The Gonstead Method in Chiropractic Port St. Lucie
A special thanks to Steven Barger, D.C., a Port St. Lucie, FL Chiropractor, for providing this article.
The Gonstead method is recognized as the gold standard for chiropractic care. There are less than 1,000 Gonstead chiropractors in the world. The Gonstead adjustment looks at the whole spine and is safe, effective, and specific to your body. There is no twisting, pulling, or drops involved with this adjustment. The goal of this treatment is to center the vertebrae on the disc and restore spinal function and resolve nerve irritation.
Dr. Clarence Gonstead grew up on a farm in Wisconsin and from a young age was fascinated with mechanics. He was passionate about repairing tractors, automobiles and learning about the bio-mechanical science behind it. While he was attending trade school Gonstead became extremely ill and was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis. He was on bed rest for almost 5 weeks and was unable to walk until he received a series of chiropractic adjustments. His life changed when he was able to walk again.
Gonstead saved enough money to go to chiropractic school and purchased his own practice shortly after graduating. His mechanical background guided him to look at the human spine in a way that hasn’t been done before. He came up with the criteria for the Gonstead technique that is still used today. Gonstead’s healing ability attracted hundreds of patients seeking relief. After outgrowing his first office he built a new practice in Mount Horeb, Wisconsin in 1939. He was seeing around 250 patients a day, seven days a week, with no signs of slowing down. As the demand grew, he expanded his hours and often would see his last patient at 2:30 in the morning.
His unique method continued to prove results. In 1964, the 29,000 square foot Gonstead Clinic of Chiropractic was constructed. The two-story facility features 11 adjusting rooms, research equipment, multiple seminar rooms, and a complete chemistry laboratory. Today this facility is owned by C.S Gonstead Chiropractic Foundation and the group continues to educate chiropractic students and doctors from around the world. In addition to the new facility, a motel was built adjacent to the clinic to house the patients that traveled thousands of miles to receive their life-changing adjustment. A limousine service was set up between the Madison airport and the Gonstead Clinic. Those with private planes could fly in on Dr. Gonstead’s personal airport in the suburbs of Mount Horeb. During his career he adjusted seven million people. Gonstead died at the age of 80 but his legacy lives on through all the miracles he is responsible for every day.
So, what is the “Gonstead difference”? A Gonstead Chiropractor goes the extra mile to get as much information about the patient to find the subluxation and know how to perform the proper adjustment. This in-depth method involves five criteria:
- Instrumentation- Gonstead chiropractors use a nervoscope prior to each adjustment. The nervoscope is used the entire length of the spine to detect bilateral temperature differences and nerve pressure that can indicate interference and inflammation.
- Visualization- You can learn so much about a person’s body just by looking at it. We look for swelling, posture changes, movement, and any other subtle changes that could indicate a problem.
- X-ray Analysis- Probably the most important part of the Gonstead technique is being able to see the problem. By taking full spine x-rays we know the exact structure of the spine.
- Motion Palpation- Bending and moving the spine allows the chiropractor to determine how each segment is moving.
- Static Palpation- Feeling the spine in a stationary position allows the chiropractor are looking for any abnormal tenderness, swelling, or muscle tightness.
In my office, I have seen so many transformations in just under two years of practice. I’ve treated people that have been pain for so long because of sciatica, neck pain, and migraines. My favorite cases are those with chronic conditions who have been told they can’t be treated by other doctors, chiropractors, therapists, etc. A middle-aged woman that suffers with Lupus had normal blood work for the first time after months of Gonstead chiropractic adjustments. A gentleman with severe lower back pain had been seeing other chiropractors for over ten years, they never took an x-ray. He had no idea he had a 50-degree curve in his spine that was causing his pain. I adjust multiple people every day with fusions, rods, and plates surgically placed in their spine. I’ve treated a child with behavior issues, an 88-year-old with hip pain, and everything in between.
Gonstead chiropractic has one goal: find and correct subluxations to allow the body to heal and function with full potential. This technique is different because you are treated as an individual. Every adjustment is different because the body is constantly changing and healing. The brain-body connection can be disrupted by any small interference and cause pain and other health problems within the body.
By Dr. Steven Barger, D.C.