The Gonstead Methodology


Below is a link to the Gonstead Clinical Studies Society, which chronicles the life of Dr. Gonstead as well as the story of how his methodology came to be known as the gold standard of chiropractic care.


The Gonstead Methodology is perhaps the most difficult technique for a doctor of chiropractic to master.  The degree of diligence and precision that is required during the examination process, x-ray analysis, and actual spinal work is simply unparalleled.

The doctor will use five distinct measures of spinal and neurological health in order to pinpoint the exact area(s) of the body that will require the most immediate attention and allow for the quickest healing times.  The following aspects of health are thoroughly assessed and considered when formulating a plan of action for each patient:

1. Observation
Your doctor is highly trained in skills such as postural evaluation and gait analysis, and will immediately be employing the invaluable observation piece of the exam.  Although simple in nature, a highly experienced practitioner can many times look at the patient and already have a sound theory as to what areas of the body are going to be top priorities.  Any and all maladaptations will be noted prior to moving on to instrumentation.

2. Instrumentation
The Gonstead technique is famous for its use of the nervoscope, a device that has been used in chiropractic for over 100 years.  The nervoscope scan is completely painless and has one sole purpose: to detect any abnormal heat readings on either side of your spine.  This is accomplished by measuring and comparing the temperature of the nerves on the left side of your spine versus those on the right.  All imbalances indicate inflammation and are marked on the spine to denote areas of top priority during palpation and x-ray analysis.

3. Static Palpation
The word static means to be still and the word palpation means to actually touch the spine and simply feel for any apparent issues.  It is amazing how many patients have spinal problems, yet have never had their entire spine carefully palpated and assessed.  Dr. Buttry will evaluate your spine while you are seated and will pay close attention to any areas of swelling, tenderness, muscle tension, and changes in skin texture.

4. Motion Studies
Following static palpation, the doctor will initiate movement to each region of your spine, comparing and contrasting the movement of all 24 vertebrae, as well as each bone in the pelvis.

5. X-ray Analysis
The Gonstead Methodology uses state-of-the-art direct digital radiography to assess the exact position of each bone in the pelvis, spine, and skull.  It is not our intention to find a “stuck spot” and push on it, our intention is to ascertain which vertebrae in the spine exhibit the signals that fulfill each of the five criteria used in the Gonstead examination.  We can thereby correct each misalignment carefully and in a specific order so that optimal health results.  Dr. Buttry will perform a thorough analysis of your full spine x-ray and will personally explain it to you at your second visit.

All methods have been thoroughly researched by the Gonstead Clinical Studies Society, which ensures that all practices are scientifically backed and validated.

Our ultimate goal is to get you feeling and functioning perfectly, as fast as possible, and then ensure that your results last for as long as possible.  This degree of efficiency and longevity is best accomplished first by listening carefully to the patient’s health history, and then combining all examination findings in order to tailor a solution that results in the most effective outcomes for each individual’s unique situation.