Understanding “Subluxation”. A Key Concept in Gonstead Chiropractic Care


Subluxation is a term that holds significant importance in the field of chiropractic care, especially within the Gonstead method. If you’ve been exploring chiropractic treatments or have been advised to see a chiropractor, understanding what subluxation is and how it impacts your health is crucial. This article delves into the concept of subluxation, its effects, and how Gonstead chiropractic care can help manage and treat it effectively.

A Subluxation just means that a bone within the spinal column or the extremities (hands and legs) are misaligned slightly. This is also known as a “partial dislocation” of the spinal segments along the spinal column. This misalignment in the spinal segment can cause a cascade of biochemical reactions which ultimately leads to inflammation and swelling in the intervertebral joint space. This would then result in pressure on the nerve root that exits the spinal column. This pressure on the nerve may cause dysfunction to the nerve, not allowing the nerve to properly express itself in its full function. This may then lead to pain, numbness, change in sensation, tightening or spasming of muscles and organ disorder. To summarize, Any disruption in its alignment can affect the nerves that branch out to different parts of the body.

The Gonstead Method and It’s Approach to Subluxation

The Gonstead System is a system of Chiropractic care that focuses on the detection and correction of these so called “Subluxations”. This meticulous system was founded by Dr Clarence S. Gonstead from Wisconsin, USA.

The Gonstead System utilizes a detailed 5-step approach to analyze and detect the subluxation in the vertebral column. This involves using the Nervoscope, Full Spine x-rays of the spinal column and also palpation (using the hands to detect fixation and presence of swelling).

The Gonstead adjustment is specifically tailored to correct the particular subluxation that is found on the patient. As such, there is no cook-book or ‘one size fits all’ treatment plan as each individual’s problem is unique to its own. Thus, this specific correction of subluxation is efficient and highly effective in restoring function to the joint.

Symptoms and Health Issues Related to Subluxation

Subluxations can cause a wide array of health problems. This is due to the fact that the nervous system controls and coordinates all bodily activities. An interference in the nervous system can result in the following disorders

  • Lower back pain and neck pain
  • Numbness and loss of sensation
  • Spasms and tightness in certain muscle groups
  • Weakness in certain muscle groups.

Thus correcting such subluxations would relieve the pressure on the nerves, causing the nerve to regain proper function and able to resume its function at full capacity.


Subluxation is a critical concept in chiropractic care that underscores the importance of spinal health in overall well-being. The Gonstead system offers a precise and effective approach to diagnosing and correcting subluxations, providing numerous health benefits. If you’re experiencing symptoms that may be related to spinal misalignment, consider consulting a Gonstead chiropractor to explore how this specialized care can help you achieve optimal health.