Dr. Melissa Bender is no stranger to chiropractic work.
During her years as a high school athlete in Northern Cambria, she experienced shin splints, hip pain and sciatica. A solution to her pain came through chiropractic treatment. It also gave her a goal and a dream to pursue a chiropractic career of her own.
After graduating from Northern Cambria in 2015, she attended Indiana University of Pennsylvania, where she graduated a year early with a Bachelor of Science in science and mathematics in the pre-chiropractic program in 2018. She then went on to attend the New York Chiropractic College, graduating with her doctorate in 2021.
She also spent some time during her education gaining hands-on experience.
“I worked with Align Sports Chiropractic for two years prior to going to chiropractic school in the positions of office manager and chiropractic assistant,” she said. “(Then) while in chiropractic school, I had the opportunity to treat patients in Long Island, N.Y. I was the senior clerk of the Levittown Health Center, so I had extra responsibilities of helping other students, doctors and the front desk staff. I spent my last four weeks of chiropractic school shadowing and working at Align Sports Chiropractic in both their Indiana and the Black Lick locations.”
Now that she has finished school, she’s moved on to opening her own practice.
”The day I started my job at Align in 2016, Dr. Darcie looked me in the eye and said after working with her, I would never work for someone else ever again,” Bender said. “When I was nearing my graduation date, she called me and asked if I knew anyone that could come work for her. I told her I would, but after a couple conversations, we decided I was ready to start my own practice right out of school.”
Bender officially opened Bender Chiropractic and Therapies on Jan. 11 at 9218 Route 119 South in Blairsville. The location was formerly Align Chiropractic.
“There was month transition from Align Chiropractic to Bender Chiropractic, so we didn’t have a grand opening,” Bender said.
Things have been going well so far and Bender wanted to take the time to thank those who have helped her on her way.
“I want to give a shout out to all the local chiropractors that have stopped in, introduced themselves, or offered help to my new practice,” she said. “It means a lot knowing that the local chiropractic community is supportive of my new chiropractic practice.”
She also gave special thanks to Dr. Darcie Anselment, Dr. Samantha Vasbinder, the Align team, her lawyer, her CPA, and “my friends and especially my family for helping and supporting me while I chase my dreams of giving back to my community through chiropractic care.”
Services offered include diversified adjustments, activator adjustments and drop table adjustments for the spine and extremities for patients of any age.
“We also offer passive therapies such as therapeutic ultrasound, electric muscle stimulation, instrument assistant soft tissue mobilization and kinesiology taping,” Bender said.
The office will also offer Department of Transportation CDL physical examinations in the near future.
Those interested in becoming a patient of Bender Chiropractic and Therapies can call or text (814) 806-5579 or visit www.bender chiropractics.com, making sure to click the “Request Appointment” button at the top. When requesting through the website, be sure to add a phone number where the office can reach you.