Portland OR Chiropractor, Karen Kelsall, DC, CCSP®, has been practicing the healing art and science of chiropractic since 1997 from a stately Victorian set in the bustling commercial district of NW 23rd Avenue in Portland, Oregon. A keen sense of body mechanics gleaned from her early years as an Olympic gymnast and modern dancer has benefited patients in her long-running practice.
She discovered gymnastics at nine, and within three years had moved from her Surrey, BC, home to Eugene, Oregon, to hone her talent at the Olympic training center. Kelsall competed internationally for five years, culminating in the 1976 Montreal Summer Olympics where she earned distinction as the Games youngest competitor. She climbed to tenth in world ranking in 1978. At her peak as she prepared for the 1980 Olympics, her Olympic career came to an end when her native country, Canada, boycotted the Moscow Olympics.
Not having had her fill of gymnastics, Kelsall headed off to the University of California at Berkeley where she competed nationally on the gymnastics team and collected two Bachelor of Arts degrees in Physical Education and Dramatic Art Dance.
Kelsall’s next incarnation as a modern dancer in NYC, brought her—in a roundabout fashion—to her present work as a Portland OR chiropractor. A shoulder injury had knocked her out of commission, and doctor after doctor only offered prescriptions of rest. She was eventually referred to a chiropractor, who was able to help her heal. In a matter of weeks, her shoulder was on the mend, and she was back on stage, dancing. That initial chiropractic visit sparked an interest in what would become a long career in the healing art. Her first chiropractor also became a mentor for Kelsall—in the healing and business arena.
Kelsall returned to the West Coast to study at the University of Western States (formerly Western States Chiropractic College) in Portland, Oregon, where she earned her doctorate in chiropractic in 1996. Kelsall excelled at academia as well, graduating cum laude. She later spent an additional year of post-doctoral study in sports medicine and earned her chiropractic sports physician certificate (CCSP®). Soon after graduation, she started her practice as a Portland OR chiropractor, where she has spent the last 14 years treating Portlanders’ spines and their attendant athletic injuries.
A young daughter keeps Kelsall running after hours. She also runs solo and is a Pilates advocate having utilized the core-strengthening exercise that (along with chiropractic adjustments) helped her quickly rehabilitate from a back injury. In addition to practicing yoga, Kelsall is a member of a Masters team competing in her newest sporting passion, synchronized swimming.
Whether dropping into a backbend on a balance beam, whirling her body around the uneven bars, or dancing across a stage, Dr. Kelsall is intimately aware of the spine’s fantastic potential for movement, strength and grace. And, she has made it her life’s work to maximize spinal health for her patients, from elite athlete to weekend warrior and all that fall in between.
Dr. Kelsall’s areas of specialty include sports injury chiropractic, car accident chiropractic, back pain chiropractic solutions, and more!