The Gonstead System
Welcome to the World of Health
Become an Informed Consumer of Your Health Care!
You owe it to yourself, your family and your friends to read and understand
what follows and explore this website. Until now, you may have thought that
all chiropractors "do the same thing" and "adjust the same way". The fact
is, it just isn't so and you need to know why! There are tremendous benefits
in seeking a Gonstead doctor when choosing a chiropractor.
Discover the Gonstead Chiropractic Advantage . . .
An Introduction to the Gonstead System
What makes us so special?
Chiropractic has come a long way since David D.Palmer gave his first
adjustment in 1889 in Davenport, Iowa. Today, there are many methods used by
chiropractors to correct spinal misalignments, joint dysfunctions and
subluxation complexes. Many techniques are identified by the name of the
person who was most instrumental in their development. Interestingly enough,
one of the most advanced and scientific methods is a technique called:
The Gonstead System
The Gonstead system gives rise to a specific, definite approach, to every
segment of the spinal column. The detailed analysis includes
instrumentation, digital palpation, motion palpation, visualization, x-ray
followed by adjusting the articulations of the spine by hand only! Our
Doctors are trained exclusively in the Gonstead system. There is a clinical
logic to every decision that is made for each and every patient. This
ensures that the principles outlined by Dr. Gonstead will be duplicated, the
results achieved and satisfied patients will be the mission of Gonstead
The "Gonstead Chiropractor"
The Gonstead Chiropractor goes beyond what many chiropractors consider a
spinal assessment by conducting a thorough analysis of your spine using five
criteria to detect the presence of the vertebral subluxation complex.
Visualization - Visualization is a way to cross reference all the
other findings. Your chiropractor is an expert in looking for subtle changes
in your posture and movement which could indicate any problems.
Instrumentation - The instrument of choice in the Gonstead System is
the Nervoscope. The Nervoscope detects uneven distributions of heat along
the spine which can be indicative of inflammation and nerve pressure. This
instrument is guided down the length of your back and feels like two fingers
gliding down each side of your spine.
Static Palpation - This is simply the process of feeling (or
palpating) your spine in a stationary (or static) position. Your
chiropractor will feel for the presence of swelling (or edema), tenderness
and any abnormal texture or tightness in the muscles and other tissues of
Motion Palpation - This process involves feeling the spine while
moving and bending it at various angles. This enables the chiropractor to
determine how easily or difficult each segment in your spine moves in
X-Ray Analysis - x-ray films enable your doctor to visualize the
entire structure of your spine. This is helpful in evaluating posture, joint
and disc integrity, vertebral misalignments and ruling out any pathologies,
or recent fractures that may be present or contributing to the patient's
condition. These full-spine radiographs are taken in the standing,
weight-bearing position to fully substantiate the examination findings.
The Basic Principles of the Gonstead Method of Chiropractic Analysis
The Gonstead Concept of chiropractic begins with a basic biomechanical
principle of physics. Every engineer, architect, builder and carpenter knows
the importance of a proper foundation in constructing a building, for this
insures durability and long life. Any slight change or shift in the
foundation can cause a great amount of deviation in the top part of the
structure and, perhaps, ultimately, its collapse.
The body's foundation is formed by the pelvic girdle. When this bony
structure consisting of hip bones and the lower bones of the back is level,
there will be maximum balance and stability in the spinal column. When the
pelvic girdle or any of the vertebrae (bones making up the spinal column)
become tilted or rotated out of their proper position, dramatic changes may
occur in the body.
These misalignments can cause pressure on the discs that separate the
vertebrae. (The condition of the disc is the key to the patient's health
problem in many cases.) Vertebra can become misaligned either from the
cumulative effects of several minor episodes or from a single accident.
Nature frequently is able to cope with these jolts to the spinal column
without assistance. Sometimes, though, vertebrae tilted or rotated out of
their normal position can be too much for nature to deal with effectively.
In order to more fully understand what occurs, we should know that the discs
are really pads between the vertebrae and consist of a spongy substance
surrounded by fibers of cartilage. When there is misalignment of a vertebra,
there is uneven pressure on the disc causing it to swell and protrude. (One
often hears this referred to as a slipped, herniated or ruptured disc.)
Chiropractors call this condition a SPINAL SUBLUXATION when it results in
the pinching or compressing of the nerves that run through that particular
area. These compressed nerves often become inflamed and impede the proper
transmission of impulses to the section of the body controlled by these
nerves. A seemingly endless list of ailments and pain may be brought about
by these subluxations.
Generally, misaligned vertebrae in the spine are easily recognized,
particularly those in the upper portion of the vertebral column. However,
less easily found and often overlooked are misalignments in the foundation
or lower portions of the spine.
The ability to recognize and correct these misalignments forms an integral
part of the Gonstead Concept. For example: When the lower portion of the
spinal column has misaligned vertebra, the body tries to keep itself and its
skeleton upright and straight. Often it compensates by causing a vertebra
above to become misaligned. This is the body's way of attempting to
re-establish the normal perpendicular position of the body.
If just the top misaligned vertebra was adjusted, in cases where additional
vertebrae are misaligned, only limited relief could result. This would not
be getting to the source of the trouble. For complete and lasting results,
all of the misaligned vertebrae must be identified and then a program can be
initiated to restore them to their normal position. Every chiropractic case
presents a different combination of misaligned vertebrae.
The Gonstead Adjustment
After a complete analysis, the Gonstead chiropractor is ready to deliver any
necessary adjustments. The focus of the Gonstead adjustment is to be as
specific, precise and accurate as possible, addressing only the problem
areas (areas of subluxation). Great care is taken to ensure a
bio-mechanically correct position and precise thrust to provide the most
accurate and painless adjustment possible. It is the goal of your Gonstead
doctor to restore and maintain optimal health by locating and correcting any
interference to the nervous system caused by vertebral subluxation.
"Find the subluxation, accept it where you find it, correct it and leave
it alone." - C.S. Gonstead