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Gonstead technique

a Chiropractic method developed by Clarence Gonstead in 1923. The Gonstead technique focuses on hands-on adjustment an expanded "standard diversified technique" by removing rotation from the adjusting thrust and implementing additional instrumentation including X-rays, Gonstead Radiographic Parallel, a measuring device to undertake specific biomechanical analysis of the X-ray, and the development of Nervo-Scope, a device heavily utilized by the world famous Gonstead clinic, to detect the level of neurophysiologic activity due to the existence of misalignments. vertebral subluxation based on changes in skin temperature. The technique gained popularity in the 1960s.  About 28.9% of patients have been treated with the Gonstead technique.

More about the developer 

The Gonstead Technique was originated by Clarence Selmer Gonstead (1898-1978). Dr. Gonstead encountered chiropractic care when severe leg and foot pains, which were resistant to conventional medical care, responded to chiropractic adjustments. This event prompted Dr. Gonstead to seek a chiropractic education, ultimately becoming a renowned Gonstead doctor.

After graduating from the Palmer School of Chiropractic and Infirmary, Dr. Gonstead temporarily took over the practice of his chiropractic mentor before purchasing a practice in the now-famous Mount Horeb, Wisconsin in 1923. Over the years, Dr. Gonstead developed the Gonstead technique which has been taught to thousands of students and doctors of chiropractic, and also established the world-famous Gonstead Clinic of Chiropractic in Mount Horeb. In 1974, after fifty-one years of active practice, Dr. Gonstead sold his clinic and passed away four years later in 1978. It has been said that Dr. Gonstead provided care to patients in over 1.2 million office visits in days that stretched to twenty-three hours of work.

What is the Gonstead technique?

The Gonstead concept of chiropractic begins with the body's structural foundation and the intervertebral discs. Maximum balance and stability in the spinal column Equilibrium may be achieved when the pelvis, vertebrae, and legs are aligned to the standards of the world famous Gonstead clinic. Foundational unleveling, intervertebral misalignments, and motion disturbances, as well as nerve dysfunction, are primary considerations in Gonstead chiropractic health care and patient management. Injury to the intervertebral disc Part of the Gonstead method includes understanding that alignment is of paramount importance in causing spinal health. Identifying and treating subluxations is a key aspect of Gonstead's technique, and therefore, Gonstead adjustments are designed for maximum effect on the discs, while also working to restore normal alignment and motion.

Gonstead chiropractic assessment utilizes several methods of examination to analyze multiple factors, which, as effectively as possible, uncovers the primary characteristics of intervertebral disc lesions, intervertebral and full spine and pelvis alignment, as well as neurological ramifications of the vertebral subluxation and full-body health.

Cervical Chair Adjustment

The Cervical Chair technique, used by a Gonstead doctor, is one of the most unique types of Gonstead adjustments. Dr. Gonstead developed this technique to emphasize 'lifting' the vertebra in the cervical spine, as hyper-extension misalignment is common in this region. He discovered this approach by watching himself adjust under fluoroscopic imaging in his own facility and was of the opinion that this was the only way to adequately adjust for hyper-extension misalignment in the cervical spine.

Gonstead adjustments can best be described as short lever, high velocity, and low amplitude, with long lever assist force application. In Gonstead's system of chiropractic, the short lever is the specific contact on the vertebra near or on the vertebral midline. The high velocity is the quick application of force. The low amplitude is the force depth being controlled at a shallow level, just enough to affect the disc and joint sufficiently. The long lever assist applies to the stabilization of the region above and/or below the contact area being adjusted, usually employing the chiropractor's hand or thigh, not thrusting, but holding.

Another unique aspect of the Gonstead adjustment is the specificity of the contact point on the chiropractor's hand. For the cervical chair adjustment, the distal-lateral-anterior tip of the index finger is most often used for C2 down to the upper thoracic vertebrae, as well as the analogous portion of the thumb for cervical chair Atlas contacts. Most other manual techniques utilize the broader areas of the metacarpal-phalangeal or inter-phalangeal joints for similar hand-to-vertebral contact points. The specific emphasis on the contact point for the Gonstead cervical adjustment enhances the specificity of the thrust in the line of correction, consistent with the goal of the specific force application.

Gonstead Chiropractic 

Gonstead chiropractic care is a specialized form of chiropractic treatment that focuses on the biomechanics and structure of the body. The Gonstead technique, developed by Dr. Clarence Gonstead, has become known for its precise approach to spinal adjustments and personalized care, and is extensively studied by the Gonstead Clinical Studies Society.

What is Gonstead Chiropractic Care?

The origins and principles of Gonstead technique can be traced back to the mid-20th century when Dr. Clarence Gonstead, a chiropractor, developed this specific system of chiropractic care. The technique is founded on the principle that the body's structure and function are interrelated, with a focus on the spine and its impact on overall health.

A Gonstead chiropractor differs from other chiropractors in their emphasis on a thorough evaluation of the patient's spine. The Gonstead clinical studies society utilizes X-rays and palpation to identify subluxations and misalignments, ensuring precise and specific adjustments for the patient's health.

The benefits of being part of the Gonstead Clinical Studies Society lie not just in its ability to provide personalized treatment plans, targeted spinal adjustments, and a focus on the patient's overall well-being, but also in funding chiropractic research tailored to these techniques.

Understanding the Gonstead Method

The application of the Gonstead technique in spinal adjustment sets it apart from other chiropractic methods, as studied by the Gonstead Clinical Studies Society. Gonstead chiropractors use X-rays and palpation to identify misalignments and subluxations, allowing them to make specific and effective adjustments to the spine.

X-rays and palpation play a crucial role in the Gonstead method, providing visualization of the biomechanics and facilitating a targeted approach to spinal adjustments. By addressing subluxations and misalignments, Gonstead chiropractors aim to restore proper function to the spine and nervous system.

Why Choose a Gonstead Chiropractor?

The Gonstead method is widely recognized as the gold standard in chiropractic care due to its comprehensive approach to spinal health. Biomechanical visualization, a key aspect of the Gonstead technique, enables chiropractors to make precise and specific adjustments, contributing to improved patient outcomes.

As part of the Gonstead system of chiropractic, patient-centered care and treatment plans are hallmarks, ensuring that each patient receives tailored care based on their unique needs and health goals.

For those seeking personalized and effective chiropractic care, the Gonstead method offers a holistic approach to spinal health and overall well-being.

Conditions Treated by Gonstead Chiropractors

Gonstead chiropractic care plays a significant role in addressing disc-related issues, providing targeted adjustments to improve spinal function and alleviate symptoms associated with disc conditions.

Additionally, the Gonstead method is effective in addressing spinal misalignments, offering patients relief from pain and promoting optimal spinal health. Instrumentation, such as specialized chiropractic adjustments, is utilized to support the correction of vertebral subluxations and enhance spinal function.

Choosing the Right Gonstead Chiropractor

The benefits of precise and specific adjustments provided by a Gonstead chiropractor contribute to improved patient outcomes, making it essential to choose the right practitioner for chiropractic care.

Understanding the Gonstead system of chiropractic and its complete method of biomechanical analysis enables patients to make informed decisions regarding their spinal health and overall well-being. It is important to consider the expertise and experience of the chiropractor in delivering effective Gonstead adjustments tailored to the patient's needs.

The role of Clarence Gonstead in advancing chiropractic care has created a legacy of patient-centered and results-driven chiropractic treatment, making the Gonstead approach a preferred choice for individuals seeking personalized and comprehensive spinal care.

The Gonstead technique is one of the many adjusting methods utilized by Dr. Fraser

Chiropractic Adjusting Techniques 

Want to try chiropractic adjustments in Basalt, CO? 

Dial 970-924-1015 to reach Dr. Fraser and schedule a treatment session.


Dr. James Fraser

Doctor of Chiropractic