Gonstead Technique in Chiropractic Treatment
The developer of Gonstead Technique was Dr. Clarence Selmer Gonstead. Dr. Gonstead came across chiropractic care when cases of extremely severe leg and foot pain started responding to chiropractic adjustments after failing to respond to conventional medical care. The Gonstead theory of chiropractic starts with the intervertebral discs and the body's structural base. If the pelvis, vertebrae and legs are at level, then maximum stability and balance in spinal column can be achieved. The Gonstead chiropractic technique chiefly focuses on uneven foundation, motion disturbances, intervertebral misalignments as well as dysfunction of nerves. Any damage to the intervertebral disc is the chief reason for causing subluxation of spine; hence Gonstead adjustments are designed in such a way that the discs are primarily benefited. This technique also helps in restoring normal motion and alignment.
The basic assessment tool in the Gonstead technique is a complete spine radiograph. Other important examination procedures in this technique are static and dynamic palpations, mainly of paraspinal bone structures and soft tissues, visualizing movement of spine, posture, gait and looking for inflammatory signs near the joints, instrumentation such as assessment of paraspinal skin temperature and other devices. All these are used to look at various aspects of the patient's neuromuscularskeletal characteristics. The chiropractor assesses the complete spine radiograph and draws measurements on film to analyze relative positions of adjacent vertebra and pelvis regions. The chiropractor converts these measurements into listings along with other variables about the aspects of subluxation in order to regulate the precise application of the adjustment forces.
Gonstead adjustments are high velocity, short lever and low amplitude and have a long lever which aids in application of the force. The high velocity comprises of the fast application of force. The exact contact on the vertebra near or on the vertebral midline is the short lever. The low amplitude is the depth of the force which is being controlled at a superficial level, just sufficient enough to affect the disc and joint. The long lever helps in stabilizing the area above and/or below the contact area which is being adjusted and commonly involves the use of the chiropractor's hand or thigh for holding it.
Tables Used During Gonstead Adjustment: Hi-Lo Table and Knee-Chest Table
There are various types of tables used for adequate positioning of patient during the Gonstead adjustments, one of which is the Hi-Lo table which has special modifications and was made specifically for Dr. Gonstead long time ago. It has been essential equipment in this technique and aids a wide range of patients to include pregnant females. Another table used is known as knee-chest table. This table was one in a set of Gonstead's uniquely emphasized tables. It helps in facilitating posterior-to-anterior correction of subluxations and also repositions the posteriorly displaced intervertebral discs. The complete spine benefits from this table. The knee-chest table is also an excellent option for pregnant females.