Dr. Droessler will ask the appropriate questions specific to your condition. He will gather all the necessary information of not only your present complaints but also past health issues, accidents, surgeries, medications, dietary lifestyle and your previous treatment for the condition. This detailed assessment helps the doctor in determining the best place to start when treating your condition.
Dr. Droessler will use a highly sensitive heat detection instrument called a Nervoscope. It enables him to key in on those areas of increased temperature due to the hyperemia (increased blood flow) at the site of the subluxation.
This is a process in which each spinal joint is palpated (touched by the doctor’s fingers) for tenderness, tight muscles and edema (swelling) which are present with a subluxation.
This portion of the exam involves the doctor palpating each segment and through either active or passive participation on the patient’s part, the spinal vertebrae are put through all three axes (directions) of normal motion to determine if there is a deficiency in any or all of the movements. If there is, the joint is “fixated”.
You will be tested for balance, eye movement, smell, vision, hearing etc. and such routine things as your arm and leg reflexes. Since the chiropractor works with the nervous system via the spinal column, these baseline assessments should be made.
Full Spine Xrays
The spine is one neurological and musculoskeletal kinetic chain. That is, it all works together. Any one subluxation can produce your symptom or prevent your primary area of pain from responding or resolving no matter where it is located.
Typically, where you hurt a subluxation will be present. Strange as it may seem, conditions such as sciatica (pain down one’s leg that usually is caused from a lower back condition) may be caused by a subluxation in your neck and migraine headaches could be caused by a subluxation in your lower back!
The Gonstead chiropractor looks at the “whole picure” not just the part that hurts. Full spine films involve the standing, that is, weight bearing position because the body operates on two legs, stress to the spinal joints is best evaluated upright. Spinal curvatures (scoliosis) appear different standing than laying down. The pelvis also presents different weight bearing than laying down.
The films are taken with a total of three exposures. The frontal view is taken in one piece. This is the ONLY way to determine exactly how many vertebrae you have. Yes, people do not all have the same amount of spinal segments. The typical number are: cervical (neck) 7; thoracic (mid back with ribs) 12, some patients have 11 others 13; lumbar (low back) 5, some patients have 4 others 6. Since the Gonstead doctor wants to be as specific as possible in analysis and treatment, this information is vital in order to avoid adjusting the wrong segment when counting by palpation to the exact vertebral subluxation.
While this differential may not occur very often in the human population to matter to many practitioners, it would certainly matter to the patient who got the wrong segment adjusted due to a lack of complete information. Another reason for taking one frontal view is to assist in determining whether the upper neck is balanced over the center of the pelvis.
This information is necessary to evaluate the appropriateness of applying a lift in one’s shoe for spinal stability or part of the treatment for scoliosis. All required measures are taken to insure the exposures are taken with the least amount of radiation via the use of high speed screens, collimation, gonadal shielding and automatic chemical processing.