Dr. Charlie Kautz, DC is a Milwaukee-based Rock Doc who has found a niche treating musicians and touring bands.

Why did you get into chiropractic?

I always felt I needed to be in a profession where I was constantly interacting with and helping people. I was a legal courier in my father’s law firm throughout high school and while growing up, thought I wanted to be an attorney. Then I was first exposed to chiropractic. I experienced shin splints during my senior-year cross country season. The primary care doc prescribed pharmaceutical meds and told me to stay off my feet for several weeks, which would have ended my season.  Dr. Tad Diciaula, my cousin who was practicing out of state, was in my ear about seeing a chiropractor and I eventually gave in. Long story short, I was back running in two weeks and ended up one of the top-finishers in the state competition. It was an eye-opening experience and is when I began to understand that there could be more to treating and managing musculoskeletal injuries and improving function beyond merely prescribing medication to mask symptoms. My eyes were open and I was into it.


Tell us about your practice. Where, and what do you specialize in?

For the past five years, I have seen patients out of a clinic in southeast Wisconsin, Chiropractic and Wellness on Pewaukee Lake, along with two other chiropractors, an occupational therapist and massage therapists. We all have sports rehab backgrounds and treat a variety of patients and conditions. I also have a mobile practice where I focus on professional musicians. I tour with bands or set-up backstage at concert venues and festivals where I have gotten the incredible opportunity to work with some of the biggest touring acts in the world. I have unique and specific treatment protocols that will allow these musicians to not only feel better, but notice improvements in movement patterns, which allow them to perform their best on stage. Feel better, move better, play better. I try to teach them about the roles structure and health play in function, and to educate them on certain issues and restrictions holding them back. RockTape has certainly been an important tool in my belt. I am also an Active Release Technique provider and, generally speaking, I would say I focus on repetitive stress injury.


What was your first experience with RockTape?

I was first introduced to kinesiology tape while in chiropractic school at Logan University. I took a couple seminars and classes, but didn’t really start utilizing tape applications until after I graduated and began practicing. I played around with several brands before finding RockTape stuck the best. I also vibe with how the products are presented and marketed. There’s beauty in simplicity and I find that RockTape explains the benefits and basic taping instructions in a clear and effective manner. This makes my job of patient education much easier. Plus, I treat rock stars…perfect match, yes?


How do you use RockTape in your practice? What are some common ailments you tape for?

I actually use RockTape, in one-way-or-another, with the majority of the patients I treat. My philosophy is that there isn’t one technique that is a complete solution to every problem that is presented to us as healthcare providers. I use RockTape as a supportive tool, most effectively used in combination with other therapies, techniques and/or modalities. People consistently ask me “what does the tape do?” I simply tell them:

    1. RockTape adds support and stability without restricting movement,
    2. RockTape improves healing and circulation by decompressing the tissues,
    3. RockTape decreases discomfort* simply by adding nociception, or the sense of touch, which can override or decrease our sensory perception of discomfort*.

I get great feedback with my elbow and wrist tendonitis applications. Ankles and knees, too.


What is the most unique condition you’ve taped for?

I utilize RockTape for fractures. It works great for stabilizing broken ribs, for example. Just last week, an orthopedic doc sent over a patient with a scaphoid non-union fracture of the wrist that demonstrated delayed signs of healing after the cast was removed. I was using a combination of cold laser therapy and RockTape to promote healing and for support/stability. 

I have also used RockTape for post-tattoo care. The first time was on myself- I got a traditional hand-tap tatau while traveling in the jungles of Hawaii. These are more physically traumatic than a standard tattoo from a machine. I used RockTape edema pattern around the tatau to promote lymph function in order to decrease the bruising and swelling and remove excess toxins. I taped for the first couple weeks and it worked quite well.

Before RockTape edema application

RockTape edema application

After RockTape edema application

What’s your favorite RockTape pattern?

Most of my musicians go with black. All black. It’s a rock and roll thing, you know. I use a lot of black or lime green– I’d love to get my logo on the tape. It can also be fun to bust out the unique and crazy patterns to show off to the crowd.


Which RockTape products do you personally use the most & why?

I use RockSauce quite frequently.  It’s by far the strongest topical analgesic I’ve experienced and I usually end up putting any excess after treatments on my own neck and shoulders, ha. I order my ethnic food extra spicy, so there might be a correlation here. I also use my RockBlades very often.


If you could change one behavior of your patients, what would it be?

The frequency at which they seek care for themselves. Seeing a healthcare provider like myself is similar to getting an oil change for your vehicle. Most people don’t take care of, or address, a physical problem until discomfort* symptoms start show up. Restrictions and imbalances exist before discomfort*. Pain is our natural warning signal, a way for our bodies to tell our brain that something in the system is not working and that it’s time to make a change. An understanding of the need for maintenance/preventative treatment, staying physically active and implementing home care regimens and lifestyle changes are KEY. Education is the most important thing that we can provide our patients as healthcare providers.


Where do you think chiropractic care is headed? What’s the future of it?

I love the direction chiropractic care is headed. Modern day chiropractors don’t just adjust. We are implementing functional exercises, becoming soft tissue technique specialists and applying modern support modalities such as taping and cold laser. We identify and analyze faulty movement and structural problems. It’s like being a detective when a patient presents us with a “case” of symptoms–what are the involved tissues or structures? Why are these structures symptomatic? What can I do to remove the symptoms? What can the patient do at home to correct the problem long-term–to prevent them from returning? Again, education and making the patient self-aware is crucial. I see chiropractic becoming an even more necessary resource in the future because of modern technology and how reliant and addicted we are becoming. I’m seeing more and more teens and 20-year olds present with “text neck.” We are analyzing radiographs with complete reversal of lordotic curvature in the cervical spine in children as young as 10!  This is a generation that has grown up from day one addicted to their iPads, computers and phones. It’s a silent epidemic that will result in these young generations having necks of 70 year-olds by the time they are my age. Daily counter-active exercises / ergonomic changes are vital and routine chiropractic treatments can be very important. Along with postural RockTape applications, of course.  👊😎🎸