The Gonstead System is a Chiropractic method that utilizes five different tools;
– Visualization is a way to cross reference all the other findings. Chiropractors learn to be expert in looking for subtle changes in your posture and movement which could indicate any problems.
– 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 a finger sliding down each side of your spine.
– This is simply the process of feeling (or palpating) your spine in a stationary (or static) position, also known as Digital Palpation, pertaining to the fingers or digits. I, as your chiropractor, will feel for the presence of swelling (or edema), tenderness and any abnormal texture or tightness in the muscles and other tissues around your spinal column.
– This process involves checking for aberrant (abnormal) motion of the spine while moving and bending it at various angles. This enables me, the chiropractor, to determine how easily or difficult each segment in your spine moves in different directions with respect to the ones above and below it.
– The Gonstead System Protocol requires doctors to take and refer to full spinal x-rays. Full spine x-rays are primarily used to come up with a listing of a specific vertebral subluxation so that the doctor knows exactly how to properly put a misaligned joint or vertebra back into it’s proper position to re-establish improved nerve function. The doctor may also see any pathologies or recent fractures that may be present or contributing to the patient’s condition. These full-spine radio-graphs are taken in the weight-bearing position, by having a patient stand for the x-ray to be taken I can see exactly how your spine functions under gravity, how it behaves as a weight baring entity and I can assess the spinal joint integrity.
Having used all these methods I am able to isolate and then remove or reduce the spinal subluxation responsible for your symptoms.
These five tools are used for all patients unless extenuating circumstances exist regarding x-rays. My only adjusting tools are my hands.
I have two types of tables and a particular chair on which my patients sit, kneel or lie which are specific to the Gonstead Method of Chiropractic.
I also have a motor driven Hy-Lo table which is seen in many other types of medical offices.
An adjustment of the spine or extremity is a small, precise and quick movement that does not hurt. I feel the vertebra moving back into place and a small popping sound can often be heard by the patient and myself. This type of cavitation adjustment is HVLA – High Velocity Low Amplitude. The movement is releasing the micro fibrous adhesions which have occurred between the ‘Z’ (zygapophyseal) joints. These adhesions appear when the joint is immobile, they are thicker the longer the joint remained in a fixed position.
Some patients require very few adjustments to return the spine to normal function, but due to muscle memory, some patients need longer periods of treatment to get the body to re-accept it’s correct form.
Gonstead Doctors recommend that a visit to the chiropractor every month to six weeks helps to keep the nervous system uncompromised and a full range of motion in the spine.