The Gonstead Difference

5 Criteria utilized in the Gonstead System:

1. VISUALIZATION

This takes into account all the information possible by simply looking at patients very carefully. In the Gonstead system, visualization starts from the moment the patient walks in the door. Differences in height between the ears, shoulders, and hips, as well as posture and walking stride, are useful to confirm what is found during the examination.

2. INSTRUMENTATION

A dual probe instrument (Nervoscope) is used to get a bilateral temperature comparison of the spine to locate areas of inflammation. The readings obtained through instrumentation will show the change in the nervous system at specific levels. If there are apparent subluxations, the next step will be palpation.

3. PALPATION

Both static and motion palpation are utilized in Gonstead chiropractic to precisely pinpoint problematic areas of the spine. Static palpation is the “hands-on” X part of the examination. This will indicate changes in contour, tone, texture, and temperature of the patient’s spine. Motion palpation is used to determine fixations (or “stuck joints”) and their range of motion.

3. X-RAYS

X-rays in the Gonstead System are full-spine, both front and side views to create a 3-dimensional view. Full-spine films use less radiation than individual (sectional) x-rays of each segment of the spine separately; provide an accurate vertebral count; provides full-spinal contour representation for posture analysis while the patient is standing (weight-bearing), and show problems other than the chief complaint—all of which are not attainable through the use of sectional films. X-rays are essential to Gonstead chiropractic

4. CASE MANAGEMENT (Symptomatology)

X-rays in the Gonstead System are full-spine, both front and side views to create a 3-dimensional view. Full-spine films use less radiation than individual (sectional) x-rays of each segment of the spine separately; provide an accurate vertebral count; provides full-spinal contour representation for posture analysis while the patient is standing (weight-bearing), and show problems other than the chief complaint—all of which are not attainable through the use of sectional films. X-rays are essential to Gonstead chiropractic

“if there is no nerve pressure to any gland or organ, the body can produce any drug it needs.”  - Dr. Clarence Gonstead, DC

About Dr. Clarence Gonstead

Gonstead was born on July 23, 1898, in Willow Lake, South Dakota. In his early years, his family relocated to a dairy farm in Primrose, Wisconsin. Gonstead grew up learning how to repair tractors and automobiles, an interest that foreshadowed his later accomplishments in applying mechanical principles to the correction of the human spine. At the age of 19, Gonstead contracted a crippling case of rheumatoid arthritis that left him bedridden for weeks. His aunt sought the help of her chiropractor, Dr. J.B. Olson, and after a course of adjustments, he could walk again. 
This was a life-changing experience for Gonstead; he enrolled in Palmer College of Chiropractic and graduated in 1923. During that time he worked as an automotive engineer; it cannot be understated how significant this mechanical experience was in influencing him to rethink prevailing ideas about the mechanism of subluxations (misalignment of the spine causing nerve interference in the body). He introduced the Level Disc Theory that subluxation begins at the disc where the inflammatory response from damaged tissue creates “nerve pressure” resulting in the neurological complications associated with subluxation.