Darin D. Checketts, DO, FACP

Dr. Darin D. Checketts, an internal medicine specialist at Tanner Clinic Layton, is a teacher as well as a healer.

He serves as an associated clinical professor at A.T. Still University School of Osteopathic Medicine, a position he’s held since 2005. He holds a similar position at the College of Osteopathic Medicine at Des Moines University. As such, he works with medical students completing a portion of their training at Tanner Clinic.

Dr. Checketts began his higher education at Weber State University, Ogden, Utah, earning a B.S. in zoology. The North Ogden native next attended the Western University of Health Sciences, Pomona, Calif., to receive his D.O.

The physician returned to Utah to complete his residency in internal medicine at LDS Hospital in Salt Lake City, as well at the University of Utah and affiliated hospitals.

Dr. Checketts joined Tanner Clinic in 2002, following a year at the Heart and Lung Institute of Utah. He is board certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine.

He currently serves on the board of directors for Davis Hospital and Medical Center and is a former president of the hospital’s medical staff. He’s also a member of the board of directors for Health Choice Utah provider network.

Dr. Checketts is married with three children. He enjoys playing the piano and other music, cooking, gardening and racquetball. He also enjoys kayaking and digital photography.

What patients are saying about Dr. Checketts

“Awesome doctor. Very caring and listens to you, helps you with all your problems. Thanks for being my wonderful doctor.”   —  Patty on Facebook, Dec. 15, 2014

“Dr. Checketts was great and gave me great education about what I was seeing him for. This was my first visit and every employee I encountered was helpful, cheerful and kind. Receptionists were great, nurse was great. Great patient care!”   —  Facebook, May 1, 2014

“Dr. Checketts is a very good doctor. Several of my neighbors are patients of his and think very highly of him. Would recommend him to any family members, neighbors and friends”   — RateMDs.com, Oct. 28, 2013

“He’s very concerned about (my) health conditions. Found conditions that were very critical that other doctor missed.”   —  Vitals.com, Oct. 28, 2013

With Irksome Back Pain, the Little Things Can Hurt

Many of Dr. Darin Checketts’ patients read the newspaper.

He knows this because they hobble into his exam rooms with one hand on their lower back. Yep, he thinks, this patient was probably reaching down to pick up the newspaper.

“Anything can cause low back pain,” says this internal medicine specialist. “But the most common injury, actually, is picking up a light object like a newspaper.”

The distress results from the twisting as the patient reaches down with one arm. That could be bad news, Dr. Checketts said. “The worst thing is twisting while you’re bending,” he said. “The best thing is to bend with the knees, lift up the newspaper and come straight back up with no twisting.”

In his Layton internal medicine practice, Dr. Checketts sees adults, many of them with chronic illnesses like diabetes, arthritis and hypertension. The most common ailment he addresses is low back pain.

But lest you think that internists like Dr. Checketts see only creaky complaints, the physician runs through the cases he’s seen earlier in the day: a broken toe, a bacterial infection of the skin known as cellulitis, a case of hives, and rib pain in a woman “who’d been sitting in an old, bad chair for years.”

There was also a case of parvovirus, which Dr. Checketts sees only a few times a year. Parvovirus is also known as “slap cheek syndrome,” which makes it fairly easy to diagnose.

In other words, Dr. Checketts sees a little of everything, plus a lot of back pain.

Low back hurts because it’s hard-working

As for why low back pain is so common, Dr. Checketts explains that “our anatomy is set up for it.” The upper thoracic spine is held in place by the ribs, resulting in very little movement. But the lower lumbar spine, those five vertebrae descending from the lower rib cage to the pelvic bone, is what does all your bending, stooping and lifting, he said. It also supports the weight of the body.

Neck pain also figures in because the neck is subject to twisting as well.

Dr. Checketts treats low back and neck pain by using a three-way treatment: “a combination of medications, manipulation and physical therapy.” His training as an osteopathic physician gives him “another trick in my bag” because he’s able to perform manipulations.

Most back pain is considered acute — from trauma or overuse, for instance, or a damaged disc. For this distress, he says, “A trial of anti-inflammatories and conservative measures is what’s indicated.” Most acute back pain — indeed, 90 percent of cases — will abate after a few months with treatment.

For chronic pain, often caused by the wear and tear as we age, he strives for improvement.


In the Media

In this news interview on the Jan. 22, 2015, episode of Fox 13’s HealthFix, Dr. Checketts explains why regular checkups are a vital part of your health care.