What is the Gonstead method of chiropractic? In chiropractic there are about 38 different named techniques. The techniques range from being very gross and crude to very specific and scientific. Dr. Gonstead was a mechanical engineer prior to being a chiropractor. After graduation from chiropractic college he decided he could do chiropractic better than he was taught if he could learn how to apply mechanical engineering principles to the spine.
Basically, chiropractors correct one thing. What we correct is something called a subluxation. A subluxation has a mechanical component…..in that something rotated, wedged, curved, didn’t curve, etc. From an engineering standpoint, subluxations range from being very simple and straightforward to very complex and compounded. If you have a simple problem, it doesn’t matter if you go to a superstar chiropractor or a sloppy chiropractor. Your case should be easily corrected. As cases increase in complexity from an engineering standpoint, the sloppy chiropractor’s success rate decreases.
Some people think the “Mayo Clinic” of the chiropractic profession is the Gonstead Clinic of Chiropractic. Many doctors of chiropractic, whether they practice the Gonstead technique or not, look specifically for Gonstead trained doctors, for themselves or when they are referring a patient who is moving to another area.
The bottom line is the Gonstead Method has a mechanical engineering foundation that uses a very specific method of analysis. It utilizes accurate adjusting techniques to correct the subluxation. It is difficult and frustrating for the chiropractor to learn, but if the chiropractor is dedicated, the results are worth the aggravation.
I have been to chiropractors in the past and they failed. Should I try again? There are several reasons chiropractors fail: 1.) It wasn’t a chiropractic problem. It did not matter who you saw or how long you went. It would never have improved. 2.) It was a chiropractic problem but the chiropractor: a.) Did not work on the correct bone. b.) Did not work on the condition long enough, often enough, or worked on it too often. In other words the timing was wrong. c.) Did not have the personal ability to move the bone.
You need to understand that chiropractic is a personal science and art. The practice of medicine is a laboratory science. If a person is sick and goes to an M.D., a diagnosis is made as to what the condition is, (that takes skill), then typically a drug is prescribed that the patient administers to themselves, (that takes no skill). It is sometimes difficult to tell a bad M.D. from a good M.D. You can go to a surgeon and they may be very good and be like an artist, or they may be very bad and be like a butcher. There is a lot of personal ability and art involved in being a surgeon. Chiropractic resembles that. The success of the chiropractor is determined by his personal ability. Therefore, some chiropractors are better than others. However, nobody is 100 percent.
I like to tell my patients that Dan Marino and Tom Field can throw a football. We are both throwing a football; however, there is a huge difference in the outcome. Chiropractic is like that. We are all practicing chiropractic. Some chiropractors are better than others.
So, should you try again? Probably. I hope this will give you some insight to help you think through your past experiences.
Will I need x-rays? Not always, but usually. The x-ray is like a blueprint in that it frequently indicates what has happened at the area we are concerned with. To not have an x-ray means I am guessing as to what is going on at that area. Sometimes I guess successfully, but the results improve if we can see what we need to work on. Occasionally we use x-rays that were recently taken by another doctor. It helps speed things up if you can bring them with you when you come on the first day. We can also request them. But, be forewarned it can take several weeks for your x-rays to arrive.
How much do x-rays cost? It depends on what area of your body is affected and your circumstances. Generally, the cost ranges between $34 and $140.
Are you on my insurance plan? Yes and no. We have chosen not to participate in any insurance company plans. Most insurance companies provide a way for you to see non-participating doctors. We work with hundreds of insurance companies. Feel free to call Karen, in our Insurance Department, at 561-368-0009 to see if you are covered.
Be aware, most HMO’s do not provide a way to see non-HMO doctors. I recently heard of a study that said 40% of HMO patients seek treatment outside their HMO for services that are covered by the HMO, and pay for it themselves! There are a lot of HMO patients we see in this office who fit that description.
Will I need to go for many visits? Most people need a few visits and some people need many visits. The number of visits that will be required to correct your condition depends on the severity of the condition, the length of time you had it, whether you exercise, if you are overweight, your stress level, whether you let it heal during the process or you continue to aggravate it, has it started to degenerate, etc. Roughly speaking, from a symptom standpoint, I think people with an easy problem improve in a couple days to a couple weeks. Difficult problems can take months to years.
Will I need to go to the chiropractor forever? That’s your choice. There are two ways to utilize chiropractic. One is to go for elimination of symptoms and when the symptoms are gone so are you. The second way to utilize chiropractic is to realize there are benefits to be had that go beyond symptoms. It’s your body, you have to decide how you want it taken care of. I provide you with the information, you make the decision.
Do you take care of babies? Yes. They respond very well. We tailor our treatment procedures to match the patient. We wouldn’t do the same treatment to a 3 day old baby, or a 90 year old frail grandmother, that we would to a 200 pound, 25 year old bricklayer.
I’m afraid to have my neck worked on. Occasionally a potential patient will have reservations about having their neck worked on. If this is the case, there seems to be two common areas of concern. One of the areas of concern is the noise. Some people don’t like the sound. That is easily rectified by doing a treatment that produces no noise.
Another concern is the treatment is dangerous and will cause some sort of terrible injury. The worst scenario is a stroke. Research indicates there is 1 stroke per 71,500,000 adjustments. I would have to practice more than 5,000 years to do 71,500,000 neck adjustments! However, there has never been a documented stroke as a result of a Gonstead neck adjustment.
So, if you’re concerned. Feel free to come in to the office. We will talk about it and try to find a way to address your problem in a way you are comfortable with.