Dynamic Chiropractic – May 6, 2012, Vol. 30, Issue 10

Lower Extremity Motor Function and Cervical Dysfunction

By Joseph D. Kurnik, DC

Sacroiliac function can be monitored and assessed in a variety of ways. One method is with the patient standing and performing hip flexion while the practitioner monitors posterior inferior ilium motion.

Lack of posterior inferior ilium motion (with the PSIS as the reference point) constitutes a "blockage" of motion or "hypomobile" status.

Briefly, I have indicated previously that right-sided sacroiliac blockage corresponds heavily to thoracic hypomobile spinal dysfunction, and that left-sided sacroiliac posterior-inferior blockage corresponds to upper or lower cervical hypomobile dysfunction. Lack of posterior inferior ilium motion may result also from compressive trauma, lumbar hyperlordosis, disc disease, facet syndrome and stress.

It has been observed that when appropriate adjusting of the thoracic, lumbar and sacroiliac joints has not caused release of the left sacroiliac joint during standing left hip flexion, adjusting of the atlas often resulted in release of the left sacroiliac blockade when monitored during left hip flexion.

The method of adjusting referenced here involved use of a multi-thrust instrument. The main line of drive to the atlas was lateral to medial and slightly posterior to anterior. The adjusting was to the left side in all cases due to the natural tendency of left lateral flexion dysfunction. (This has been discussed in previous articles, especially under the topic of "seeking phenomenon.") [As an example, see Dr. Kurnik's Sept. 6, 1999 article in DC, "The Seeking Phenomenon and Headache," available online, as are all his other previously published articles, several of which make reference to the phenomenon.]

The patient assumes a side posture position with the left side up, so that instrumentation can effectively correct left lateral flexion blockage primarily. In such cases of left sacroiliac blockage with hip flexion, a strength loss to lower extremity muscles is frequently observed. Common easily tested muscles are hamstrings, ankle extensors and evertors, and hip flexors.

In my experience, the results of atlas adjusting under the circumstances described usually, if not always, resulted in an increase in strength to one or all of the muscle groups mentioned. It is also noted that the atlas on the right side also was instrument adjusted for anterior to posterior restriction with the patient in the supine position.

By the way, such adjusting procedures in the presence of the dysfunctions described also have been observed to reduce low back, sacroiliac and hip joint complaints.

Dr. Joseph Kurnik practices in Torrance, Calif. He is a former columnist and longtime contributor to DC; previous articles are available online at www.dynamicchiropractic.com.


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