Just like her uncles and cousins, as an undergraduate at Wayne State University in Detroit, Victoria Tutak was “pre-med” — on track to enter the field of traditional medicine. But a car accident during her junior year changed the course of her life.
“It was a typical rear-end collision,” she said. “But my back was injured. I spent months in pain and was told by a number of doctors I would just have to take pain medication and learn to live with the problem. I was only 21, and I remember thinking, ‘What am I going to do now?’”
After nearly three months and countless visits to doctors, Tutak’s father suggested she visit a chiropractor.
“After several treatments, my spine was stabilized,” said Tutak. “The pain went away, and I became very interested in chiropractic care.”
Altering her professional path, Tutak went on to earn a doctor of chiropractic degree from the Los Angeles College of Chiropractic, then did post graduate studies at Western State Chiropractic College in Portland, Ore.
While in Oregon, she owned and managed a full-time clinical practice, where she treated more than 1,500 trauma cases related to the logging industry. From there, she moved to Buena Park, Calif., where she bought a medical facility and shared space with a wide group of doctors, including radiologists, orthopedic surgeons and others.
“In that setting, it was wonderful to finally see chiropractic and orthodox medicine blend for the best possible outcome — we worked hand in hand,” said Tutak. “No one doctor knows it all — but chiropractic has evolved into mainstream medical health care, and it now goes hand in hand with the general medical community.”
Tutak’s education didn’t stop there. In fact, she believes education is a tool — “the more you get, the more you want to know.”
She went on to study law, then earned her Ph.D. in psychology. After working as a counselor and lecturer, specializing in forensic and addition counseling, she moved south, where she became the medical and legal lead investigator for the Texas Department of Criminal Justice.
In 2010, her sons, Nathan, now 17, and Ben, 22, were ready to leave Texas, and the trio relocated to Penn Valley. That same year, Tutak opened the doors of Advanced Chiropractic Centers, and she hasn’t looked back.
“My sons really didn’t want to stay in Texas,” she said. “What a blessing it’s been. Since we’ve moved here I’ve seen my practice grow so much that we’ve been able to purchase equipment and move to a larger office.”
Tutak says chiropractic treatment is a highly effective way to correct what she calls “dis-ease,” caused by the body’s misalignment’s “subluxations,” changes in the body that can compromise neural integrity and, thereby, impact organs or general health. Her new, state-of-the-art physical therapy equipment allows patients to do exercises specific to their needs prior to an adjustment.
“By eliminating subluxation, I treat the cause, not the symptoms,” Tutak said. “Educating people is where it’s really at, whether it’s carpal tunnel syndrome, an auto injury, a bulging disc or osteoarthritis, optimal health is our ultimate goal. Otherwise that ‘dis-ease’ can eventually cause disease.”
In January, Grass Valley resident Cynthia Roth fell on a patch of ice and ended up with severe sciatic pain. She had four children at home — the youngest was two months.
“I couldn’t sit, I couldn’t stand, I couldn’t put my shoes on, and I couldn’t sleep,” she said. “I finally went to the ER, and a neurologist suggested I have emergency surgery. I said, ‘No way, I just had a baby.’”
Roth thought she might have to deal with the searing pain the rest of her life — until she went to see Dr. Tutak.
“I kid you not. In just one visit, the pain was gone,” she said. “Since then, I’ve had no sciatic pain, nothing. I’d never gone to a chiropractor before. It’s (amazing).”
Gayle Re, a patient from Lake Wildwood, agrees.
“I’ve had neck pain from whiplash I got 40 years ago,” she said. “Dr. Tutak has made a huge difference. Now I feel much, much better. I’m 68 and I didn’t know I could feel this good. She’s had so many life experiences to draw from. Now I’m pain free.”
Quotes like Re’s are what bring the greatest reward to Tutak, who says she’s saddened by the number of people who have spent years suffering needlessly in pain when chiropractic care could have helped.
In celebration of her new location, Tutak, along with the Greater Grass Valley Chamber of Commerce, will host a mixer and ribbon-cutting from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Thursday. The community is invited to attend the event, which will include appetizers, wine, coffee and live music.
“Everyone is welcome,” said Tutak. “Nevada County is the warmest and friendliest place we’ve ever lived. People here seem rich in their capacity for humanity.”
To contact Staff Writer Cory Fisher, email her at Cory@theunion.com or call 530-477-4203.