What to Expect as a Patient
The Gonstead approach is full spine chiropractic. This means Gonstead chiropractors don’t just examine the area that hurts. They recognise that problems in one area of the spine can cause symptoms elsewhere in the body and examine the body accordingly. Your chiropractor is concerned with locating problem areas in the spine (and other joints) that chiropractors term “subluxation”. Chiropractors identify subluxation where there is impaired spinal or joint function with inflammation, lack of mobility and interference to normal nerve activity.
The Gonstead chiropractor’s aim is to correct the subluxation, so that your body can function normally and resume it’s natural healing process.
In addition to any indicated orthopaedic or neurological tests your Gonstead chiropractor uses the following methods of analysis in your evaluation:
- Your Health History: Your Gonstead chiropractor is interested in any problems or symptoms you are experiencing, the quality and location of those symptoms as well as any factors that may have lead to the development of those symptoms. There are many factors that contribute to spinal problems and imbalance within the body. Contributing factors can be past falls, accidents, illness, sports injuries, work habits, emotional stress, lifestyle habits, exercise, diet, sleep habits and previous treatment. This knowledge is an important part of your health analysis.
- Visualisation: Much information is gained from observing how you move and walk, any tilting or rotation of your head, shoulders, hips, knees etc., the curves of the spine, muscle build up or wasting and postural balance.
- Instrumentation: Your Gonstead chiropractor uses an instrument that measures skin temperature changes, comparing one side of the spine to the other. Abnormal heat distribution in the skin gives the chiropractor information about possible nerve irritation and the potential location of subluxation.
- Static Palpation: This involves your chiropractor palpating the tissue around the spine and feeling for tenderness, swelling, muscle imbalance, inflammation and alignment.
- Motion Palpation: This involves feeling for reduced movement between individual spinal segments (or other joints). It is used to identify restriction in a spinal segment and determine the exact direction of that restriction giving the chiropractor a specific 3 dimensional understanding of misalignment.
- X-Ray Analysis: When clinically indicated your Gonstead chiropractor may take weight bearing (standing) X-Rays to help analyse your spine. The radiographic assessment checks for any signs of pathology (disease), fracture, abnormalities, degeneration and other spinal conditions. It also gives the chiropractor valuable information about how your spine is responding to the natural forces of gravity and provides a 3 dimensional understanding of any misalignment.
- The Gonstead chiropractor then combines the findings of all the above factors to determine if there is indeed subluxation within the spine that needs to be adjusted, if so the location and precise requirements of the adjustment to be made.