“Find the subluxation
Accept it where you find it
Leave it alone”
-Dr. C.S. Gonstead
There are many types of chiropractic care. Dr. Wilkinson primarily uses the Gonstead
system. The Gonstead technique is a system used to analyse and care for the spine. It is a gentle, effective technique that is specific, accurate and precise in evaluating and adjusting the spine.
In dealing with the vertebral subluxation complex, it is important to the Gonstead practitioner to thoroughly examine the spine before adjusting it.
Why? in order to give a specific adjustment, your chiropractor needs to evaluate and find the location of
your primary misalignments, known as a chiropractic subluxation, which may be the cause of your health problems.
As a Gonstead practitioner, Dr. Wilkinson uses the following thorough methods of analysis:
Case History: If your car breaks down you explain to a car mechanic what problems you are having with
your car. The mechanic also asks you what type of fuel you're putting in your car.
Likewise, your doctor wants to know what kind of problems or discomfort you have been experiencing and
how you are fuelling your body. Automobile accidents, falls, other traumas or injuries are important information in evaluating your spine and overall health.
X-Ray Analysis To further understand the condition of your spine, it is also important to view the structure
of your spine through the use of x-ray examination. Your doctor looks for signs of pathology (disease) and fracture; evaluates posture, the joints of the spine, the condition of the disc, subluxations and other
conditions of the spine. The doctor can also use x-rays to visualize what position the vertebrae are in so that he can adjust the spine as gently, specifically and effectively as possible.
Instrumentation Your chiropractor may use an instrument (a Nervoscope, Temposcope or NCM). These
instruments, much like a thermometer, measure heat. Abnormal heat distribution is a sign to the doctor that
there may be nerve dysfunction and joint swelling in the spine and help the chiropractor evaluate for possible
subluxations. This instrument glides down the length of your back and feels like two fingers gliding down either side of your spinal column.
Static Palpation Your spine, when subluxated, will send warning signals to your body. Muscles may
become tight or tender, tissues damaged from the subluxation or subluxations. To detect the warning signals,
chiropractors use static palpation. This simply means that your chiropractor runs his or her fingers over (or
palpates) your spine in a static (or stationary) position. Your chiropractor is looking for oedema, swelling and tender or tight muscle fibres.
Motion Palpation Like static palpation, the chiropractor palpates your spine while bending your spine at
different angles. The chiropractor determines range of motion, or, how easily or difficult each segment of your spine moves. For example, there may be problems if you can bend further to the left than to the right.
Lack of motion is one of the factors in the vertebral subluxation complex.
A Gonstead Adjustment is Specific
After complete evaluation using these methods of analysis, your chiropractor is ready to provide a specific,
accurate and precise adjustment. The cause of your discomfort - the areas of subluxation - have been determined so there is a focus on adjusting the problem areas only.
Gonstead chiropractors approach the spine biomechanically - which means that they relate the structure of
the spine to how they will adjust It. Gonstead doctors take great care in making sure you are in a mechanically correct position for your adjustment. Accurate positioning and precision thrusting insure that
the correction is as accurate and painless as possible.
To help illustrate the necessity of correct positioning, think of how a pottery sculptor carefully positions the
clay of the pottery wheel before shaping or reshaping the clay. If the clay is not in the centre of the pottery
wheel it will become off-balance and lose its shape. Likewise, your chiropractor is 'reshaping' the position of the vertebrae in your spine.
In summary, your Gonstead practitioner uses the following methods of analysis to evaluate your spine: case
history, X-ray examination, visualization, instrumentation, static palpation and motion palpation.
By using these thorough methods of assessment, giving careful consideration to positioning, and relying on
his expert training, your chiropractor can give you a proper adjustment, assuring you of biomechanically sound correction of your subluxations.