BROOKINGS – Brookings Chiropractic Center & Physical Therapy has a new office building to better serve its patients and educate the public about what chiropractic medicine and physical therapy can do to help people of all ages.

Dr. Steven Clites, Dr. Trevor Penning and Dr. Jonathan Schneider handle the chiropractic end of the business, and Brenda Buus is the physical therapist.

The doctors and staff have set up shop in a brand-new building at 1222 22nd Ave. S. They’ve been operating at the new address since Sept. 30, but the business has been around for a decade and a half.

They were formerly located in Brookings Medical Plaza near the Swiftel Center. The staff wanted a more convenient location near residential areas and schools to give their patients better access, Clites said.

“The way Brookings is expanding, a lot of it’s to the south, this end of town,” he said. “It’s easy access for a lot of people, too.”

Fresh start

The move gives them a chance to change the name a bit to emphasize the physical therapy part of what they do.

“Previously, we were just known as Brookings Chiropractic Center, but we’ve had physical therapy for 12 years. Some people still weren’t aware that we had it, so we’re adding (to) the name,” Clites said.

Chiropractic care and physical therapy both cover a wide area, they want the public to know. They can use both to treat a variety of ailments, from misalignment to chronic pain management, including sports injuries, workers compensation, car accidents, pre- and post-surgery needs, and can treat all ages from babies to centenarians.

“A lot of it’s pain relief for injuries and some of it’s just general wellness,” Clites said.

He used the example of some athletes haven’t experienced an injury, but they’re having trouble sleeping or are irritable.

“They can’t really tell you if they have a headache or if their back hurts,” Clites said. “It could be something more musculoskeletal that’s causing it. 

Buus knows physical therapy can help many people at all different stages.

“My youngest patient in Hendricks was 6 months old and my oldest was 106,” Buus said.

For babies, it’s to help them with developmental issues.

“At that point, if they’re not doing what they’re supposed to be doing within certain time periods; working on sitting up if they can’t sit up by themselves, or walking when it gets to that point,” she said.

In addition to chiropractic care and physical therapy, they offer acupuncture and massage therapy, and are certified to do medical exams for the Department of Transportation.

“Sports injuries is kind of a specialty, too,” Clites said.

“Sprains, strains of any joint,” Schneider said, including neck, back, knees, hips, elbows, ankles and feet.

Chiropractic care can also be used to help with concussions, Schneider said. It can help determine the difference between an actual concussion or just neck pain.

“Managing it through adjusting and physical therapy and nutrition to help your body heal,” Schneider said.

“Sometimes if they have problems with balance after concussion, physical therapy can help with that, too,” Buus said.

Chiropractic patients can just walk in; there’s no referral needed, Schneider said.

The only time a patient needs a referral for physical therapy is if insurance requires it, Buus said.

The staff

Clites grew up in Brookings and went to South Dakota State University with another game plan.

“My dad was an electrical contractor in town. I worked with him in college. I was in electrical engineering for 2 1/2 years at SDSU. Just decided that wasn’t what I wanted to do,” Clites said.

“While I liked that field, it just didn’t seem like something I wanted to do for the next 30 or 40 years,” he said.

“I more or less fell into chiropractic. I was trying to find something that caught my interest that I could see myself doing for a long time. I thought this would be it, so I changed direction in school and it ended up working out,” Clites said.

He earned a degree in biology from SDSU in 2004, then graduated from Northwestern Health Sciences University in Minneapolis with his doctorate in 2008. He’s certified in acupuncture.

“I’ve been here since then, so 11 years,” he said.

Penning is originally from Minnesota and graduated from Minnesota State University Mankato in 2010. He earned his doctorate at the Northwestern Health Sciences University in 2013. 

“I wanted to be in the health care field and work with (my) hands,” Penning said of choosing chiropractic medicine as a career. “I kind of made up my mind in high school. It was a pretty easy path from there on.”

He has a sports specialty, does acupuncture and is certified to do DOT medical exams.

“I worked in Flandreau for two years, then I came up here to Brookings in 2015. Been with Brookings Chiropractic Center for four years,” Penning said.

Schneider, originally from Huron, graduated from SDSU in 1997, then got his doctorate in chiropractic in Minneapolis, graduating in 2000. He has certification in sports and medical exams for the state Department of Transportation.

He sustained injuries playing baseball and basketball and needed help recovering. 

“I felt I got better relief from my injuries from chiropractic,” he said, adding that’s why he chose to be a chiropractor.

Schneider moved back to Huron for a couple of years, then to Brookings in 2003, where he worked at Bommersbach Chiropractic, “then I bought his business,” Schneider said.

“Then was one of the founding partners of Brookings Chiropractic Center in 2005,” he said.

Buus is originally from Elkton and earned her undergraduate degree at the University of South Dakota. 

“I took athletic training classes in college and was a student trainer while I was there,” Buus said.

“I always wanted to do something medical. I wanted to do physical therapy so I could work with a variety of ages and patient types,” she said.

Buus got her masters in physiotherapy at USD in 1997.

“Then I worked in Hendricks, Minnesota, for 10 years,” she said. 

Buus worked with patients in the hospital, nursing homes and home health, then she came to Brookings Chiropractic Center 12 years ago.

She does continuing education to keep her skills current in a variety of areas. 

Going strong

Even though they’ve made a big move, their mission remains the same.

“Just continue with what we’ve been doing for 14 years as a business now,” Schneider said. “We’ve been pretty successful thanks to our patient base, but this location is gonna really help us serve the Brookings community better.”

Contact Jodelle Greiner at

COURTESY OF: The Brookings Register

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