Sunday, April 25, 2010

Try the simple approach first

Many times our patients will present to us a multitude of seemingly complex symptoms. Patients with neck pain, many times, will have pain in their arms or hands, headaches, sinus problems, dizziness, just to list a few.  Patients with mid back pain, many times, will have digestive problems, such as acid reflux, pain with deep breathing, etc.

The Gonstead system of chiropractic focuses on first trying to normalize the function of two adjacent vertebras through a specific adjustment based on the physical finding of localized pitting edema, decreased intersegmental ROM, heat changes in the involved dermatome, and point tenderness.  Then we correlate these findings to the weight bearing X-rays.  This gives us the specific line of drive, torque and depth needed for a successful correction.  We find, most of the time, many of these associated symptoms will resolve on their own with improved function in the spinal biomechanics.  If not, an appropriate referral is made.

How can this help you? There is a simple exam that can be used to screen our patients, helping us to see whether there may be a spinal intersegmental dysfunction [subluxation] related to their condition.  The exam is simple and easy to perform.  Have the patient sit on a stool, shirt off, and starting at the base of the spine firmly palpate each spinous process of the spine.  Working up the spine, notice localized swelling and increased tenderness.  If there is spinal involvement, there will be a distinct difference in one segment relative to the other.

This simple test will help us to develop a clear understanding of our patient’s problem and possibly find a simple approach to solving it.

If you have any questions I would be happy to help.

Be Well,
Scott Conklin DC