Chiropractic’s ‘Level Foundation’ Principle

Chiropractic’s Gonstead System

Dr Clarence S Gonstead spent several years developing his approach, the Gonstead System. He guided system development with outcomes and repetition.

The ‘level foundation’ approach, which is replicated in the engineering business, was a significant principle he proposed and refined. It is based on the pelvis (Ilium and sacrum) forming a ring structure that supports the spinal column. This ‘foundation,’ if not level or inclined away from a ‘normal’ posture, causes the spinal column to compensate. This is to try to return the eyes to a horizontal plane, which is a natural adjustment for ambulation and erect posture.

The pelvic region

The left and right Ilium make up the pelvic girdle. A flexible joint called a diastasis joint connects them at the front (pubic symphysis). The sacrum, an inverted triangle bone, separates the back of both Ilium and is attached to each Ilium by a diarthrosis joint known as the Sacroiliac joint, or SI for short.

The SI joint is essentially an L-shaped joint with the bottom part allowing largely pivoting movement and the top part allowing some gliding and having a ridged surface. Ligaments hold the entire joint together. It creates a low friction environment that can bear a high load. While the mobility of this joint was documented as early as the mid-nineteenth century, it was not widely accepted until the early twentieth century.

Because the SI joint is mobile and has a ridged surface held together by strong ligaments, any change in its location can obstruct movement. Because it is a ring structure, any limitation in normal position affects the entire pelvic girdle.

The concept of the level foundation implies that any limitation or modification in the normal position or motion of the pelvis will necessitate compensation. This might be seen in the opposite SI joint, the pubic symphysis, or the spinal column supported by the pelvis.

With a short leg, the pelvis will lean to the short leg side, with compensation in the pelvis or in the vertebral column. The low side SI joint, on the other hand, will be loaded differently than the high side.

The impact on the SI joint motion is debatable. Some practitioners argue that the pelvis cannot be constricted. As a result, perspectives differ and practitioners employ a variety of ways to assist patients.

Chiropractors have historically used’spinographs’ (whole spine standing X-rays) to confirm any structural alterations. When there is a pelvic deformity, spinographs indicate similar compensations elsewhere in the spine.

It should be noted that ordinary X-rays cannot assess the motion of the SI joints. Chiropractors examine the relative motion of each SI joint to determine any positioning irregularity associated with the motion change. Chiropractors modify restricted SI joints to restore normal placement and motion.

This is a very useful non-invasive strategy for treating people with Sacroiliac dysfunction and other related problems. The Gonstead System of chiropractic employs this methodical evaluation of the spine’s basis.

Visit to learn more about Gonstead Chiropractic care.