THE GONSTEAD METHOD
What makes us so special?
Chiropractic has come a long way since Daniel D. Palmer gave his first adjustment in September 1895 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
Gonstead procedures are the result of extensive clinical research by Clarence S.Gonstead, founder of the world famous Gonstead Clinic of Chiropractic in Mount Horeb, Wisconsin and his associates. Doctor Gonstead’s fifty-five years of continuous practice and over four million chiropractic adjustments resulted in the most complete method of biomechanical analysis available for use by today’s doctors of chiropractic. So why don’t all chiropractors use this technique? Because the analysis takes more time and mastering the art of delivering a specific adjustment takes a LOT of practice and dedication.
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 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.
Gonstead Technique is a system of analysis based on the practice of Dr. Clarence Gonstead, who started his clinic in tiny Mt. Horeb, Wisconsin in 1923. He was a mechanical engineer, and looked at the body and spine with an engineer's eye. He developed a unique methodology based on proper bio-mechanical principles and the importance of a "level foundation" for the spine. Because of his incredible results (especially with so-called "hopeless" cases), people came to the clinic in droves, and he eventually built the largest chiropractic clinic in the world! In order to accommodate the patients coming from all over the world, he built a hotel next to the clinic and a landing strip for airplanes. It's hard to argue with that kind of success!
Research has shown that rotational movement is especially damaging to spinal discs. Dr. Gonstead knew this and developed a technique that does not involve twisting the spine. He also developed the "Principle of Specificity" - finding exactly which one or two spinal bones were causing the problem. When they are individually adjusted, the body can then compensate and begin to heal itself. If a doctor "popped" every joint that would move, how could you ever know where your problem was and how would you ever get better. Wouldn't you rather FIX the specific cause of your problem?
Dr. Gonstead realized that the body’s foundation is formed by the pelvic girdle. When the pelvis or any of the spinal bones become tilted or out of alignment, dramatic changes can occur in the body that may result in pain and decreased health. Misalignment of the vertebrae and pelvis cause pressure on the discs between the spinal bones, and put pressure on the nerves extending out to the rest of the body. This pressure usually causes pain, but in the early stages, the person may not feel pain and therefore unaware of the issue at all. Uneven pressure on the discs causes them to swell and protrude, and is commonly called a "slipped" disc. "Subluxation" is the term used by chiropractors for these misalignments which result in pinching or compression of the nerves. Compressed nerves become inflamed and impede the proper transmission of impulses to the corresponding areas of the body.
What makes us different is that Dr. Ryan spent hundreds of hours, both in and outside of school, to learn the Gonstead Technique. It is the most difficult technique to master, but gets the absolute best results. The amount of time and energy it takes doctors to learn the Gonstead Technique means you are getting the most thorough and comprehensive care possible! Learn more about our technique here: