- The Washington Times - Thursday, January 9, 2003

SMITHTON, Pa.
Erwin Daugherty visits the busy truck stop here not to get a tuneup for his 18-wheeler but a realignment for his back.
Every month or two, Mr. Daugherty, 71, of Quinlan, Texas, has his back checked at the Smithton Travel Center, a truck stop about 25 miles south of Pittsburgh where chiropractors Andrew Giran and Paul Boris operate a clinic.
"I'd see a chiropractor every week if I could," Mr. Daugherty said.
An estimated 25 million Americans visit chiropractors each year, said Jerome F. McAndrews of the American Chiropractic Association.
A growing number of the nation's 65,000 chiropractors have gone straight to a group that suffers some of the most serious back pain: truck drivers.
Hours on the road and heavy lifting take their toll, Mr. McAndrews said.
"About the only way I get to see a chiropractor is one that had truck parking," Mr. Daugherty said by telephone from Texas, where he was driving a load of automobile tires. "So when the chiropractors started putting offices near truck stops, it really made it handy for me."
He said his work sometimes brings him along Interstate 70 through Pennsylvania, where he can pull off the road for a little work on his aching back.
Mr. Daugherty has found nine other chiropractors who operate at or near truck stops in Arizona, Missouri and Texas.
"If I just happen to find one that's close to a truck stop, I'll put them in my cell phone and say, 'Hey, I'm on my way,'" Mr. Daugherty said.
Mr. McAndrews says he doesn't know how many chiropractors work out of truck stops, but he said the practice is becoming more common.
Mr. Giran, 56, was inspired to start the truck-stop clinic 4 years ago after watching a steady stream of truckers pass through a clinic operated by his alma mater, Palmer College of Chiropractic in Davenport, Iowa.
Mr. Giran often kept another clinic near Pittsburgh open late and on weekends to accommodate truckers.
"Many have their own chiropractors in their hometown, so I'll do an adjustment until they get home," he said.
Today, Mr. Giran and Mr. Boris, 31, practice out of a brown trailer tucked in a parking lot filled with tractor-trailers. They cater to walk-ins and stay open until 8 p.m. on weekdays.
The fee for a typical adjustment is $35.
Business grows mainly by word of mouth. Mr. Boris says he picks up an average of 20 drivers a month as new customers.
On Tuesday afternoon, the clinic saw three patients in little more than an hour.
Pepsi delivery driver Ron Klejka, 58, of Mount Pleasant said the clinic gets truckers back on the road quickly.
"In our business," he said, "we don't have time to wait."

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