Should my Chiropractor ask me to take my shirt off?

Should my Chiropractor ask me to take my shirt off when being seen for an exam or before being treated?  The simple answer to that question is yes.

A real chiropractor treats a condition known as vertebral subluxation.  A vertebral subluxation occurs when a vertebra has lost its normal position with the neighboring vertebra. Left untreated it will result in a vertebral subluxation complex.  There are 5 factors that determine if you have a vertebral subluxation complex going on.  Three of those five factors should be assessed by visually inspecting the back.

When the shirt is off and the spine/back is exposed, a properly trained chiropractor can see indications of a misaligned vertebra in the spine.   These indicators may include abnormal skin creases, elevations, and curves.  The loss of proper motion or ranges of motion of the vertebrae can be viewed with the shirt off.

Myopathological changes can only be fully assessed by viewing the exposed skin of the spine/back.  Taunt and tender muscles and muscle spasms or cramps will be visible when confirming the presence of a subluxation.  The visual aspect will also help the chiropractor in determining which vertebra is the one that is causing the problem.

Histopathological changes to the spine are changes associated with damage to the soft tissue around the spinal joint.  When the soft tissue is injured, the damaged tissue will weep a lytic enzyme which can be viewable as swelling and edema.  This inspection of the soft tissue can only be done when the patient is exposing the skin.

A Gonstead doctor will use an instrument on you called a Nervoscope the is designed to show areas of inflammation by the use of thermocouples.  The inflammation is produced by the histopathological and myopathology changes to the joint.   These areas of inflammation will usually coincide with subluxations of X-rays of your spine.

A lot of important information can be found when visualizing the exposed tissue of the spine and much can be missed when not viewing the spine.  A true Gonstead Chiropractor is trained to look for clues during the assessment to determine the cause of your problem and for the solution to your problem.  Women patients should be asked to wear gowns and men to remove their shirt or they can wear a gown if they choose too.  This will allow the doctor to perform a better assessment of your spine and provide a better treatment of your condition.

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