My Story

Chiropractor Rick Elbert and Family

I was born and raised on a farm in northern Iowa.  In grade school I was smart, getting A’s and B’s.  When I went to high school, I was barely able to get C’s and D’s.  During parent-teacher conferences mom and dad asked the teachers why I wasn’t performing as well as I did in grade school.  They were told that I could answer any question in class and do problems at the chalkboard, but I couldn’t take and pass a test.

When asked why I had problems taking tests I told them that whenever I would look down at a paper on the desk, it would trigger a severe blinding headache and loss of concentration.  When I entered high school, I developed severe allergies to oats, soybean, and corn dust as well as hog and cattle dander.  I was soiling two bandannas a day blowing my nose.

My folks had my eyes checked and I got glasses.  They helped my vision but did not help the headaches or allergy problems.  The reports given by two different eyes, ear, nose and throat doctors stated that this was “… simply a phase you’re going through and you’ll soon outgrow it.”

When my mother caught me taking 14 aspirin one day for a headache she had a fit. As a registered nurse, mother knew all too well the dangers of taking that many pills daily. What she didn’t know was that I was going through 500 tablet bottles of aspirin every couple of months.  She didn’t know the extent of my suffering.

My mom suffered with painful varicose veins in both of her legs. During her career she observed that surgical removal of the veins proved less than successful. She wasn’t willing to undergo that procedure herself. Exploring her options, she was led to a Chiropractor’s office about forty miles from home. In the 1960’s this was a courageous leap of faith for an RN! Within a few months her varicose veins diminished. Soon, she noticed that her headaches vanished. In less than two years of Wellness Care many of those veins disappeared! In spite of her urgings – I stubbornly refused to get a Chiropractic Check-up. Time passed and my problems progressed.

In the summer before my senior year, I had my high school physical.  I got a clean bill of health except for the persistent headache and allergy problems. Keep in mind; this is my THIRD YEAR OF OUTGROWING THE PROBLEM! When we left his office, instead of turning to the left to go home, mom turned to the right.  “Where are we going?” I asked. “I have a Chiropractic appointment.” She replied.

“I’ll wait in the car.”

“Like heck you will… let’s go.” I knew from her tone that this was NOT a topic for debate!

We went in and she filled out some paperwork.  The receptionist took us back to a room and in a couple minutes, the chiropractor came in.  “Hello” he said, “I’m Dr. Rients, your mother tells me you have some allergy and headache problems”.  We discussed my situation; he did an examination and took some X-rays. During my report the following day he said that the alignment of my neck was consistent with whiplash caused by an auto accident. I told him I had not had a car accident.  He then asked me about a scar on my lower back that he noticed during the exam.

I told him that the summer between 8th grade and my freshman year of high school, I had been hit there by a piece of farm equipment.  Dr. Rients asked the miracle question. “Isn’t that about the same time your headache and allergy problems began?” It all made sense… Perfect sense. He had my full attention.

“Let’s find the health you’ve lost. It’s time for your first chiropractic adjustment!” He held my head and I heard a slight clunk when he made the adjustment.  “There” he said, “you just had a good adjustment that will help you”.  We scheduled my next visit and headed home.

We had only gone about 4 or 5 miles when suddenly I felt as if a very tight band was taken off my head. I began coughing as the congestion in my lungs began to clear out.  Throughout those initial months of care great things started happening.

  • My headaches went away and never returned.
  • My allergy problems were 95% improved
  • AND once again I was a “Straight - A” student my senior year of high school!

During my discharge following eight months of care, Dr. Rients suggested that I think about becoming a chiropractor.  Focused on an engineering degree I told him I was heading to Iowa State University.  He told me that if I ever changed my mind I should think about becoming a chiropractor because of the major improvements chiropractic made in my life.

After three semesters, I realized that engineering was not for me. I enlisted in the Marine Corps to serve our country during the Viet Nam war. During my tour I met two men who had taken time off from Palmer College of Chiropractic in Davenport. When I saw how they helped our platoon commander to eliminate his chronic migraines when the best medical care the Navy offered could not – I decided to follow Dr. Rients’ advice.

For 41 years I’ve served the good folks of Ames and now Ogden. Throughout my career I have followed the Golden Rule – Doing for others what Chiropractic had done for me!


7:00am - 11:00am
3:00pm - 6:00pm


7:00am - 11:00am
3:00pm - 6:00pm

7:00am - 11:00am
3:00pm - 6:00pm

7:00am - 11:00am


Functional Chiropractic PLLC
329 West Walnut Street
Ogden, IA 50212
(515) 275-4899