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We use a highly-effective adjusting approach, called Gonstead, to help improve spinal biomechanics and reduce nervous system interference.
Clarence S. Gonstead became a chiropractor in 1923 following a personal experience with chiropractic that had helped his body heal from a painful, crippling episode of rheumatoid arthritis. With a background in mechanical engineering, he would come to apply the principles of this discipline to the evaluation of the spine. As part of a life long study of the spine, he would often fly his private plane to Indianapolis to dissect, study, stain, photograph and then reconstruct cadaver spines at Lincoln Chiropractic College.
Based on his studies, he developed the "foundation principle" to explain how a fixation in one area of the spine created compensatory bio-mechanical changes and symptoms in another. He was a pioneer in the chiropractic profession, developing equipment and a method of analysis that used more than one criteria to verify the precise location of vertebral subluxation (A subluxation is a spinal bone that is misaligned and fixated or "stuck" resulting in nerve pressure and interfering with the innate ability of the body to maintain health).
Considering his system, in light of current knowledge, it is surprising that the concept of adjusting the spine only if and when there is a fixation, has not been universally accepted. Gonstead stated in the 1940's, "Therein lies the uniqueness of my work - The Gonstead Technique has a specific application on the affected segment or segments only." His approach is often summarized by the phrase he coined, "Find the subluxation, accept it where you find it, correct it and leave it alone". The common sense, evident in his work, is further summarized in another phrase that he often used: "If it ain't broke, don't fix it."
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 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.
To learn more about the gonstead technique, visit www.gonstead.com.
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