Q & A with Dr. Aprilyn Stitt
Q: What got you into this specific medical field?
A: I decided to become a Chiropractor after a relative sustained a low back injury to one of his lumbar discs. Following 6 months of traditional medical care with no improvement, my relative decided to make an appointment with a Chiropractor for his low back pain. After only 6 weeks of Chiropractic adjustments including various physiotherapy modalities and a home stretching and exercise program, he felt 100% improvement. After seeing Chiropractic succeed where medicine had failed, I knew that Chiropractic would facilitate my ability to help more people than any other profession would.
Q: What landed you in your city, and what is it that you like about the neighborhood?
A: After finishing graduate school at Palmer Chiropractic College West in San Jose, I decided to move to Southern California because of the weather and the close proximity to the beach. I love living in a beach community where everyone is so relaxed and easy going. There is a strong sense of community here by the beach, that you just don't feel within the major city limits. However, with my central location to all the beach cities including Redondo Beach, Hermosa Beach, Manhattan Beach and El Segundo as well as the nearby Torrance, Holly Glen and Wiseburn areas, there is easy access to my office location from all directions. Also, with close proximity to the 405 and 110 freeways I have patients who travel from Long Beach, Culver City, Marina del Rey, Playa del Rey, Palos Verdes, Rancho Palos Verdes and even Orange County.
Q: Where did you receive your undergraduate and professional degrees, and did you participate in any residencies?
A: I performed my undergraduate studies at BCC and University of Massachusetts Dartmouth in Massachusetts. I received my Doctorate of Chiropractic at Palmer College of Chiropractic West in San Jose, California. I finished 2 preceptorships within 2 different private offices in Mountain View, CA and in Sunnyvale, CA specializing in Sports Chiropractic and Sports injuries.
Q: Do you belong to any professional associations?
A: I belong to the California Chiropractic Association, the Redondo Beach Chamber of Commerce and the Hermosa Beach Young Professionals Organization.
Q: What year did you begin practicing?
A: I graduated in June of 1999 and began practicing in November of 1999.
Q: What investments in your practice equipment and facilities have you made?
A: I opened up a new private practice in 2003, after moving to Southern California. I purchased all new physiotherapy equipment, and a specialized Chiropractic table which facilitates my ability to practice numerous techniques including Diversifed, Thompson Drop technique, Cox Flexion/Distraction technique for bulging and herniated discs, Gonstead lumbar technique, Sacral-Occipital technique and Activator technique. My facility has 4 treatment rooms which provide ample space for utilization of therapeutic massage as well as physiotherapy modalities including interferential current for pain control in all areas of the body, Russian Stimulation for muscle strengthening and rehabilitation, Electrical Muscle Stimulation for treatment of fibromyalgia, trigger points, muscle spasm and edema (swelling) reduction, and Nerve Block for conditions such as sciatica, carpal tunnel syndrome, Thoracic Outlet Syndrome and cervical/thoracic/lumbar and sacral spinal nerve impingement.
Q: What procedures do you feel your practice excels in above others?
A: In my practice we take our time with each patient to ensure that all patient concerns are addressed. Patients always feel like they are our top priority. Our facility is not just a pain clinic, we focus on obtaining a true sense of wellness and assist our patients through the entire process of rehabilitation in order to prevent future or further injuries. Some patients arrive with a chief complaint of neck, mid- or low-back pain and after an intensive history and examination I discover a myriad of additional complaints such as Migraine/tension headaches, shoulder/elbow/wrist/hand pain or dysfunction and hip/knee/ankle injuries or dysfunction. In order to obtain true wellness, we address all areas of the body, even those in which the patient may not be aware there is a problem. Some people arrive in my office due to a sports-related injury and find recovery from other complaints as well.
Q: What are your office hours?
A: Our office hours are Mondays and Thursdays from 12-8pm, Wednesdays from 10-6pm and Fridays from 10am-2pm. We also have appointments available on Tuesdays, Saturdays, Sundays and Holidays for patients who experience an injury or have an emergency that cannot wait until the next business day.
Q: What HMO or PPO providers are you in-network with? Do you offer financing?
A: We are currently accepting patients who have PPO insurance with most carriers. We do not accept EPO or HMO insurance from any carriers.
Q: Do you accept any government programs or discount cards?
A: We do not accept any government programs or discount cards, however we have payment plans available to those without insurance as well as a sliding scale for those with documentation or proof of low income.
Q: What are the most challenging parts of your everyday practice?
A: Sometimes there are cases that are more difficult than others. I look at each patient individually and spend whatever time necessary to obtain a correct and accurate diagnosis. It is only after a thorough history and examination that the appropriate treatment plan can be determined. Since it sometimes takes longer than others, it is challenging to find time to give each patient the time needed to achieve the desired goals. However, if necessary I have extended my practice hours on any given day or allowed an emergency appointment on a holiday for a new patient. I will do whatever I deem necessary to give my patients the best quality care possible. It is for that reason that I find it difficult to take time off for vacation or family events. Juggling my personal and my professional life is probably what I find most challenging, because I took an oath to help my patients, it is an oath I took quite seriously.
Q: What are the best moments that make it worthwhile?
A: In some cases, patients arrive having had a problem for years and think there is no treatment. Since we take the time to really understand each individual's needs, we often help patients with concerns that they had lost hope for resolving. It is extremely rewarding to watch the quality of patients' lives improve, and it is for that reason that I became a Doctor of Chiropractic. Seeing a patient's face that now, after treatment for their complaints, is well-rested and pain-free. Hearing that their co-workers can SEE the difference in their day-to-day ability to move and their improved outlook on life. Knowing that my patients are more healthy overall and can function normally and do the things that they love to do without restriction, that is what makes going to the office worthwhile! I love what I do and I feel so grateful that I can help people live a better quality of life.