Gonstead Optimus Spine & Posture
The role of a Doctor of chiropractic is to detect and correct spinal misalignments, these are called subluxations. Dr. Clarence Gonstead developed a system of how to systematically detect and correct these misalignments. With his system, he was able to help patients with a variety of health conditions, where other medical and chiropractic methods routinely came up short. Dr. Bury attended many seminars in Mount Horeb, Wisconsin, where Dr. Clarence Gonstead’s clinic is located to learn this specific way to treat the spine.
What makes this technique so different is the adjustment. Now, while some chiropractors talk about a spinal “manipulation”, a Gonstead doctor takes great care to perform a specific segmental adjustment. The adjustment involves close attention to detail with the aim being to isolate the specific joint in question, and then deliver the appropriate amount of force (controlled thrust) into that joint with an exact vector that is in the opposite direction as to how it has misaligned. The Gonstead adjustment involves little to no rotation or twisting, making this an extremely safe, comfortable, and effective adjustment. Many patients report that they feel that a Gonstead adjustment provides them more relief and benefit because it feels to be a “deeper” setting.
The Gonstead System is a system of analysis AND adjusting. It is a two-step process. An examination and spinal analysis must always be performed before adjusting the spine. We tell our patients that part of the purpose of their appointment is to have their spine checked to see if they need to be adjusted- this is KEY. If you don’t fully understand the problem, how can you fix it?
This system of analysis uses the following tools:
Involves looking at one’s posture, and also being able to observe any changes to the skin, musculature, or contour of the spine. As you can imagine, this would be very difficult to accomplish through layers of clothing, this would be like going to a foot doctor and having them analyze your foot through your shoe!
This is one of the reasons that a Gonstead clinic is setup in such a way that the doctor is able to assess the patient with a “skin on skin” approach. This involves a comfortable customized gown that opens in the back to expose the surface of the spine.
Involves the use of a handheld instrument that measures temperature on each side of the spine. This instrument is guided down the length of your back and it feels like two fingers touching your skin. Readings from this instrument provide another piece of information to the clinician as to exactly where the patient’s problem exists, as well as WHEN it is appropriate to or to not adjust the patient. The instrument is adjustable to fit any size spine, from newborn, to the elderly.
The process of feeling the tissues surrounding the spine by hand. Palpation can reveal swelling around the spine, abnormal muscle tone, and other signs that help the doctor determine exactly where a problem could lie. This also is very difficult to accurately perform through a layer of clothing, another reason for skin to skin approach, to enable a precise evaluation, every visit.
The process of feeling the spine while the patient is moving or bending to determine how easily or difficult each segment in your spine is moving in various directions.
Involves looking at specific x-rays to help put all of the pieces of this puzzle together. The x-ray will help explain why certain findings were present upon examination, and will provide the best mechanical approach to correcting these problems.
The process of the analysis is done on every visit. As a skilled Gonstead Chiropractor becomes more familiar with their patient, this entire process takes less than a minute.