Hinge Zones

Osteopaths, chiropractors, and posturologists are equally aware of the significance of posture for the health of the organism. All three professions have different explanations for the causation of malpositions and similarly different approaches to treatment. They realize the significance of the spinal column, but find the main causes for imbalances in different regions of the body. Their treatment successes justify their methods.

Fig. 9.1a, b Weight shift from the head to the vertebral body and the zygapophyseal joints of the axis (in the sagittal plane).

We asked ourselves why the osteopath considers the pelvis (and the occipitoatlantoaxial |OAAl complex), the chiropractor the atlas, and the posturologist the feet, as so important. What do these three areas have in common that has such a significant impact on posture? Not completely unexpectedly, we found a potentially interesting answer in anatomy or rather the biomechanics of these areas of the body.

The OAA complex, the iliolumbosacral junction, and the back foot have two important things in common:

1. In all three areas, we find a bone whose movements depend on the pressure exerted upon it. Direct mobilization by muscles is secondary:

— The atlas acts like a meniscus between occiput and axis.

— Globally, it acts opposite to the occiput and C2.

— The sacrum makes movements that are opposite in relation to the spinal column and ilium. Pressure coming from the spinal column forces this action onto the sacrum.

— The talus has no muscle attachments. Its behavior is solely dependent on pressure. The orientation of the malleolus fork and the position of the calcaneus impose movement directions onto the talus.

— We can compare the behavior of these three bones with that of a ball in a ball-bearing.

— The ball permits harmonious movements and makes it possible to shift pressure to another direction.

2. In all three areas, we find a redistribution of pressure conditions:

— The weight of the body is distributed to the vertebral body and the zygapophyseal joints of C2 through the atlas (Mitchell: the facets of the cervical spinal column [CSC] have a weight-bearing function107) (Fig. 9.1).

— At the lumbosacral junction (LSJ), gravity is shifted into a different plane.

— From the sacral promontory, weight is transferred in the direction of the two hip joints (Fig. 9.2).

— The talus distributes the body weight during standing and walking to the calcaneal tuberosity and in the direction of the cuboid and navicula, that is, to the outer and inner edge of the foot (Fig. 9.3).

Fig. 9.1a, b Weight shift from the head to the vertebral body and the zygapophyseal joints of the axis (in the sagittal plane).

Fig. 9.2 Weight shift in the frontal plane from the spinal column into both hip joints.
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