My goal is always to provide the highest standard of care to my patients as they seek answers to their neuromusculoskeletal problems. I have been practicing for the better part of 2 decades in the field of conservative treatment of the neuromusculoskeletal system. I believe my training is what has set my practice apart from others in the field. Since the founding of my educational company "The Gait Guys" (click on tabs above) my approach is gaining greater recognition. My writings and teachings are now reaching doctors, therapists, coaches and trainers in over 80 countries and many in the fields are taking my course work from online educational establishments. This work can be seen in my daily writing on my blog as well as on my YouTube Channel (The Gait Guys), my podcast on iTunes and the Facebook page of the same name. Please find some more detailed information below, it may help you to understand why you have been referred or recommended to my office.
Here is my Bio, or, what I like to refer as "a history of my education and why I might be able to help you get some answers to your problems".
I am a Diplomate of American Board of Chiropractic Orthopedists. I am a 1995 graduate of the National University of Health Sciences and prior to that graduated with my first bachelor of science degree from the University of Waterloo (Ontario, Canada) in kinesiology. My second degree was achieved in Human Biology while continuing my chiropractic studies. In addition to my "more regular" clientele base, i also work with a broad base of patients including Olympic, professional, para-professional, collegiate and All-American athletes including sprinters, distance runners, swimmers, marathoners, Ultra-marathoners, gymnasts, dancers (ballet, modern, Irish and ballroom), mixed martial artists, football, wrestling, baseball and Olympic distance, Sprint and IRONMAN triathletes.
I am a board certified Chiropractic Orthopedist; achieved through a three (3) year in-house resident trained post-doctoral program in chiropractic orthopedics through the National University of Health Sciences with additional extensive training in functional neurology. I am currently enrolled and studying the Post-doctoral functional neurology program through the Carrick Institute. In the recent past I have been an adjunct faculty member with the Lincoln School of Post-Professional Education and an instructor in advanced orthopedics and functional biomechanics at National University in Lombard, Illinois. I now focus my teaching towards web-based live teleseminars/webinars so that I can reach a broader international audience. I embrace the future of teaching, via the internet, where anyone around the world can tap into educational resources. Embracing this forum, in July 2009 I signed on as online internet educational professor on the website www.onlineCE.com with my teaching colleague Dr. Ivo Waerlop a chiropractic neurologist. Together our blend of neuro-orthopedic approaches to injury and disorders offers us a unique platform to teach from. We continue to add internet iTunes PodCasts, and YouTube videos as well as our weekly blog writing to our educational repertoire in the hopes of spreading our knowledge and clinical experiences far and wide. I am an occasional lecturer/speaker for many fitness, coaching and healthcare related ventures. I am a former chiropractor for the Chicago Joffrey Ballet professional dance company, former physician for Newman/Haas Indy Car Race team (the late actor Paul Newman) and on occasion the Team Physician and consultant for private athletic teams and individuals. I work seasonally with numerous high schools and colleges treating their athletes who complete in various sports.
For some samples of my additional work, head over to my YouTube Gait Guys Channel (see "Teaching" tab above) or The Gait Guys Blog on Tumblr to sample snippets of my lectures at the university level. Presently, I spend much time with my web based venture "The Gait Guys" in publishing active research on gait and human biomechanics, functional rehabilitation, neuromechanics and sport-specific training. I am a co-author of the textbook, "Pedographs and Gait Analysis: Clinical Applications and Pearls" and I have written articles for numerous health and fitness magazines. My practice is heavily referral based from Chicagoland and Tri-State area orthopedists, internists, chiropractors, physical therapists, pilates instructors and personal trainers.
Combining a broad spectrum of past sport experience, and in the most recent decade, working with athletes and professional artists of all levels and many disciplines has enriched my knowledge and understanding of the body and its function and malfunction. To best treat an athlete, one must know their sport intimately. Knowing what the sport and its demands "feel like" helps to treat both its classic and obscure injuries. To this end, in recent years i have undertaken the active study of what I considers some of the most difficult motor skills and athletic endeavors. In 2009 I began what would turn into 3 years of understudy in ballroom dance (Intermediate Bronze in 9 smooth and latin dances) under gifted Nationally recognized instructors. From this I learned what I had hoped, the complexities, coordination and strength necessary in the lower limbs to perform the often under-appreciated complexity of professional dance. As I will often share when asked, "There is a reason dancers have the bodies we see. Dance is why they are some of the best athletes in sports today, even outside of dance. They have unparalleled strength, rhythm, grace, posture, speed, flexibility, body awareness, endurance and more. What more would an athlete want ? ! Some of the greatest athletes of our time have quietly studied dance behind the scenes to gain an edge over the competition."
I have also embraced the study of formal authentic pilates and more recently several years of understudy in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (my school's link and a video link) under a lineage of the famous Gracie family. Through these undertakings I have achieved an even higher appreciation and insight into the complexities of human movement, biomechanics and the subsequent physical problems that arise from body asymmetry through these mediums. These studies have no doubt afforded me higher clinical insights into injury, body movement flaws and the treatment of sensory-motor impairment.
I live in the suburbs of Illinois and enjoy writing, music, podcasts, documentaries, painting, Brazilian jiu jitsu, gardening and reading. My writing and artist site can be found at www.shawnallen.net. I am an information junkie of sorts. For me, everything seems to circle around learning new things, gathering and processing information, and then repackaging it into forms to help my friends, patients, athletes, colleagues, teammates and the world through my social media sites. I grew up playing most sports, from baseball, fast-pitch, golf, competitive swimming, basketball, football, cross country running, track and field and street hockey in my birth land of Canada.
In 2006 I completed several courses, training in PRRT (Primal ReflexRelease technique, www.theprrt.com) a growing technique for reducing reflex trauma-based pain, INMAS (Integrated Neuromuscular Acupoint System) a newer method of incorporating the principles of pain management acupuncture with Western medicine pain management methods under the study of world respected Dr. Yun Tau Ma (see link on this website for this non-traditional "Western" chinese medicine acupuncture) , and a 10 month internship course in MAT training (Muscle Activation Techniques) one of the fastest growing and powerful therapy techniques in professional sports for restoring muscular balance, strength and function to the human frame for the purpose of treating pain and improving sport performance. (To be clear, although he completed all required course work, I chose not to "test out" from the course in MAT, thus I am not officially certified or recognized by the MAT organization and may not be found on their website. I insist on being clear about this unofficial certification status with the MAT organization so as to not misrepresent myself in the community. I my humble opinion, in assimilating the MAT work into my own educational experiences, I have advanced many of the principles to a highly productive and useful place. After all, that is the goal of education, acquiring, assimilating and expanding our methods to a higher means. To be more clear, many organizations have ongoing financial membership obligations and oversight to maintain certification.. As with most things, he is less concerned about the letters behind his name, and more focused on acquiring the knowledge. My decisions not to complete the final examination process has no bearing on my complete respect for the technique as evidenced by my widespread use of MAT and my ongoing personal evolution of it in my practice. Greg Roskopf is a visionary, no question, and I have the highest respect for his work and the evolution of the MAT programs. My goal was to learn the information so as to assimilate it into my own techniques and methods to evolve his own methods that best suits my patient and client needs. Dr. Allen highly recommends the MAT program for all medical professionals, therapists and coaches-trainers, and to that end I wish to be more clear, do not mistaken MAT for Douglas Heel's "Activation" program, these are not one in the same. To this end, in order to expand my current knowledge in regards to manual muscle techniques and biomechanics of movement I attended several private seminars in 2008 by Dr. Graig F. Buhler, DC (chiropractic physician for the Utah Jazz professional basketball team and founder of ChiroMAT Technique which is the body of work from Drs. Alan Beardall and Buhler). Dr. Buhler's Advanced Muscle Integration Technique (AMIT) is based on advanced concepts in the neuroproprioceptive inhibitory adaptive strategies used by the body following an injury. It provides practitioners a tool to efficiently identify and correct biomechanical imbalances that can lead to chronic pain and/or injury. This approach directs efforts at correcting a cause rather than simply addressing symptoms.
Methods of treatment are scientifically based and researched. Legitimate data is continuing to emerge to expand in support of AMIT theory and practice. This approach can be used to provide long-standing relief from many common muscle/joint related issues, allow for faster post surgical recovery, prevent injuries, improve sport performance and enhance current exercise programs. It has been utilized with impressive results in my office and in the arena of professional sports.
"Dr. Buhler and the ChiroMAT (AMIT) system is the single biggest reason I was able to play 19 year in the NBA. My body was maintained at a high level of balance which helped me avoid the impact of injuries so common in the league today. The impact has been as great for my family as it was for my career." --John Stockton
Sidebar about MAT and AMIT (from Dr. Buhler's 2009 website): Dr. Craig Buhler (AMIT) and Greg Roskopf (MAT) have worked together for 10 years in conjunction with the Utah Jazz and the Denver Broncos. From the challenges that they were faced upon working together, they were able to enhance each others thought processes in regards to understanding the mechanisms behind athletic injuries. From their relationship came a new paradigm for evaluating and treating biomechanical imbalances that lead to injury. Each went on to develop specialized programs specific to their area of specialty. Greg developed Muscle Activation Techniques (MAT), a biomechanically based program designed for trainers and therapists, while Craig developed AMIT, a neurologically based program designed for chiropractors. Although these programs are different, they both evolved through a similar philosophical foundation. AMIT and MAT are separate programs, however, Greg and Craig are working together in taking the steps to spread their philosophies across the country. These two programs are taking human performance to the next level.
In 2005 i was instrumental with Dr. Waerlop in jumpstarting The Pedorthic Consulting Group, PCG. This company was dissolved in 2006 to morph into the Homunculus Group. PCG helped grow Xtreme Footwerks, Inc. We continue to support of the lab for our occasional orthotic needs. Xtreme Labs is a specialty orthotic lab that continues to produce highly customized orthotics for forefoot and rearfoot variant types whereby typical orthotics seem to fail such foot types in the correction of pain and biomechanical faults. In 2007 I was approached by the CEO of Vibram USA, a subsidiary of Vibram International, and proudly accepted a position asBiomechanics Consultant for Vibram USA to assist them in product research and design (www.vibram.com and www.vibramfivefingers.com). I continue to work with many other companies in the footwear field, and I would be happy to discuss my work and experiences with those companies if it pleases you.
In early 2007 I attended an intimate intense seminar put on by Dr. Pavel Kolar from Prague, Czech. Dr. Kolar was taught by Professor Karel Lewit and the late Professors Vaclav Vojte and Vladimir Janda, the brilliant European grandfathers of manual medicine. His teachings focus on a new method of intrinsic locomotor system stabilization which has spawned a new manual approach (DNS) to activate the intrinsic system and achieve exciting levels of improved function in a remarkably brief period. Based upon the principles of developmental kinesiology, the neurophysiological aspects of the maturing locomotor system on which the Prague school was established, these techniques are expanding the scope of clinical options in an exciting new direction. I am proud to offer my best understandings and interpretations of Pavel's work and incorporate them into my other manual medicine offerings for you, my patients.
Shawn W. Allen, DC, DABCO
*Allen Chiropractic Orthopedics, SC (doctorallen.co)
*Co-Founder- The Gait Guys (www.thegaitguys.com)
Allen Chiropractic Orthopedics, S.C.
Important Privacy Notice: If at any time you choose to use e-mail and/or text messages to communicate with me, you understand and agree to the following: The use of e-mail and/or text messages poses risks to the confidentiality of your health information. The Internet is an open network and provides no inherent protection for confidential information. You accept these risks. E-mail and/or text messages must not be the primary means of communication with me. In particular, you must contact me by telephone or in person about critical or time-sensitive issues. There will be times when I will not have access to e-mail and/or text messages. Be sure to contact my office by telephone when necessary.