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What to Expect as a Patient

The Gonstead approach consists of full spine chiropractic care. Dr. Tim does not just examine the area that hurts you, but instead the entire spine. He recognizes that a problem in one area of the spine can cause symptoms elsewhere in your body. Dr. Tim is concerned with locating problem areas in the spine (and other joints) that chiropractors term “subluxation”. Chiropractors identify subluxations where there is impaired spinal or joint function with inflammation, lack of mobility and interference with normal nerve function. Dr. Tim's goal is to correct the subluxation, so that your body can function normally and properly heal itself. The Gonstead steps used to correct your problem are listed below.

The First Appointment:

During the first visit, you will have a consultation with Dr. Tim, where you both will review your paperwork. You and Dr. Tim will discuss your chief complaint and overall health. A specific chiropractic examination will be performed along with a set of full spine X-rays (if necessary). The findings of the examination and X-rays will be given to you. If Dr. Tim feels that your condition will respond to treatment, you will receive your first adjustment.

New patient total time takes between 45-60 minutes.

Please Note:

If the doctor deems it necessary to take X-rays, NO METALS of any kind can be on during the procedure. This includes: piercings, jewelry, metal lined bras, zippers and buttons on clothing. A full length gown will be provided for the patient. If the patient chooses to arrive with clothing not made with metal material, that will be acceptable to wear during procedure.

"Many of us take better care of our automobiles than we do our own bodies...yet the auto has replaceable parts."

Dr. B.J Palmer Developer of Chiropractic 

Patient History


Your chiropractor will take a thorough history on any problem or symptom you are experiencing I.E. spinal pain, sleeping problems, headaches, digestive disorders, sciatica and much more. Symptoms can help separate the two parts of the Autonomic Nervous System and aid the chiropractor in applying a specific adjustment to the area in your spine causing malfunction. Your past history of falls, sports injuries, emotional stress, diet, accidents and work habits allows the chiropractor to better analyze your overall health.




Much information is obtained by the chiropractor observing your posture and gait. High Shoulders, head tilt, unlevel hips and many more visualization clues allow the chiropractor to determine problems with your spines biomechanics. 


X-ray Analysis 


The chiropractor will take a state of the art X-ray of your entire spine if clinically indicated. Full spine X-ray films use less radiation than sectionals. The X-ray image checks for any signs of pathology (disease), abnormalities, fractures, degeneration and other spinal conditions within your spine. It also allows the chiropractor to determine misalignment in your spine that can potentially cause nerve pressure and subluxations.




The Nervoscope instrument measures the temperature difference between both sides of your entire spine. When a subluxation occurs, the misalignment of the vertebrae, along with pressure on the nerves cause inflammation to occur at that specific segment. This inflammation causes heat on the skin which can help the chiropractor locate your problem.


Static and Motion Palpation 


Static palpation involves palpating the tissue around your spine for inflammation, swelling, muscle tightness, and patient tenderness. Motion palpation involves feeling for decreased motion between two segments. Both palpations will be combined by the chiropractor to help locate the specific vertebra causing your subluxation.




The chiropractor then will combine all the above factors to determine if there is indeed a subluxation within your spine that needs to be adjusted. If so, the precise location will be determined and a gentle and specific adjustment will be made.


Stages of Care

Acute/Initial Care: The initial phase of care is to decrease your symptoms. Depending on the severity of the underlying cause of your symptomatology, it is common for a patient to be checked 2-3 times per week for 1-3 weeks. 


Corrective/Restoration Care: During the corrective phase of chiropractic care, spinal muscles and tissue are allowed to heal more completely, which helps prevent reinjury. The goal of corrective care is to bring your body back to 100% function. It is common to be seen 1-2 times per month for 3-6 months. 


Wellness/Maintenance Care: Once the body has fully healed and the spinal biomechanics are restored to normal or as good as it can be, the remainder of care depends on the patient’s lifestyle. Eating a healthy diet and exercising regularly, will allow the adjustments to hold longer. Even with a proper diet and regular exercise, a “checkup” is advised every month or few months. 


Adjusting Tables
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Cervical Chair


No matter where your problem is located, each visit begins in the cervical chair. This piece of the Gonstead adjusting set is used to examine the entire spine and locate the potential problem that is hindering your health. The cervical chair is used to correct cervical and thoracic subluxations within the spine, as well as TMJ, shoulder, clavicle and other extremity misalignments.


Pelvic Bench 


This is the most familiar table to chiropractic patients. On this table, the lumbar and pelvic spine are adjusted gently and precisely. This table is also utilized to examine kids and newborns to see IF they need to be adjusted.


Knee Chest Table

The redesigned knee chest along with the cervical chair are just a few of the many contributions that Dr. Gonstead gifted the chiropractic profession. Everything from the head to the pelvis can be treated on this table. Of all the tables within the Gonstead system, this is the one we can’t live without. Due to patient position, gravity assists the movement of the vertebra in a specific and gentle direction without any twisting. Because there is no counter force on the abdomen, this table is ideal for mothers-to-be late into pregnancy.




Even with mechanical problems of the extremities (e.g. jaw, wrist, elbow, shoulder, rib, knee, ankle, etc.), specific adjustments can help restore proper biomechanics. 

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