Evan Cohen, D.C.
Finding a Need and Adapting to Meet It
Some chiropractors find a niche market to serve – such as athletes, pregnant women or musicians and performers – after a few years in practice. Evan Cohen, D.C., began his career as a chiropractor when he graduated from Sherman in June 1987.
Because the New York City native had become accustomed to the warmer winters in South Carolina, he practiced first in Dillon, SC, for a year and in 1988 opened Cohen Chiropractic Clinic in Columbia, SC, where he felt there was an untapped market. In that practice, he saw a number of patients who first learned about the benefits of chiropractic because of sports injuries. This finding inspired him to reach beyond the office practice into the community, seeking out ways to bring chiropractic to athletes and performers.
That outreach approach 10 years ago led him to develop a program to provide chiropractic care at the South Carolina State House, where he worked with legislators and elected officials, sometimes performing 30 or more adjustments in a day.
He developed a relationship with the Colonial Center, providing chiropractic care for the many big-name performers who sold out shows in the arena on the University of South Carolina campus. “It was most rewarding to have a wider sphere of influence, to care for some very important people. When you’re adjusting the governor or have Bruce Springsteen’s spine in your hands, you especially want to do a good job,” Cohen says of his foray into treating the politically powerful and some of his other most famous patients.
The first thing he learned when he branched out into organizations where chiropractic care was not commonplace was that he couldn’t take slights personally. In the beginning, some performers were not interested in his services. Then he had what he calls “the most incredible professional experience” when the Ringling Brothers Circus came to the Colonial Center. Soon performers were looking forward to performing in Columbia because they knew he would be there.
A former Division III college football player at Brooklyn College, Cohen naturally gravitated toward meshing his interest in sports with his passion for chiropractic. He worked with the Inferno, Columbia’s professional hockey team, for seven years. And he began working with University of South Carolina’s athletes, alongside trainers and medical staff for 14 years. He is now in his fourth season as the official team chiropractor for all USC athletes and is considered a valuable member of the support staff.
Though he’s involved with all the athletic teams, Cohen especially loves working with the Gamecock football team. During the season he does 30-70 adjustments a day on the Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays that he makes himself available to football players. Although he admits that at first the team medical doctors were skeptical of the value of chiropractic, he now sees himself as an integral part of the team that keeps athletes healthy and able to perform at their peak.
“I learned that I had to be persistent. You can’t change the medical community,” Cohen says. “When I go into the medical community, I have to speak their language, not mine, and be patient. I have to allow them to see the benefits of chiropractic over time, to see that it provides a valuable service. When they see how it benefits the athletes, they come to appreciate the value of what we do. Consequently, I have developed a great number of medical doctors as friends.”