Primary Care

The Gonstead clinic offers primary care chiropractic services in an alternative care model different from conventional medical, osteopathic, and surgical practices, although well integrated with these providers. By emphasizing neuromusculoskeletal problems such as back pain, neck pain, headaches, trauma, and arthritis, it addresses the most common ailments of humans; degenerative arthritis being the most common disease in persons over 55. Low back pain and headaches are the most common complaints in humans overall. The clinic also addresses wellness issues by emphasizing weight-loss, strength and balance training, stretching for flexibility, and proper nutrition.

One of the most common diseases in humans is referred to as metabolic syndrome or syndrome X. It consists of sympathetic nervous system activation, abdominal or central fat, high blood pressure or pre high blood pressure, prediabetes or diabetes, and problems with the fats in your blood such as high levels of  the "bad" cholesterols. We approach these problems through changes in diet and lifestyle, and chiropractic care.

Primary care in the U.S. is defined by the Institute of Medicine as:

  1. Involving direct contact: the primary provider serves as the point-of-entry into the health care system. Our clinic works closely with other specialists when we cannot provide the care you need but in general handles many (but not all) health issues; 

  2. Primary care is accessible care: the providers are available, and attainable 24 hours a day if required. Our clinic is open throughout the day and into the early evening,including weekends. Dr. Plaugher, D.C. is available to handle urgent health situations where chiropractic care can be of benefit 24/7. In case of medical emergencies, you will need to call 911 or visit the nearest hospital emergency room;

  3. Acceptability: primary care provides care that is personal, individualist, and acceptable to the patient and the provider of the care. In our clinic we respect your right to self-determination and keep you empowered in the decision-making by fully informing you about your diagnosis, and strategies to address your health concerns. We will also advise you about alternatives to our care such as medical or surgical approaches, as well as the option of simply letting Mother Nature/Innate Intelligence/homeostasis take its course;

  4. Accountability: the providers are responsible for the care they render and hold themselves accountable to a recognized standard of care. Our services always fall within the applicable standard of care and are considered "best practices" and "evidence-informed." We acknowledge however the serious void of research data to base all of our health decisions. In many cases it is logic, reasonableness, and simply monitoring how you change, adapt, and respond to our health approach. When solid research data is lacking we will let you know this so your health decisions are based on information rather than guesswork. We do not provide guarantees, implied or otherwise to any of our patients;

  5. Education and Counseling: primary providers teach patients, communities and societies about proper health and illness care. In our clinic we will give you a lot of information. Our website is full of health information and is fully accessible to the public. Research studies and abstracts can also be provided. We combine chiropractic with lifestyle management in the form of weight-loss (the goal being a healthy body mass index or BMI), balance and strength training, and nutrition.

  6. Coordination of care: primary providers must be able to coordinate the patient's care with other providers and specialists, communicate with these providers, and integrate all the facts of the care. We will communicate with your other health care providers so that you feel less like a ping-pong ball going between doctors. Communication, mutual understanding and respect are the cornerstones to this process.

  7. Continuous: primary providers give continuous, on-going, health care. We expect to see a lot of you in the future. Whether it is to help with life's daily aches and pains or when more chronic diseases are present. We strive to get you stronger, both in terms of balance and strength as well as eating right. You are the ultimate doctor for yourself and you will need to consider your health choices and prevention techniques so you may enjoy an optimum quality and quantity of life.

  8. Comprehensive care: primary providers should provide a wide range of services and a broad scope of treatment for the most frequently seen illnesses. Our clinic takes care of joint-related injuries called sprains, as well the their effects which can include headaches, back and neck pain, or sports and extremity problems. These are the most common maladies brought to a physician's attention. We also provide alternative care for people seeking that who have chronic diseases such as hypertension, diabetes and wish to use natural alternatives. In older adults, bodily aches and pains, dizziness and balance problems are some of the most common disorders. In children, in addition to sprains of the spine and spinal birth injuries to the neck, we also care for children with various diseases.

  9. Provides for the patients’ general health care needs. We want to be your family alternative doctor (DC) one who can care for but also guide you through the maze of specialists that sometimes are needed when difficult or chronic diseases arise.

  10. Essential or basic care: primary care provides essential care to the patient. This is care that is deemed necessary and desirable for the well being of the patient and the community.