The 5 Components of the Gonstead Chiropractic Technique

The 5 Components of the Gonstead Chiropractic Technique

Not every chiropractic method is the same. Not only are there significant differences in patient care and treatment but there are different techniques used to achieve the most desirable results. 

The Gonstead technique, which we use at the Greenville Spine Institute, was developed by Dr. Clarence Selmer Gonstead (1898-1978). It “utilizes several methods of examination to analyze multiple factors, which, as effectively as possible, uncovers the primary characteristics of intervertebral disc lesions, intervertebral and full spine and pelvis alignment, as well as neurological ramifications of vertebral subluxation and full body health.”

The Gonstead Chiropractic Technique is a unique and effective treatment that consists of five main aspects, each one geared towards specialized and individualized treatment of the patient to accomplish their own goals. This method is so effective because it analyzes the spine through these five ways, making it a comprehensive and thorough method to treat patients. 


Normally you don’t think of x-rays in a chiropractor’s office but this is a key tool in the Gonstead method. We are able to take pictures of the full spine to see each vertebrae and identify subluxations (a point where joints are not aligned correctly and cause inflammation). Additionally, we use motion x-rays to identify misalignments in the spine. X-rays are taken during the initial exam and throughout the treatment process to measure progress and catch any outlying issues.

Restoring alignment and motion to patients are of critical importance in the Gonstead method. 


Palpitation takes into account the tone, temperature, and texture of the spine through both motion and static examinations. Subluxations often cause swelling and a warmer temperature, which we can feel through the skin. Tightness also indicates a spot that needs to be adjusted. Many of our patients are surprised that we know exactly where they are in pain when we do an exam – this is the reason. 

Checking the spine through motion can also tell us exactly where subluxations are and where an adjustment is needed. 


We use a tool called a Nervoscope, which runs along the spine to detect small changes in temperatures. This helps to identify subluxations. It’s a key component of the Gonstead technique and essential in the care of patients. This is a painless instrument that feels like two fingers running along the sides of the spine.


The Gonstead method is not a one-size-fits-all technique, which is one of the reasons it is the gold standard in chiropractic techniques. Every patient is different and every body is different. By looking at the patient – their gait, their posture, how they move – we are able to assess where improvements can be made to restore each patient to their maximum potential. 

Greenville Spine takes into account the lifestyle of each patient, their specific goals, their specific challenges they are facing, and their specific body and how it works. 

Case Management

Case Management is just looking at the patient’s overall health and using that information to determine best treatment. Chiropractic care is looking at the entire puzzle, not just piece by piece. It is essential to take into account all aspects of a patient’s health to figure out what will work best for them and how to help them achieve their goals. 

In the Gonstead method, frequent check-ins with patients that include things like updating at-home exercises, adding new stretches, taking into account current workloads and life changes, and conducting x-rays are some of the most important ways that make the Gonstead method stand out amongst all the other chiropractic techniques. 

By treating each patient as a unique individual instead of using a blanket method for everyone, is a key reason why this method is so successful. To learn more about the Gonstead Chiropractic Method, you can check out the Gonstead website.

Taking the next step

Ready to take the next step in your health and see why the Gonstead method is successful? Give us a call at (864) 631-1420 and let’s get you started on accomplishing all your health goals.

Heat can cause your body to feel out of sorts

Heat can cause your body to feel out of sorts

It’s not in your head: Heat can cause your body to feel out of sorts.

If you can forecast the weather just depending upon how you feel, or remember stories of your parents or grandparents doing so, science backs you up. Joints react to barometric pressure so if you can feel a thunderstorm coming on, you’re probably right.

And if you have conditions like chronic joint pain, arthritis, chronic fatigue syndrome, or asthma and have noticed that you’re not feeling that great during hot weather spells, it’s not just your imagination. Heat can cause increased inflammation, which can lead to sometimes unbearable pain for people with these conditions. What can you do about it? If you’ve guessed chiropractic care, you are correct!

Why does heat cause inflammation?

Some studies suggest that hot weather can increase inflammation in the body and worsen ground level ozone levels – basically the equivalent of smog – which harms the body and can cause pain for those suffering from the above mentioned conditions. Especially for people with asthma, increased levels of ozone can make it harder to breathe. For those suffering from other conditions like joint pain and arthritis, higher levels of heat and ozone cause the body to try to protect itself, which leads to inflammation.

And joints do react to barometric pressure in the atmosphere, which may cause you to feel a little out of sorts or achy in your hips or knees. Joints have sensory nerves called baroreceptors which react to changes in atmospheric pressure. This can lead to inflammation as well.

Combating heat related pain

For those who have conditions that worsen during heat waves and higher ozone levels, staying indoors and keeping hydrated are of utmost importance.

If you can’t stay inside all the time, be sure to:

  • Wear loose clothing while outdoors
  • Try to incorporate a water activity like swimming to reduce inflammation and pain
  • Stay in shaded areas

How Chiropractic care helps

Good chiropractic care almost always involves the goal of reducing inflammation in the body and can be especially beneficial for people who experience many types of chronic pain.

Spinal adjustment(s) corrects misalignments of the spinal cord and can help your body manage pain better. Remember, the spine must be aligned correctly to properly send signals to the brain, which sends out other signals to the body to activate healing properties. If the spine isn’t aligned correctly, those signals don’t go where they need to go and pain and inflammation continues to plague the body.

Additionally, if joint pain wasn’t enough, old injuries can flare up in reaction to the weather. The good news is that these old injuries can also be treated with chiropractic care so healing can begin or continue in the body.

We’d love to help you live a pain-free life, even in the heat of summer when all you want to do is stand in front of your AC. We have ice roller tables – basically a massage table with ice for your body – we use after adjustments at Greenville Spine if that is any incentive to come and check us out.

If you’d like to see us for possible treatment, give us a call at 864.631.1420 or visit our website.


Can a chiropractor help with sciatica?

Can a chiropractor help with sciatica?

That’s the question thousands of people are asking on Google. And for good reason: sciatica, pain that radiates down the sciatic nerve through the lower back, glute muscles, and lower legs, can be quite painful and bothersome. It’s quite common as well: 40 percent of people will likely get it during their lifetime and the likelihood of suffering from it rises with age.

But can chiropractic care help ease that pain from the sciatic nerve? Yes it can.

Causes of Sciatica

The Mayo Clinic says that sciatica happens “when the sciatic nerve becomes pinched, usually by a herniated disk in your spine or by an overgrowth of bone (bone spur) on your vertebrae.”

As you age, herniated disks become more common, which can cause sciatica. Other factors that increase your risk of suffering from this type of pain are:

  • Obesity, which places stress on the spine,
  • A job that requires you to lift heavy loads and constantly twist your back.
  • A job that requires prolonged periods of sitting, and
  • Diabetes because blood sugar can increase risk of nerve damage.

Chiropractic Care for Sciatica

Chiropractic care is ideal for sciatica because this type of treatment directly addresses the points that often cause the pain down your lower back and legs. A good chiropractor will have been trained on musculoskeletal concerns and be able to identify the root cause of sciatica and put together a specific, non-invasive individual treatment plan to obtain relief for patients – all without the use of medication.

Through manual adjustments targeting the specific area of where the pain is radiating from, chiropractic treatment is an excellent way of minimizing sciatica pain and relieving pressure on the nerve. One study on manual adjustments on people with sciatica showed a significant improvement in the decrease in pain for the patient.

Along with adjustments, the patient will be given a series of stretches and exercises to do at home to strengthen areas of the spine and help achieve faster, and long-lasting, pain relief.

Holistically Moving Forward Without Lower Back Pain

Lower back and neck pain is one of the most costly types of healthcare in the United States, landing third on the list of the most expensive types of healthcare at $87.6 billion a year, as estimated by the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Through the use of non-invasive chiropractic care for sciatica, patients with lower back and leg pain can not only save money in the long-term but also learn how to better care for their bodies that may be prone to sciatica and experience excellent chiropractic treatments that benefits their entire body. Chiropractic care is a holistic endeavor simply because the body works together to achieve optimal performance. If something is out of alignment, it affects the entire body in some way, usually through pain. Through chiropractic care of sciatica using adjustments and exercises, the whole body benefits.

Ready to be free of the pain of sciatica

If you want to see what we can do for your sciatica, call us at 864.631.1420 to make an appointment for a consultation. Every patient is different and we recognize they all need different, individualized treatment plans. We can’t wait to meet you and help you achieve a pain-free life.


How Does Chiropractic Help with Child’s Anxiety?

How Does Chiropractic Help with Child’s Anxiety?

The benefits of consistently seeing a chiropractor go far beyond the physical aspects for both adults and children. Indeed, the mental health benefits of excellent chiropractic care extends to mental health as well. In this post, we’ll discuss the possible benefits of easing anxiety or aiding in other behavioral issues in children.

Physical and Mental Health Benefits are Intertwined

The way our bodies work on a physical level deeply impacts the way our bodies work on a mental level. When there are subluxations (a point where joints are not aligned correctly) in the spine, nerves cannot connect where they are supposed to and signals from the brain to different parts of the body are inhibited. Why does this matter for mental health? Because if the brain senses danger, it cannot properly emit the signals to help the body process that danger, which can lead to intense anxiety and possible behavioral issues.

By working to heal those subluxations through consistent adjustments, exercises, and sometimes natural vitamins and minerals, we are opening up the avenues of communication the body needs to work properly.

Restoring Balance in Kids

Kids are constantly in motion, which is a very good thing but it also allows for ample opportunity for subluxations to occur. This is normal yet most parents do not understand how this affects their child’s everyday life on a deeper level of mental health.

Coping mechanisms

Kids often do not have advanced coping mechanisms to handle the stresses they face. By making sure their smaller bodies are in alignment, it helps to restore order to their nervous systems, helping them to handle stress a bit better.

Behavioral issues

As us adults know, stress and tension can adversely affect how we behave. The same goes for children. Chiropractic adjustments tailored to the exact needs of your kids can help restore that balance they need to help relieve stress by removing subluxations blocking communication channels from the brain to the nerves. One study in 2019 of a patient with Asperger’s Syndrome found that after two months of consistent Gonstead chiropractic adjustments, his “musculoskeletal symptoms improved as did his behavioral challenges as measured by the Autism Treatment Evaluation Checklist for parents and quality of life as measured by the PROMIS-25 parent proxy measure.”1


Everyone wants to sleep better! In children, anxiety can take that away from them, which then can lead to behavioral issues because of overtiredness and lack of proper rest. Sleeping is one of the biggest complaints my patients have, both in children and in adults, and it is also one of the biggest success stories at our practice due to consistent chiropractic care focusing on proper adjustments, stretching, and correction of bad habits.

A study done on a two-year-old little girl who had sleep disordered breathing and medically diagnosed hypertrophy of her adenoids and tonsils. She was recommended for surgery but before that, began chiropractic care after a subluxation was found in the atlas and right ilium. Her treatment lasted for 12 weeks and she saw her chiropractor for 15 visits. Afterwards, in a follow-up visit with her pediatrician, “[T]here was no evidence of hypertrophy of adenoids/tonsils surgical intervention was not indicated.”2

Taking the next step

We are not claiming chiropractic care will magically take away your child’s anxiety but we have seen enough success stories to understand that, in many cases, this drug-free, natural approach is an excellent place to start. Give us a call at (864) 631-1420 and let’s see how we can help your child.

1 Journal of Pediatric, Maternal & Family Health, Chiropractic ~ April 8, 2019 ~ Pages 28-35
2 Journal of Pediatric, Maternal & Family Health, Chiropractic ~ August 14, 2019 ~ Pages 95-99

When You Should Take Your Child to a Chiropractor

When You Should Take Your Child to a Chiropractor

If you have been seeing a chiropractor and treatments have made an improvement in your own life, you may be wondering if there are benefits to bringing your child(ren) in for an exam or consultation. Maybe they have complained of a sore neck or back, or you’ve noticed them slouching under the weight of their backpack, or they are complaining of headaches, or maybe they have had a tough time coming back from a sports injury. If you have an infant or toddler, you may notice they are colicky, prone to ear infections, or have sleeping issues and wondering if perhaps seeing a chiropractor would help.

These are all valid questions and hopefully you’ll find some answers and guidance on when you should consider taking your child to a chiropractor – and when you may want to wait.

Children and chiropractic care

Some parents may not know that chiropractors regularly treat children. But indeed they do. The Journal of American Medical Association estimates that 11% of all chiropractic patients are children. They are specifically trained to recognize misalignments more common in children and work to gently fix what is needed.

Treating kids at any age

Parents really don’t need to wait for a certain age to see a chiropractor. At the Greenville Spine Institute, we see newborns all the way through teens, adults, and mature ages. Birth can often be traumatic for babies, putting pressure on the baby’s spine and neck, which can lead to breastfeeding problems, colic, sleeping issues, and inflammation. Gentle chiropractic adjustments can immensely help newborns in all of these areas.

For older kids, things like tripping over a tree root or falling off a swing or a sports injury can all lead to instances where seeing a chiropractor trained in recognizing and treating children would be a positive step for the child’s immediate and long term health. All treatments are gentle, non-invasive, and natural.

Childhood and chiropractic care go together

Most kids are naturally active and take tumbles as they are learning to crawl and then walk, play hard outside and with each other, fall off a bike while learning to ride, and all kinds of other movements that could easily throw off the alignment of their spine.

It’s not just the alignment of their spine that is thrown off when a child is injured or takes a fall. These misalignments can not only affect movement in the body but also can lead to ear infections, constipation, and headaches because the body isn’t working in an optimal way. Correcting misalignments goes such a long way in taking care of other issues in the body as well.

Symptoms in kids where chiropractic care would be helpful

There are some common signs and symptoms parents should look for in their children that tell them their kids may benefit from at least an initial exam from a chiropractor:

  • Irregular sleeping patterns
  • Complaints of neck or back pain
  • Noticeable limping
  • Constipation
  • Headaches
  • Constant crying in infants
  • Limited head or neck mobility
  • Chronic pain after an injury

When not to seek out a chiropractor

If you are on the fence about taking your child to see a chiropractor, that’s understandable. Insurance does not typically cover chiropractic visits and sometimes, results can take a significant amount of time and investment.

A valid reason you may not want to take your child to see a chiropractor is if there are no chiropractors in your area that specialize in children. We are trained to properly care for both children and adults at the Greenville Spine Institute and if there is not a chiropractor in your area that is trained to care for children, seek one out that is.

Making the appointment

If you’re considering chiropractic treatment for your child, we take the time to do a thorough exam, take x-rays, and do motion studies before doing any sort of adjustments. We understand how precious your children are and do everything in our power to make you and your child feel comfortable, listened to, and taken care of.

If you’d like to see us for possible treatment, give us a call at 864.631.1420 or visit our website.