Oxford’s Dr. Tripp Henderson innovates chiropractic healing
By Megan Feringa
An MMA fighter, a five-year-old in soccer cleats, a college student, a professional baseball player and a middle-aged woman sit in a doctor’s office waiting to be seen by one man.
It might seem ridiculous, but it’s the life of Dr. Tripp Henderson, Mississippi’s only certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (C.S.C.S.) and Doctor of Chiropractic (D.C.).
Henderson has practiced in Oxford for eighteen years and during that time, he served as a team Chiropractic Physician for the University of Mississippi under former-Ole Miss football coach David Cutcliffe and served as the president, vice president and district representative of the Mississippi Chiropractic Association.
Now, Henderson serves on the Mississippi board of the National Strength and Conditioning Association. He was also appointed to the Mississippi Board of Chiropractic Examiners in March by Governor Phil Bryant.
“I am honored to have served all these positions due to the election of my peers that thought I was the best man for these jobs,” Henderson said.
According to Henderson, chiropractic care is all about a “whole person approach,” as it seeks to find the cause of a person’s underlying problem rather than simply treating pain symptoms with habit-forming narcotics and unnecessary surgeries. But then Henderson pushes the traditional care a step further.
“I incorporate other forms of physical medicine into my practice, using researched based therapies like electrical muscle stim, ultrasound, decompression, specific exercise recommendations and Class IV laser in addition to specific manipulation,” Henderson said.
Henderson said his dedication stems from his personal passion for chiropractic medicine which formed during his time as an undergraduate student at Delta State University after injuring himself and finding minimal help from medication, surgeons and physical therapists.
“Out of desperation, I went to a Chiropractic Sports Medicine doctor, like myself,” Henderson said. “He got me over my problem without surgery or long-term treatment. So, I changed my major and never looked back.”
After receiving a D.C. degree in January 2001 from Parker College of Chiropractic in Dallas, Henderson pursued the C.S.C.S. training, a separate training from the doctoral degree as a chiropractic physician.
“I just thought that if I was going to be a Sports Medicine Chiropractor I might as well get all the official training I could to make good judgment decisions in regard to rehab and conditioning,” he said.
Today, Henderson works with patients of all ages. What began as strains and sprains from locals and their children has turned into treating injuries of professional athletes from the NFL, MLB, NHL and PGA.
Henderson also treats other local doctors, surgeons and physical therapists. Still, Henderson said he will happily see anyone who comes through his office with any type of injury; no referral necessary.
“I’m passionate about what I do, and it is obvious if you ever meet me,” Henderson said.
With any individual looking to heal an injury, stress plays a major factor, and Henderson said stress particularly spikes when it’s an athlete’s future on the line.
“I worked with a local gold medal Olympian while she was training for the 2012 Rome Olympics. She and I were stressing over keeping her healthy while training leading up to her gold medal performance,” Henderson said. “And there have been several Ole Miss football players and baseball players that went on to play professionally.”
Yet, stress isn’t necessarily a bad thing for Henderson.
“The pressure pushes me to stay on the front end of research and use the latest time-tested therapies and treatments to get these players back in their activities,” Henderson said.
Henderson’s dedication to maintaining an athlete’s top performance level has helped him to become an official “cutman” for amateur and professional contact sporting venues. While training boxing professionals Codie Shuffield and Matt Webb at HitFitness, Shuffield asked him to attend and help. It “snowballed” from there, Henderson said.
The doctor was picked up by V3 Promotions under Alliance MMA, a professional Mixed Martial Arts program.
“I’ve been with them now for a while and travel to venues in Memphis, Tunica and Tupelo,” Henderson said. “My name was thrown around and Attitude MMA out of Memphis, another MMA group, picked me up as well and I have been working their venues.”
With his training and specialty in musculoskeletal injuries, Henderson said many MMA participants have sought out his expertise.
If things keep going well, Henderson said he plans to make it to UFC and work the pay-per-view fights as an official ‘cutman.’ Oxford patients and athletes shouldn’t fret though. While he may be becoming more active with the MMA “Cutman” jobs, Henderson has no plan to leave or retire anytime soon.
“I love what I do and whom I have become,” Henderson said. “I love helping others get well and participate in whatever they wish. I just pray that the good Lord will keep me healthy and going at this pace for as long as I can.”