• About Chiropractic

What is Chiropractic

Chiropractic is a healing science that focuses on the health ofour spine and nervous system. Doctors of chiropractic are like structural engineers who analyze the body for alignment, motion and strength while taking corrective measures through adjustments to make the body function normally and be as healthy as possible.

Chiropractic is often seen as a back pain profession, but really it is a science that concerns itself with the relationship between the spine and the nervous system and how that relationship affects the health ofthe entire body. Misalignments of spinal vertebra may disturb the healthy functioning of the nervous system. Since.every organ, gland, and cell in your body is controlled by your nervous system, misalignments can lead to a variety of health problems and pain syndromes.

The goal of Chiropractic is to restore normal function to the body by correcting the cause of the problem and not just treating the effects or covering up symptoms.

Basic Principles

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 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.

Chiropractic Philosophy

Chiropractic is the science of correcting the spine and extremities through the use of a therapeutic adjustment that restores normal alignment and motion to joints that have been affected by trauma or wear and tear. When spinal vertebra are misaligntd, the nerves are affected having a significant effect on health.

Neurology affects biology, and biology affects health. Chiropractic corrects the neurology so that biology can do its job.

Chiropractic is founded on the principle of correcting cause instead of treating effect. If you have a bone in your neck out that is causing headaches, there is no amount of aspirin in the world that will correct that neck misalignment. There is no amount of massage that will re-align a vertebra. When the spine is well adjusted – normal alignment, and normal motion – then the body is able to heal by natural course… no drugs, no surgery.

The doctor of the future will give no medicine, but will interest his patients in the care of the human frame, in diet, and in the cause and prevention of disease.

-- Thomas Edison

The History of Gonstead Chiropractic

D.D. Palmer

Chiropractic was founded in 1895 by Daniel David (D.D.) Palmer in Davenport, Iowa. Palmer hypothesized that manual manipulation of the spine could cure disease. The first chiropractic patient of D.D. Palmer was Harvey Lillard, a janitor in Palmer's building. While Lillard was working without his shirt on in Palmers office, Lillard bent over to empty the trash can. Palmer noticed that Lillard had a vertebra out of position. He asked Lillard what happened, and Lillard replied, "I moved the wrong way, and I heard a 'pop' in my back, and that's when I lost my hearing." Palmer, who was also involved in many other natural healing philosophies, had Lillard lie face down on the floor and proceeded with the adjustment. A few days following his adjustment, Lillard claimed his hearing was almost completely restored. In 1898 Palmer began teaching chiropractic to students at his new Palmer School of Chiropractic.

Clarence Gonstead

The Gonstead Technique was originated by Clarence Selmer Gonstead (1898-1978). Dr. Gonstead encountered chiropractic care when severe leg and foot pains, which were resistant to conventional medical care, responded to chiropractic adjustments. Dr. Gonstead's experience prompted him to seek a chiropractic education. After graduating from the Palmer School of Chiropractic, he temporarily expanced a practice in Mount Horeb, Wisconsin in 1923.

Adhering to the definition of true chiropractic as defined by D. D. Palmer, Dr. Gonstead found there was no substitute or better method for analyzing or correcting spinal misalignments than with a skilled pair of chiropractic hands. Over the years, Dr. Gonstead developed the Gonstead technique which has been taught to thousands of students and doctors of chiropractic and also established the world famous Gonstead Clinic of Chiropractic in Mount Horeb.

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 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.

The Gonstead Adjustment

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.