by Brandi Schlossberg
A pioneer in the chiropractic field, Dr. Clarence Gonstead is the man who developed the landmark Gonstead technique, which is now a cornerstone of chiropractic education and patient care. Gonstead passed away in 1978, but his research, his teachings, and his specific technique continue to thrive on the table of chiropractors who pride themselves on providing their patients with the benefits of the Gonstead technique.
The Gonstead method of chiropractic care places major emphasis on the principles of physics and biomechanics. The chiropractor who is skilled in the Gonstead technique will examine the patient to see how any misalignments throughout the length of the spine may be affecting the body’s overall posture and function. Correcting any and all subluxations, or areas where a misaligned vertebra may be compressing or pinching the nerves, is the goal of the Gonstead chiropractor.
The chiropractic tables used by those professionals who practice this method tend to differ from the tables you may find in the offices of other kinds of chiropractors. For the Gonstead technique, one popular chiropractic table is the Hi-Lo table. Among other features, this table allows the patient to walk right up and then be automatically brought down into the prone position.
The knee-chest table is another one that may be seen more frequently in the practice of a Gonstead-focused chiropractor, along with what might be called a side posture table. Cervical chairs may also have their place in the office of a Gonstead chiropractor, allowing the patient to be adjusted while seated. From the Hi-Lo table and the knee-chest table to the cervical chair and side posture table, all these pieces of equipment may be necessary to the proper execution of the Gonstead technique and can play a key role in patient outcomes.
Other important aspects of the Gonstead method have much to do with a thorough examination of the patient in order to be sure about the most precise correction of any subluxations. This examination process involves a few different steps, usually beginning with the chiropractor making a visual assessment of the patient’s back.
Palpation of the patient’s spine also plays an important role in gathering all possible data on the state of the spine. This palpation is usually performed while the patient stays still and then also while the spine is put into motion in a variety of ways. Another component of this powerful examination process is X-Ray analysis, which the Gonstead chiropractor will use to help determine the most appropriate correction process.