While playing softball in eighth grade, Heather Gansel jumped up to catch a wild pitch and dislocated her back. It was a devastating moment, especially for a teenager.

“I was 14. I said, ‘Okay, I can’t feel my legs,” the Stamford resident said. She ended up wearing a full, constricting brace.  “For a good two months all I did was stand or lie flat on my back,” she recalled. It was difficult getting through that period, but the up side was that she was treated by a sports chiropractor who aided her full recovery, without medications or surgery. She went on to continue to play softball, as well as other sports such as tennis, volleyball and basketball.

And the experience set her on a path to become a sports chiropractor herself. Today, Dr. Gansel runs CORE – The Center for Fitness & Chiropractic Care at 970 High Ridge Road. She recently changed the name. Her mother called it Fitness Matters when she established the center in 1993. Gansel bought the business from her mom five years ago. She decided to change the name to better describe her services.

“Core is a hot buzz word right now,” said Gansel, who redesigned the basketball team’s training program at Keene State College in New Hampshire when she was a student there. “The type of personal training we do, which is functional training, pretty much centers right around your core.”

CORE also incorporates Head to Toe Chiropractic, a business Gansel started in 2003. Among her clientele are cancer patients, who “usually get very lethargic,” said Gansel. “So what we do try to do, we just try to keep them moving. Their immune system is suppressed. The idea is to kind of ramp up your system again and also get things flowing in your body.”

What’s your fitness routine?  Does your physical workout include addressing a specific health need?