Dr. Michael Marvel grew up in Harrison and returned after receiving his doctorate of chiropractic arts. He has practiced in the area for more than 20 years.
Marvel has a heart for helping his patients deal with the real physical problem — not just treating the symptom of pain.
“I had to use a chiropractor when I was playing basketball in high school,” he said. “I had a lot of low back issues and had gone through pain meds and muscle relaxers. That helped, but that didn’t improve the mechanical issues I was having. Then I started seeing a chiropractor and started doing much better. I was performing better and didn’t have pain all the time.”
Marvel’s first bachelor's degree was in kinesiology — “I was going to be a coach,” he said. “Then I hurt my back. I went back to my old chiropractor and he planted the seed of being a chiropractor.”
Six months later, Marvel was enrolled in the Logan College of Chiropractic in St. Louis, Missouri and graduated in 2000.
Marvel had some connections in Fayetteville and was invited to work with the Razorback Track and Field team.
He traveled with the team to College Station, Texas, where they won the SEC Championship. “It was very cool. You get spoiled very quickly when you take your first trip with the Razorbacks and you get an SEC championship.”
He found himself traveling nine weeks out of nine months. “It was a spectacular experience, but took me away from my practice and my family. So I don’t do that anymore,” he said. “But they always said I could return any time.”
Marvel was one of four chiropractors working with all the athletes. “We would pick each other’s brains all the time. If you’ve got high power athletes competing for national championships, you’ve also got the best athletic trainers who are working with gold-medal Olympians on a regular basis.”
He felt like the experience was priceless. “I learned different adjusting techniques and therapies from some great people. I do a lot more muscle work now. Basically, that enhances performance – not just with athletes, but people just trying to get through their work day.”
“I want my patients to carry out their day doing what they need to do, and not suffer for the next three days.”
Marvel has opened a clinic in a new location in the Liberty Plaza.
“I’m proud of how we treat my patients. We are more than friendly, always fair and affordable. The last thing we want is for something we are doing to be cost prohibitive — we try to make everything as affordable as possible. I’ve found, you get a lot more people who can come more frequently to get what they need, instead of those who just have to wait until they are forced into getting some treatment.”
Marvel has a number of ways to work with patients. “Sometimes they need to be adjusted manually. Sometimes you need to do more physical therapeutics. Sometimes it’s to strengthen and stabilize. There are different ways to get mobility into a joint,” he said.
“Basically I have a ‘bag of tricks.’ I’m friends with chiropractors all over the nation that freely share information with each other.”
“Pain is an indication that something isn’t functioning well. I like to focus more on mechanisms not functioning well. So we can cut off that mechanical problem before it starts giving you problems.”
What are the symptoms of mechanisms not working well? “It could be a decrease in range of motion, stiffness or fatigue.”
“People have so much going on these days,” he said. “They have emotional stress — which leads to eating things aren’t as good for you because it’s quick and convenient. If you couple those two things with mechanical stress — lifting wrong, sitting too much, or in a vehicle for too long — all of those things work against you. You have a lot of issues that are hard to find what’s taking precedence. We try to figure out what needs to be done — emotional, mechanical or chemical. I want to get my patients into the right place to get all those things untangled — no pun intended,” he laughed.
“Treatment plans are designed for individuals. There’s no real standard that you have to come so many times. It’s dependent on what you need,” he said.
“I look at the person and evaluate the muscle tissue, joint mobility, amount of inflammation they are dealing with and the severity of the injury. Then I determine what they are going to need.”
“What insurance companies pay for, should never be a factor in their treatment plan.”
“I’ve never regretted coming back home to take care of my community. There are other places you can make more money but that’s not what life is about.” Marvel volunteers on the sidelines for some area schools. He and his wife Heather have four children.
“I got into chiropractic and stayed in for the right reason. I work well with the medical and orthopedic doctors in our area. I understand some things are more mechanical and some more chemical. A person needs to have every discipline at their disposal.”
“I want to cover my part of integrated healthcare. Over the years, I’ve developed a number of relationships that have helped me do that. I have neurologists and orthopedic doctors in Fayetteville and here in town I refer patients to on a constant basis — based on the patients’ need. It’s worked out really well.”
“We have most of the equipment on hand that we need, but I do have some new technology coming soon,” he said.
Marvel Chiropractic Is open Monday-Thursday 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Friday until 12:30 p.m. Call (870) 204-6000 or message a question on a social media platform. The office is located at 1309 Hwy. 62/65 Suite F.