Your First Visit
We know that it can be overwhelming or intimidating to go to any new doctor’s office for the first time. From the first moment you enter our Plymouth chiropractic office we have tried to create a fun and loving atmosphere. Many of our first time patients have commented how at ease they felt from not only the environment we have created but also how their questions and concerns about Chiropractic were addressed. It is an opportunity for you to meet with us, find out what we do to help people, and to get a feel if our MN office is a good fit for you. It is a time for us to find out exactly what your health concerns are and determine what we can do to help you.
So how do we determine if we can help you? In addition to discussing your specific health concerns, we use state-of-the-art technology to detect and pinpoint abnormal function in the spine, which causes nerve system disturbance. The standard tests include SEMG – which measures the amount of electrical current in the muscles, and thermography – skin temperature along the spine. These tests are described in more detail below.
Surface Electromyograpy (SEMG Scan)
Your muscles are controlled by nerves. The SEMG measures how well the motor nerves are working by reading the amount of current found in the muscles. Subluxations (misalignments) disturb the function of the nerve causing an abnormal amount of electrical current flowing to your muscles (indicated by colors and/or abnormal patterns).
Muscle Balance (Symmetry)
In addition to measuring how well the motor nerves are working, the SEMG also determines muscle balance, which is extremely important because the vertebrae in the spine depend on the muscles to move properly. If one or more vertebrae are out of their normal position, it disturbs nerve function. This disturbance creates muscle imbalance caused by an abnormal amount of electrical current in the muscles on either side of the spine. As a result of this disturbance, the muscles can become weaker or stronger, tighter, or fatigued. The abnormal muscle pattern on the scan reveals an increased amount of tension/pull on one side compared to the other (similar to a tug-of-war).
Thermal Scan (Measures Temperature Differences)
If your body temperature is 98.6 degrees, then the left and right sides of your spine should also be at the same temperature. Your skin is the largest organ of the body and the blood vessels under the skin work as the body’s thermostat. (They expand and release heat and contract to retain heat controlling the body’s temperature.) When the communication between the Nervous System and the blood vessels is disturbed, it causes the body’s thermostat to malfunction producing an imbalanced temperature reading along the spine. These blood vessels are controlled by the same part of the Central Nervous System that runs your organs and glands, known as the autonomic system. This thermal scan provides us with information to monitor the autonomic system for proper function.
And The Results Are…
If the SEMG and thermal scan detect areas of nerve disturbance, our next step will be to take x-rays, which provide us with information to determine the condition of your spine and how to specifically correct it. Exceptions to x-ray include our pregnant patients and young children. We only take full spine x-rays in our office which are unique in that they allow us to see the entire spine on one film. This not only allows us to see the position of each individual spinal bone, but also gives us an overall view of your spine that helps us to achieve optimal correction.
Following Your First Visit
Your first visit to our office is all about gathering information. Following your first visit we analyze your x-rays, compare them with your SEMG and thermal scans, review your history, and put all this information together to determine the appropriate chiropractic care for you. We will go over this information in detail on your next visit.
The Gonstead System
The Gonstead System is unique because it is thorough, complete and specific in both analyzing and adjusting the spine. The Gonstead practitioner addresses your entire spine when evaluating for the presence of vertebral subluxations (spinal misalignments producing nerve interference or irritation) which produces ill health.
The Gonstead Analysis
The Gonstead Chiropractor conducts a thorough analysis of your spine using five criteria to detect the presence of the vertebral subluxation complex.
X-ray films enable your doctor to visualize the entire structure of your spine. This is helpful in evaluating for any disease process, fracture, posture, joint and disc integrity and vertebral misalignments.
The instrumentation of choice in the Gonstead System is the Nervoscope. The Nervoscope detects uneven distributions of heat along the spine which can be indicative of inflammation and nerve pressure. This instrument is guided down the length of your back and feels like two fingers gliding down each side of your spine.
This is simply the process of feeling (or palpating) your spine in a stationary (or static) position. Your chiropractor will feel for the presence of swelling (or edema), tenderness and any abnormal texture or tightness in the muscles and other tissues of your back.
This process involves feeling the spine while moving and bending it at various angles. This enables the chiropractor to determine how easily or difficult each segment in your spine moves in different directions.
Visualization is a way to cross reference all the other findings. Your chiropractor is an expert in looking for subtle changes in your posture and movement which could indicate any problems.
The Gonstead Adjustment
After a complete analysis, the Gonstead practitioner is ready to deliver any necessary spinal adjustments. The focus of the Gonstead adjustment is to be as specific, precise and accurate as possible, addressing only the problem areas (areas of subluxation). Great care is taken to ensure a mechanically correct position and precise thrust to provide the most accurate and painless adjustment possible. It is the goal of your Gonstead doctor to restore and maintain optimal health by locating and correcting any interference to the nervous system caused by vertebral subluxation.
The Gonstead History
Dr. Clarence S. Gonstead practiced chiropractic from 1923 until 1978. He decided to become a chiropractor after chiropractic adjustments allowed his body to heal from a painful, crippling episode of rheumatoid arthritis. Using his background in mechanical engineering and extensive hours spent studying cadaver spines, he developed a unique approach to applying chiropractic care. His application brought him both national and international acclaim, and he was known as the “chiropractor’s chiropractor.” His practice located in Mount Horeb, Wisconsin (population 4000) drew patients from all over the world, and is still the largest to have existed to date. Dr. Gonstead’s brilliant mind and lifelong experience of treating over one million patients enabled him to develop and refine his technique which is now taught and practiced by doctors all over the world.