A Gonstead chiropractor looks at the whole person and searches for the source of a patient’s pain or discomfort by examining spinal misalignments, nerve dysfunction, foundational imbalance, and motion disturbances. Each adjustment is centered around the specific needs of the patient and aims to restore the body to its optimal state.
The Gonstead System is widely recognized throughout the world as the gold standard in diagnosing and adjusting the spine. The method focuses on adjusting the spine, pelvis, and extremities as precisely as possible. The Gonstead System is based on the original principles of chiropractic, which targets the main cause of a patient’s health problems and does not just treat the symptoms.
The Gonstead Chiropractor goes beyond what many Chiropractors consider a spinal assessment by conducting a thorough analysis of the spine using five criteria to detect the presence of the vertebral subluxation complex.
As defined by the Gonstead Clinical Studies Society, these five criteria are Visualization, Instrumentation, Static Palpation, Motion Palpation and X-Ray Analysis.
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 your back.
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 different directions.
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.