffering from chronic pain,” Herta said.

Another service Aligned Health offers is massage therapy.

Herta said massages can enhance chiropractic-treatment results by relaxing tight muscles; but that it also improves the flow of blood and lymph circulation.

Massage therapy qualifies for coverage under some insurance plans. If a patient does not have insurance, or the patient’s insurance does not cover massage therapy, Herta provides therapeutic massages that cost on average, $50 per session.

Giving back
During the month of October, Aligned Health is collecting food and money for Help the Children, a nonprofit organization that provides food to more than 9,000 local needy children and their families.

Herta is also donating one free adjustment to every patient in exchange for $10 in nonperishable food or a $10 donation. Donations are tax deductible.

Herta said 40 to 50 chiropractors recently formed Santa Clarita Chiropractic Association, which is open to any local chiropractor. The members wanted to do something good for the community and decided to give free adjustments to clients.

“It’s a win-win,” said Herta. “The food banks are all struggling out here and receiving fewer and fewer donations in this economy. And the person donating can receive a free adjustment.”

Professional trade
As for the one-time campaign against the chiropractic profession by the AMA, a small group of chiropractors sued the AMA and several nationwide health care associations and physicians for violations of the Sherman Antitrust Act in the mid-1970s.

During the final court case, patients testified they had been helped by chiropractors and not by medical physicians. One physician testified that he observed patients being released sooner from a hospital that allowed chiropractic treatment than the hospital where he we worked, which did not allow the treatment.

In the fall of 1987, Judge Getzendanner agreed with the plaintiffs, finding the AMA had engaged in an unlawful conspiracy in restraint of trade “to contain and eliminate the chiropractic profession.” The judge stated in her opinion that it would be difficult for the court to declare chiropractic care as “quackery,” when the profession was licensed in all 50 states.

More than two decades later, the chiropractic-care profession is broadly accepted by the public. Chiropractic care is often the treatment of choice by patients suffering from specific injury related types of pain, which in some cases can be alleviated by treating the cause without medicating the symptoms.

Aligned Health Chiropractic and Wellness Center is located at 27875 Smyth Drive, Suite 100, Valencia and can be reached at (661) 295-5200 or


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