BY Molly Congdon
CLIFTON PARK — Sitting in the waiting room of Rugani Family Chiropractic, one will hear doors constantly opening and shutting with the patter of footsteps in between those creaks and clicks.
It’s a drumlike rhythm as Dr. Silvio Rugani rotates from room to room. He is the beating heart that has kept this place alive and thriving for the past 10 years.
To celebrate this accomplishment, he will be holding a Patient Appreciation Day on Saturday, June 27, which will include breakfast, lunch, raffle drawings — the grand prize being a 42’’ flat screen television, free massages and much more.
When asked about his secret to success, Rugani instantly replied, “My patients.”
“It’s a nice give-back thank you for the loyalty and being great patients. It will be a fun day.”
Rugani, originally from Nanuet on Long Island, graduated from Iona College with a bachelor’s degree in biology in 1997. He then went on to New York Chiropractic College, and in 2000 received his doctorate in Chiropractic.
In 2005, he opened the doors of Rugani Family Chiropractic at 1733 Route 9.
“Being from downstate, I had heard that Clifton Park was an up-and-coming area,” Rugani said. “So I looked at practices for sale and it just kind of worked out.”
He had known since high school that he wanted to be a chiropractor. “I started going to a chiropractor at a young age. My first experience was when I had my jaw dislocated while playing hockey in gym,” he said. “It’s great being able to help somebody without putting anything into their body or taking anything out of their body, really helping them heal. … That was pretty powerful for me.”
Technique and the welcoming vibe of his practice are the two elements that Rugani says set him a part from his competition. Indeed, the office doesn’t come off as stuffy or sterile; in fact, it’s homey. There is even a kids’ corner complete with a little wooden table and two tiny chairs, a chest full of plastic toys and a miniature book case — each shelf full of Dr. Seuss, “Finding Nemo” coloring books and other vibrantly colored classics of the junior set.
“You try to set yourself apart from everyone else — it’s not a quick type of treatment — I’m always trying to give as much as I can to get someone better,” Rugani said. “I used to work in a deli and making people feel comfortable and creating a family atmosphere is second nature — you get to know people and it goes well beyond just treating them.
“Interacting with my patients; everyone comes from different walks of life, have different stories. I think you learn something new and develop friendships.”
Every day is something new and there isn’t much that he doesn’t treat. He specializes in neck and lower back pain; disk problems, which are probably at issue for 70 percent to 80 percent of his patients; numbness and tingling in the extremities; a lot of sports-related injuries; rotator cuff injuries; carpal tunnel problems; migraines; temporomandibular disorders; as well as foot, hip and knee issues.
“If it’s something to do with musculo-skeletally, I will treat it,” Rugani said. “You see all types of problems, but each person is a different puzzle. When you start to see changes in people, it’s pretty cool.”
Aside from traditional chiropractic techniques, Rugani also does extremity adjusting, alternative adjusting, spinal decompression, cold laser therapy, and trigger point therapy, as well as ultrasound, electric stimulation, and hot and cold exercises for rehabilitation.
“I do a lot of trigger point therapy, some other types of stripping techniques for the soft tissue. I don’t think it gets addressed enough — your muscles are what move the joints,” Rugani said. “I’ve always been a big fan of do whatever it takes. The adjustment is the most important thing I’m going to do, but I’m a firm believer that there are other things that will facilitate the healing that much faster, addressing the muscle tissue is one of the best things to help with that.”
“He’s a miracle worker,” longtime patient Joanna Maciariello said. “He’s helped me a lot.”
Rugani is constantly on his feet, healing one patient at a time. On average, he sees 30 to 40 patients per day. Each person has a half-hour appointment slot. “It’s a lot of running around; a lot of time management,” Rugani said. “You try to maintain a flow.”
One of the patients shuffling into the mix on June 17 was Jeff Oliver. “In the winter, I developed frozen shoulder and I had practically no mobility. I couldn’t raise my arm and the it was hard to do that basics, even just shaving,” he said. “But after three to four weeks, I got it all back.”
That day, Oliver was there getting some treatment for tendinitis — the inflammation or irritation of a tendon — in his right knee, and said that he is already seeing significant improvement.
The joy of the job for Rugani comes from the individuals who walk into his practice each day. “Interacting with my patients is my favorite part; everyone comes from different walks of life, have different stories,” he said. “You always learn something new and develop friendships.”