Gonstead Examination Procedure

The doctors at Discover Chiropractic will examine the spine and nervous system with a detailed "hands on" assessment of the vertebral column and its contiguous structures for the diagnosis of subluxation. This diagnosis can only be made by functional examination of the spine to determine specific areas of hypomobility (loss of normal movement).

The Gonstead Method focuses on being specific when examining and treating a patient with a suspected subluxation. The Gonstead Chiropractor conducts a thorough examination using seven criteria to evaluate your spine:

1. A Detailed History

Your doctor will ask you number of specific questions regarding you condition. He will gather information on all you health issues as your problem/ discomfort you experience maybe attributed to a number of factors such as accidents, surgeries, sporting injuries, RSI (repeated stress injuries), posture, medication, emotional stress, ADLs eg sleep, exercise and diet. A through history will help determine where the problem exists and what activities aggravate and relive
it. Further it will help determine your overall health.

2. Visualization

Observation of the spine for changes in the curves as the spine. Levels of head, shoulders and hips can assist determining spinal health. Postural assessment whilst walking and sitting will give a clue as to where the subluxation is.

3. Instrumentation

The nervoscope is an instrument that measures skin temperature changes that result as improper nerve control to blood flow of the skin. The nervoscope is a unique instrument that is highly accurate in detecting heat abnormalities along the spine due to circulatory changes caused by the subluxation.

4. Static Palpation

Static palpation is the method for feeling your spine and surrounding tissues for swelling and tenderness. Subluxation of a vertebra causes slight injury to ligaments that attach to the bone. The damage to the ligament produces inflammation. Your chiropractor is trained to find such a problem.

5. Motion Palpation

Your chiropractor will check for movement in EACH joint of the spine. This is done in the weight bearing (sitting position).The vertebral joint complex are put through three axes (directions) of normal movement to determine if there is a deficiency in any or all directions. A comparison is made between individual spinal segments. Reduced movement between each segment will help locate subluxations.

6. Neurological/ orthopaedic tests

Various tests may be conducted such as tests for balance, eye movement, smell, vision, hearing etc., and such routine examinations as your arm and leg reflexes. Since the chiropractor works with the nervous system via the spinal column, these baseline assessments are often required.

7. Radiographic Analysis

Three specialised chiropractic weight bearing X-rays of your spine will be taken. The frontal view is taken in one piece. This is the ONLY way to determine exactly how many vertebrae you have. Yes, people do not all have the same amount of spinal segments. The second and third x-rays are taken from the side to assess the neck and low back regions respectively.  Since the Gonstead doctor wants to be as specific as possible in analysis and treatment, this information is vital in order to avoid adjusting the wrong segment when counting by palpation to the exact vertebral subluxation. All required measures are taken to insure the exposures are taken with the least amount of radiation via the use of high speed screens, collimation, gonadal shielding and the very latest in digital computer radiographic imaging. No chemical processing is required as the image is processed to a computer monitor immediately. These X-rays will show the following:  

  • signs of pathology and fractures  
  • condition of each disc and joints in the spine any abnormalities you where born with
  • your posture and its curves and how your body reacts to the forces of gravity

Considering all the x-ray findings, your chiropractor takes into account your condition and examination, and plans the most appropriate and specific adjustment required to correct your subluxation.