Northwestern grad follows personal experience to professional expertise

Rob Karwath | June 02, 2016

A car accident as a teenager led Matt Thronson to his Doctor of Chiropractic Degree. Now he has achieved a higher level of expertise to help patients get better faster.

Matt Thronson’s dream is to help people get better faster through chiropractic. It’s a lesson he learned firsthand as a teenager growing up in rural Wisconsin.

“When I was 16, I got my first car,” he said. “Like any other kid, I took it out on a back road. But I ended up flipping it end over end. Everything hurt.”

After six weeks of traditional medical treatments didn’t make him feel significantly better, he tried chiropractic. Six weeks later, he said, “I was back to walking upright. I felt great.”

His experience led him to complete his Doctor of Chiropractic Degree at Northwestern Health Sciences University in 2014. Now, as a fellow at Northwestern’s Human Performance Center, Thronson recently completed the requirements to become a Certified Chiropractic Sports Physician, as determined by the American Chiropractic Board of Sports Physicians.

The specialty allows chiropractors to deepen their understanding of how they can help athletes, those recovering from injuries and others heal quicker and perform at higher levels.

“For me, chiropractic worked when everything else didn’t,” he said. “What I like about our approach at Northwestern is it’s very much evidence-based. We gather information to show what’s working. That’s how we make decisions with our patients about treatment.”

Thronson decided to take the next step in his chiropractic career by pursuing the Certified Chiropractic Sports Physician designation after he began his fellowship at the university’s Human Performance Center.

“It’s important that the Human Performance Center foster the progression and professional growth of our fellows,” said Tim Stark, director of the center. “One way we do this is by helping them establish themselves as experts in the field.”

Soon after Thronson started his fellowship, Stark said, “I sat down with him and asked, ‘What do you want to get out of your fellowship?’ He identified the Certified Chiropractic Sports Physician designation as one of his goals.”

To achieve certification, Thronson was required to complete 100 hours of continuing education, three classes on sports chiropractic subjects and an extensive array of self-directed learning programs. The process culminated with the certification examination. He learned in late May that he had achieved the certification.

Now, he’s focused on the next step, achieving a Diplomate, the highest level of certification from the American Chiropractic Board of Sports Physicians.

The process of learning more and achieving expert designation fits with his desire to help athletes in national and international competitions heal faster and achieve higher performance levels. Long-term, he wants to use his skills to help broader groups of patients do the same.

“I hope to work in an integrated care facility such as an orthopedic group,” Thronson said. “I want to help people get better faster. It’s something I learned from the care I received.”

Back to Top