Gonstead chiropractic technique focuses on the pelvic girdle, which can be thought of as the body’s foundation. It was developed by Clarence Gonstead during the early 1920s. Gonstead’s technique grew in popularity so quickly that his small second story office would often overflow into the street below. This led Gonstead to building a new office in 1939 where he worked nearly 7 days a week treating / adjusting up to 250 patients each day. In 1954 Gonstead began teaching his technique to other chiropractors as a result of his popularity in the field. Gonstead was committed to his work and helping his patients achieve relief. He proved this by the long hours he worked, sometimes up to the wee hours of the morning.
As mentioned previously, the pelvic girdle is a primary focus of the Gonstead technique. The structure is made up of the hip bones and the lower bones at the back. When the pelvic girdle is tilted or rotated from its proper position it can result in significant issues in the body. Pressure on the disks and misalignment of the vertebra are the main areas of subluxations, as a result of issues with the pelvic girdle. The practitioner will evaluate the pelvis, vertebrae, and legs to ensure that they are balanced and level. The overall goal of the Gonstead method is to bring alignment back to the vertebrae affected and restore proper range motion.
There are a few assessment tools and examination procedures that are a vital part of the Gonstead technique. A radiograph of the entire spine is essential for the practitioner to determine the full extent and location of evident subluxations. During a manipulation procedure the chiropractor may also use palpation of the soft tissue and spine. The palpation method used is both static and dynamic. The chiropractor may also have the patient perform certain movements so he or she can observe the motion of the spine and posture. These diagnostic procedures allow the chiropractor to have a holistic musculoskeletal view of the patient’s neuro-muscular skeletal system.
During this procedure the chiropractor may utilize specific type of chiropractic tables / chairs to accomplish the adjustment that is necessary for their patient. A Hi-Lo table is often used during Gonstead adjustment appointments. However, the Hi-Lo table has modifications specific to the Gonstead technique and actually crated by Dr. Gonstead himself. Gonstead was also known to use the knee-chest table quite often to help with posterior to anterior subluxation corrections, and can also be used for pregnant patients seeking a Gonstead adjustment. Among the most unique method of adjustment during this technique utilizes the Cervical Chair. The Cervical Chair allows the practitioner to lift the vertebra within the cervical spine to adjust hyper-extension misalignment in this area of the spine.
The Gonstead adjustment is a full spine, specific and precise adjustment that can be described as a high velocity, low amplitude adjustment. During this type of adjustment the patient should hear more of a single and solid popping sound. The chiropractor will also release the thrust slowly to avoid any rebound which would nullify the adjustment.
Gonstead’s practice helped to develop the ideas of primary and secondary subluxations. Primary subluxations are more likely to impact overall health of the body. The approach also looks at subluxations versus musculoskeletal compensations where it is understood that the presence of subluxations will result in compensations. These compensations within the body can wreak havoc on a patient’s health and quality of life. Aside from producing the symptoms of pain, such as neck pain and back pain.
The chiropractor wishing to reach Diplomate status in the Gonstead technique must practice the technique for at least three years. They must also complete 238 hours of post graduate study within the Gonstead technique along with taking and passing a written and practical exam. Providing the opportunity for practitioners to become Diplomate level in this technique ensure consistency within the field and provides opportunity for doctors to advance their understanding of the technique.
The Gonstead Technique is a popular and effective technique in the chiropractic profession. More than half, 58.5 percent, of chiropractors use this technique on roughly 30 percent of their patients.
Dr. Kaminsky has studied the Gonstead technique in Chiropractic school and has used this technique with many patients over the years.