dr DeAnn Adams enjoys helping people and animals feel better.
With love and a deep passion for helping animals and people feel better, Dr. DeAnn Adams, owner of Paradox Chiropractic in Little Falls, continues to offer a variety of services. Some of these services include the use of a diversified chiropractic technique, applied kinesiology, acupuncture, aromatherapy and craniosacral therapy.
When it comes to applying a diversified chiropractic technique, whether to animals or humans, Adams said it accommodates vertebral subluxation complexes — problems of the spine and pelvis caused by restrictions between vertebral joints and their ligaments, blood and lymphatic vessels, and others associated tissues are caused. These problems can directly affect skeletal joint, nerve, and muscle function, and in turn, can also affect visceral or organ function in the body, she said.
Preventive and routine chiropractic care can help both humans and animals maintain skeletal balance. When it comes to animal work, Paradox Chiropractic staff have experience with horses, dogs, cats, dairy goats, sheep, show cattle, pet rabbits, guinea pigs and more.
Adams, commonly known as “Dr. D” is well known in the rodeo circuit for her chiropractic work and methods. While some wonder how she adapts to large horses, Adams uses large blocks that she stands on.
For Adams, the love of animals runs deep. Raised in Ft. Abercrombie, ND, she lived on a farm, was actively involved in 4-H with sheep and horses and her father had cattle. Although he sold the cattle when she was in fifth grade, Adams said that she and her siblings continued to have horses and sheep. It was also a way to ensure the kids were kept busy enough that they didn’t really have time to get into trouble or other mischief, she said.
During her junior year at Richland #44 High School, Adams had the opportunity to sit in at a veterinary clinic in Fargo. ND In addition to observing various procedures and surgeries, she also helped clean kennels and assisted them in any way she could. Looking back, Adams said she liked the idea of working primarily with animals rather than humans. Back then, she actually didn’t really like people, she said.
None of the surgeries vets performed on animals bothered Adams.
“I had watched a dog have a large femoral head removed with chisels, hammers and saws, no problem. I sat with a dog during recovery and had seen a lot of spaying and neutering that could get bloody, no problem,” she said.
Until the day she witnessed a cat declawing.
“I thought declawing was like you just pulled your nail out. It cuts off the joint,” she said.
Adams said seeing the procedure made her pale as a sheet and her eyes watered — so badly that the vet stopped the procedure briefly to get her a chair. Shortly thereafter, she ran into the bathroom and vomited, she said.
“It just made me sick. Even though I’d seen tail and ear docking, it kind of hit me harder,” she said.
At that time it was completely unheard of for a veterinarian to take care of large livestock. It was more or less seen as a man’s world. Realizing she would likely limit herself to treating small animals, Adams said she knew declawings were popular and she needed to perform them. That ended her dream of becoming a veterinarian. She left the clinic and did not return. It didn’t matter that she had a special touch when it came to working with animals, wild or otherwise.
Adams followed a new path and eventually studied social work and business administration at Concordia College in Moorhead.
“I went into social work to learn how to understand people and understand myself because they make you find yourself. So I had to go through all my childhood stuff and look at it and try to figure out my developmental patterns and then figure out how I got along with people, and that was a process,” she said.
What prompted Adams to pursue a career in chiropractic was her own experience of how it helped her after she was involved in two really bad accidents.
She first worked as a store manager in Grand Forks, ND and was on her way back to work to work a double shift after the overnight store clerk fell ill. She never arrived.
“He hit me so hard with the T-bone that the car went over a three-foot ridge of snow and didn’t leave a mark,” she said.
Adams injured his neck and head, requiring 46 stitches. Then, five days later, while en route to a business meeting in Fargo, ND, the vehicle she was traveling in hit black ice.
“We hit black ice and rolled the rent. It changed my whole life,” she said.
Adams, who has always been an athlete, said that when she started playing Class A softball again over the summer, she found that the accidents left her with more problems with her body than she anticipated.
“I couldn’t swing a racquet without bursting into tears. It was like a knife running down your neck and down your back,” she said.
Adams said the chiropractor she saw about her condition told her she needed to play softball as it was good for her recovery. However, he also pointed out that he hadn’t talked about playing Class A.
“He told me I needed to find the lowest tier softball team and that it would probably be a beer-drinking team,” she said.
Adams played with the pain and continued to see the chiropractor regularly. She got better over time.
“That was the best advice I got,” she said.
She found a Class F team who happened to be the party team that their milk seller at the store was a part of. While the people on her team and others from the bar they all frequented weren’t the typical group of Adams she ran with, she saw them in a different light.
“We had an oil and water background. We were so different, but they were kind and compassionate. It really surprised me how compassionate they were,” she said.
Over time, she healed and was able to move up the grades to play for Class B.
“That’s how chiropractic really changed my life for the first time because all the doctors would do was dope you and basically give you a muscle relaxant and Valium. You might as well be a zombie,” she said.
Later, at the age of 31, Adams was involved in a serious motorcycle accident and was lucky not to have broken any bones. Since she had no neck and back pain, she stopped going to the chiropractor.
Although it hurt too much to play ball, Adams suspected her wrist was the culprit. After seeing a regular doctor, she was treated for tendonitis in her wrist. Only after accidentally tripping down a gopher hole and snapping her neck did she return to the chiropractor. He asked her to tell her about the motorcycle accident.
It wasn’t long before he slammed her elbow. As it turned out, the impact of the accident had blocked the radius. One thing he said to her in that moment has stuck with her ever since: “You always have to look above and below the area of grievance.”
“The swelling went away overnight and the pain went away immediately,” she said.
Adams said it was then that she realized she wanted to be a chiropractor. After 12 years without academic training, she returned to school at the age of 34. While some people, including her mother, questioned her new adventure, Adams said she just knew it was what God wanted her to do. Though she’s still in debt, Adams said none of that matters as she does what she loves — helping others, people and animals alike.
In 1988, Adams founded her first chiropractic business in the Twin Cities and taught part-time anatomy to medical technology students at the Medical Institute of Minnesota. It was a way to support yourself while trying to build a practice. Then 9/11 happened.
“It was like everyone was afraid to spend because our world was turned upside down in America,” she said.
A few years later, a veterinarian Adams knew saw Adam’s love for animals and desire to work with them. She encouraged them to go back to school to do animal training. She also loaned her the money for tuition and enough capital to get started after earning her animal chiropractic certificate from Options for Animals College in Wellsville, Kan. and receiving the International Veterinary Animal Chiropractic Certificate in Minnesota.
Adams founded Paradox Human Chiropractic in Little Falls in 2011. She added the Animal Chiropractic service in 2014. While the focus of animal chiropractic is on horses, dogs and cats, staff regularly work with dairy goats, sheep, show cattle and domestic rabbits and guinea pigs and more.
In the state of Minnesota, Adams said, veterinary chiropractors are only allowed to evaluate and treat animals with a referral from a veterinarian. This ensures that the underlying pathology has either been identified or ruled out prior to any chiropractic treatment, she said.
Whether she provides services to people or animals, Adams said she believes wholeheartedly in treating the person or animal, not what an insurance company dictates can or cannot be done. It also frustrated her that she had to constantly defend all payments that were not reimbursed by the insurance companies because they did not agree with her treatment.
“Insurance dictates how you treat the patient and the people who dictate don’t even have the credentials that we do,” she said.
Since then, Adams has returned to cash payments and no longer accepts insurance as a payment option.
“I want to make people better and offer a fair price. I don’t want to tense them twice a week without them getting better,” she said.