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About Dr. Phelan

Dr. Shawn Phelan of Wake Forest Chiropractic chose to become a chiropractor after witnessing the benefits that his mother experienced more than 40 years ago. His mother was able to avoid a back surgery by walking out of a hospital and into a chiropractor’s office.  This was a very powerful experience for Dr. Phelan and ultimately, convinced him to become a Doctor of Chiropractic rather than an engineer.

Dr. Phelan has been in practice since 1992 and continues to have a passion for helping people heal. The combination of his warm, professional manner and analytical thought process allows him to clearly explain his patient’s condition and treatment. Dr. Phelan’s approach is to begin with the most conservative treatment that can quickly and naturally relieve his patients’ most acute levels of pain. Then he will work with his patients to heal and strengthen their bodies to reduce the chance of re-injury.

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Because Dr. Phelan is knowledgeable, honest, and practical, many of his patients come to see him when they feel sick or are in pain. As a result of this dynamic, Dr. Phelan often teams with his patients’ primary care physicians, specialists, massage and physical therapists. To provide his patients the best possible care and to facilitate his communications with other medical professionals, Dr. Phelan is pursuing a post graduate degree in Chiropractic Internal Medicine.

The list of honors and awards received by Dr. Phelan provides insight as to how very committed he is to helping the community at large and to donating his time and energy to support the many causes that are important to the North Carolina chiropractic community.

In recognition of his contributions, The International College of Chiropractors (ICC) honored Dr. Phelan in 2009 by inducting him as a Fellow. The ICCI Fellow designation (FICC) is bestowed upon those whose contributions have made, or will make, significant impact upon the science of chiropractic, and also to those who render valuable and meritorious service to the profession.

An avid sports enthusiast, Dr. Phelan enjoys barefoot running, surfing, sailing, and bicycling.



  • Currently pursuing a Post Graduate Degree in Internal Chiropractic Medicine
  • 1992 Doctor of Chiropractic (DC), Los Angeles College of Chiropractic
  • Bachelor of Science in Biology

Honors and Awards:

  • 2009 Fellow of the International College of Chiropractic
  • 2007 NC Chiropractic Association, Member of the Year
  • 2002 NC Chiropractic Association, Doctor of the Year
  • 2001 NC Chiropractic Association, Member of the Year
  • 2000 NC Chiropractic Association, President’s Award
  • 1999 NC Chiropractic Association, Member of the Year
  • 1992 LA College of Chiropractic, Outstanding Service Award
  • 1991 Mindlin Research Scholarship



  • Principal Investigator for the State of North Carolina Blue Cross Blue Shield State Employees Health Plan provider treatment cost comparison
    • 2010
  • An Evaluation of Medical and Chiropractic Provider Utilization and Costs: Treating Injured Workers in North Carolina
  • Phelan, SP, Armstrong R, Knox D, Hubka M, Ainbinder D. Journal of Manipulative Physiologic Therapeutics 2004; 27 (7): 442-8.
  • Phelan SP. NCCA Publication 2000. Second edition 2003. Third edition 2007.
  • Hubka MJ., Phelan SP. J Manipulative Physiol Therapeutics 1997; 20(9):622-7.
  • Hubka MJ, Phelan SP. J Manipulative Physiol Therapeutics 1994; 17 (9) :591-4.
  • Workers’ Compensation in North Carolina; a manual for the field practitioner
  • Rotary manipulation for cervical radiculopathy: observations on the importance of the direction of thrust
  • Interexaminer reliability of palpation for cervical spine tenderness


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