What is Chiropractic Care?

Chiropractic care is the relationship between the nervous system and the muscular skeletal system. It can involve joint pain, neck or shoulder pain, back pain, specific injuries or an overall discomfort. The chiropractic approach to better health is to detect, reduce and prevent nervous system dysfunction. Chiropractic is based on the scientific fact that your nervous system controls the function of every cell, tissue, organ and system of your body. Spinal damage or injury at any age can misalign bones and shift the head off-center. The result is stress on the nervous system, muscle spasm, postural distortion and spinal decay. Nerves going to all parts of the body can be affected. Correcting the spine can alleviate stress, pain and discomfort, allowing the body to heal and function properly. Dr. Clingan is trained to locate the source of the pain or discomfort-it may actually be far from the actual location where the symptom is occurring-and then we correct or adjust the joints in the body and set it up to heal on its own. The important thing to remember is that chiropractic success occurs by addressing the source of the problem, not just masking the symptoms.

How does Chiropractic Work?

Like other health-care professionals, we follow a standard method to gain information about the you. However, unlike other health-care professionals, chiropractors also conduct a careful analysis of the your structure and pay particular attention to the spine. We also ask you questions about your life- Do you eat well? Exercise? What do you do for work? Do you have children? How do you deal with stress? Etc. After gathering this information, a diagnosis is made. It is important to understand that chiropractors seek the origin of the illness in order to eliminate it-we do not simply treat your symptoms. For instance… If the migraine headache you’ve had all week is being caused by misaligned vertebra and an irritated nerve, do you continue to take pain killers indefinitely, or do you realign the vertebra to prevent the pain? Chiropractors have a word for misalignments: subluxations. A subluxation is a misalignment of the bones that protect the spinal cord. It’s a a kink in the wiring of your nervous system. The severity of the subluxation can vary, and there are a number of potential contributing factors that can be physical, emotional, mental, or chemical. The subluxation can be caused by a number of reasons, from birth trauma to an auto accident to simple repetition or over-use. When a subluxation occurs, a chiropractor can correct the misaligned bone and allow it to return to its proper position. This procedure is appropriately called an adjustment, and the adjustment enables the body to heal. To maintain your wiring, several adjustments over a course of time may be necessary, in addition to stretching exercises or strengthening exercises. Keeping the problem fixed and preventing its re-occurrence is just as important as the initial remedy. An important component of chiropractic care is this: Your improvement is the responsibility of both the doctor and the patient. You will be active in your own care.

How long will it take for my pain to go away?

Quite often the patient actually means, “How long will be before my pain goes away?” There are two types of care, relief care and corrective care. Relief care takes less time, but the results are less permanent. Corrective care, on the other hand, is an extension of relief care, meaning that once your pain is gone, care is extended with the goal of getting rid of the cause of the problem. This type of care takes longer. It is important to understand the stages of chiropractic care because they are unique relative to those of other health-care disciplines. Because chiropractic addresses core physiological and biomechanical aspects of the body, the process to correct problems without drugs or surgery can take some time.

What types of care are offered?

Relief Care – The majority of patients consult a chiropractor because they have an ache or pain. In the first phase of care, the main objective is to eliminate or reduce your discomfort and stabilize your condition in the shortest amount of time. During this phase, progress is usually rapid.

Rehabilitative Care – Here the objective is to correct any underlying injury or cause of discomfort, strengthen the muscles, and improve neuromusculoskeletal function. The frequency of office visits is reduced over a period of two to six weeks. Care may be supplemented by rehabilitation exercises, nutrition, and modification of daily habits. It is important to remember that many of the conditions for which people seek care have developed over many years; therefore, correcting these problems is a true rehabilitative process. It helps to understand that it takes time to correct these conditions.

Wellness Care – You then “graduate” to the wellness phase, which is designed to maintain your improved health, encourage normal spinal function, prevent the return of the original condition, and catch small problems before they become serious. Few things as complicated as your body can be “fixed” and then ignored. Think of your car, your teeth, or your relationships. They take time and effort to maintain, but you know it’s worth it in the long run.

What conditions do chiropractors treat?

Chiropractic is a health care profession that focuses on disorders of the musculoskeletal system and the nervous system, and the effects of these disorders on general health. Chiropractic care is used most often to treat neuromusculoskeletal complaints, including but not limited to back pain, neck pain, pain in the joints of the arms or legs, and headaches.

How do I select a doctor of chiropractic?

You can locate a doctor of chiropractic (DC) by browsing the ACA Find a Doctor page, searching the Yellow Pages, speaking with friends, or contacting your local chamber of commerce. Because stringent educational and professional requirements are required for state licensure, the public is assured of academic competence and clinical experience. Check Dr. Clingan’s credentials, After earning his Doctor of Chiropractic Degree from Life University Marietta, Georgia he continued post graduate studies with hundreds of training hours in x-ray evaluation, personal injury, pain relief, extremity adjusting and pediatrics. He is also a member of the Prattville Area Chamber of Commerce, Alabama Chiropractic Society & American Chiropractic Association.

Does chiropractic treatment require a referral from a MD?

No, a patient does not need referral by an MD before visiting a doctor of chiropractic. Dr. Clingan is a first contact physician, and so defined in federal and state regulations. Following a consultation and examination, we will arrive at a diagnosis under chiropractic care, or refer you to the appropriate health care provider.

Is chiropractic treatment safe?

Chiropractic is widely recognized as one of the safest drug-free, non-invasive therapies available for the treatment of neuromusculoskeletal complaints. Although chiropractic has an excellent safety record, no health treatment is completely free of potential adverse effects. The risks associated with chiropractic, however, are very small. Many patients feel immediate relief following chiropractic treatment, but some may experience mild soreness or aching, just as they do after some forms of exercise. Current literature shows that minor discomfort or soreness following spinal manipulation typically fades within 24 hours. Neck pain and some types of headaches are treated through precise cervical manipulation. Cervical manipulation, often called a neck adjustment, works to improve joint mobility in the neck, restoring range of motion and reducing muscle spasm, which helps relieve pressure and tension. Neck manipulation is a remarkably safe procedure. This will help Dr. Clingan offer the safest and most effective treatment, even if it involves referral to another health care provider. It is important for patients to understand the risks associated with some of the most common treatments for musculoskeletal pain — prescription and over-the-counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) — as these treatments may carry risks significantly greater than those of chiropractic manipulation. According to a study from the American Journal of Gastroenterology, approximately one-third of all hospitalizations and deaths related to gastrointestinal bleeding can be attributed to the use of aspirin or NSAID painkillers like ibuprofen.

Is chiropractic treatment appropriate for children?

Yes, children can benefit from chiropractic care. Children are very physically active and experience many types of falls and blows from activities of daily living as well as from participating in sports. Injuries such as these may cause many symptoms including back and neck pain, stiffness, soreness or discomfort. Chiropractic care is always adapted to the individual patient. It is a highly skilled treatment, and in the case of children, very gentle.

Do insurance plans cover chiropractic?

Most major insurance plans are accepted. Insurance carriers are looking for ways to promote wellness and good health and First Choice Healthcare office staff is happy to work with you on filing your insurance and call for pre-certifications if necessary. Co-payments and uninsured portions of your care are due at the time of service. For your convenience, First Choice Chiropractic accepts cash, checks, Visa or Mastercard. You can use your Flexible Spending Account as a payment option.

Just a Few of Our Services

Our treatment methods are therapeutic and provide effective pain relief without the use of drugs or surgery. We can treat injuries, relieve chronic pain and generally improve the quality of your life. We promote overall wellness.

Chiropractic Care

Decompression Therapy

Laser Therapy


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550 McQueen Smith Road, Prattville, AL 36066


7AM - Noon
2PM - 5:30PM


7AM - Noon


7AM - Noon
2PM - 5:30PM


7AM - Noon
2PM - 5:30PM


7AM - Noon