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Why Is the Gonstead System Known as the Gold Standard?

Why Is the Gonstead System Known as the Gold Standard?

Research and technology in chiropractic treatment continue to evolve, leading to varied modalities as the constant search for improvement continues. 

As any technology advances, there are still foundations upon which new practices grow. Though the first chiropractic adjustment dates back to 1895, the Level Disc Theory didn’t emerge until about three decades later. 

The Level Disc Theory served as the basis behind the biomechanical principles of the Gonstead technique, recognized as the gold standard of chiropractic adjustment systems. Our team at Herald Square Chiropractic and Sport uses the Gonstead system as the foundation of patient care. 

The reason? The Gonstead system works. It’s the most complete biomechanical analysis discipline available to chiropractors today. 

Detailed assessment

The Gonstead system starts with a five-point assessment of the spine that’s more detailed than any other technique. These five principles provide the best overview of spinal subluxations — misalignment issues that keep your body from operating as efficiently as it can. Gonstead provides the most complete information for making the most accurate diagnosis using these five components. 


Fully assessing the condition of your spine often requires two levels of visualization. X-rays provide deep-level visualization, revealing misalignments, postural abnormalities, disc integrity issues, or vertebral fractures. Typically, full-spine X-rays, taken when you’re standing in a weight-bearing posture, provide the most detailed spine profile. 


Your chiropractor’s observations provide more data about the condition of your body’s alignment. Unlike X-rays, practitioner visualization assesses movement. Tension and pain often show in the way you carry yourself, in posture, and in facial expressions — information that isn’t captured on film. 


Dr. Clarence Gonstead developed the Nervoscope, a temperature-reading device that compares each side of your spine. Variations in bilateral readings help to pinpoint subluxations through uneven heat distribution. These result from inflammation and nerve irritation. The Nervoscope is a simple device with two temperature probes around a central body. The device reveals heat imbalance in a comfortable and non-invasive way. 

Static palpation

Gonstead chiropractors expand on the Nervoscope’s findings by palpating along the length of your spine. They can pinpoint problem areas, such as swelling, fluid retention, tenderness, myofascial trigger points, and any other areas of tension or tightness. 

Motion palpation

Expanding on static assessment, moving your spine through various rotations and angles reveals much about how the joints of the spine interact. Restricted flexibility provides valuable clues about the nature of your subluxations. 

The five principles of the Gonstead system provide treatment that is completely focused on you. Get started with a personal assessment with our Gonstead specialists at Herald Square Chiropractic and Sport. Contact our office by phone or online to set up your appointment today.  

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