The idea that all chiropractors do the same thing and adjust the same way is a common misconception. For many chiropractors, providing chiropractic care is more of an art than a science as they each tailor long-established techniques into their own liking and apply them accordingly to each unique patient. One of those well-known techniques is that of the Gonstead System.
Clarence Selmer Gonstead developed the Gonstead technique in the 1940’s. According to the American Chiropractic Association the Gonstead technique is currently practiced by 58.5% of chiropractors. How is it different from other techniques?
The Gonstead system believes that the human body’s foundation lies on the pelvic girdle. This structure consists of hip bones and the lower bones of the back which, when are all in level, will provide maximum balance and stability in the spinal column. When the pelvic girdle or any of the bones in the spinal column become tilted or rotated out of their position, changes may also occur in other parts of the body.
These misalignments can cause pressure on the discs that separate the vertebrae. Vertebra can become misaligned either from the effects of several minor episodes that accumulated over time or from a single severe accident. Naturally, the body is able to cope with these insults to the spinal column but sometimes, vertebrae tilted or rotated out of their normal position can be too much for the body to handle to control by itself.
The ability to recognize and correct these misalignments forms an integral part of the Gonstead Concept. When the lower portion of the spinal column has misaligned vertebra for example, the body compensates by keeping the skeleton upright and straight. This is the body’s way of attempting to re-establish the normal perpendicular position of the body. A chiropractor who follows the Gonstead system will focus first and foremost on treating misalignments in the pelvic girdle which has shown to be effective in most cases.
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