Over the past few decades, people all over the world have increasingly left small towns and moved to big cities where they might find better job opportunities and a diverse social life. But even before the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, that trend had started to wane, especially among younger people.
Now a large number of people are looking for smaller towns that are close to urban areas. They can still access the nightlife and cultural events that cities offer but also have a lower cost of living and more space by living in suburban towns.
Boiling Springs, located only a few miles from Spartanburg and around a half-hour drive from Greenville, is one of these prime locations.
“We’ve been honored to be able to serve, care for and love on so many of the people here in this area,” said Dr. Scott Baker, a chiropractor at Upper Cervical Chiropractic. “We’re a family practice. We take care of little babies to people in their 90s and everyone in between. This community is fantastic, and we are grateful to serve in it.”
Although it’s a small town, Boiling Springs continues to grow and is a hub for health care due to its proximity to Spartanburg. It’s not far from Spartanburg Regional and hosts several clinics and urgent care centers of its own. On top of that, graduates of Sherman College of Chiropractic in Boiling Springs may decide to stay and practice in their college town, which is what Dr. Baker chose to do.
“I just fell in love with this area and the people here. I felt that God wanted me to stay here and serve. I don’t know if you understand how rare this area is. I’ve lived in Chicago, Miami, Arizona and San Francisco. I’ve been to a lot of big cities, and there’s nothing like this area here.”
Chiropractic clinics offer a health care solution that may especially suit small town life; when patients aren’t in need of an emergency center or a big hospital, they can turn to a chiropractor for care, or a patient can combine the care that they get at another doctor’s office with chiropractic aid.
Chiropractors can help with day-to-day challenges such as headaches or back pain. They can correct spine alignment that could be harmed from hunching over a computer during the workday. Or they can help patients who have been hurt in a car accident or suffer from chronic joint pain.
“Most people, when they first start having health issues, they generally try to do some sort of home remedy,” said Dr. Baker. “If a home remedy doesn’t cut it, then they’ll end up going to the doctor, and, if the doctor doesn’t cut it, then they go to a specialist. If the specialist doesn’t cut it, it’s usually surgery or prayer at that point. Somewhere in between, people find themselves at all different levels. Sometimes people come in and we can get them help before their health issues become a permanent problem, which is the best.”
A town like Boiling Springs can only expect to grow over the coming years. As smaller cities like Spartanburg and Greenville boom, many people will look to the small towns on the outskirts to provide a slightly lower cost of living and more affordable housing. Dr. Baker said that as the town grows, the technology and care that local health care centers can provide increases.
He also believes that as Boiling Springs and the surrounding areas develop and expand, they will eventually begin to grow into each other. He said Boiling Springs, Inman and Spartanburg are often seen as one city, and they could possibly expand into the Greenville/Greer area in the future.
“The future out here is great; it’s a really great place to be. Personally, the older I get, the farther I move out in the country, and I realize the farther out in the country I go, the farther I want to be. I really, really love this area. And I like where we are. We live off of Sugar Ridge and in a nice area around where the horse farms are. It’s quiet and beautiful, and we are just grateful for it,” Dr. Baker said.
Boiling Springs is on the rise, but it’s also perfectly on the cusp of a small Southern town and a metropolitan area. Residents can enjoy many of the benefits of living in a city, especially having access to a variety of health care options, while avoiding the population density and high costs. But no matter how big the town gets, all residents value the close-knit relationships and sense of home that Boiling Springs gives them.
By Katherine Waters