This procedure has two parts: first the deformity in scoliosis is corrected; then, if present, the deformity in kyphosis is reduced and full extension is restored. The patient, standing with the feet about thirty centimeters apart, is asked to clearly define the areas where pain is being felt at present. The therapist stands on the side to which the patient is deviating and places the patient’s near elbow at a right angle by his side. The elbow will be used to increase the lateral pressure against the patient’s rib cage.

The therapist’s arms encircle the patient’s trunk, clasping the hands about the rim of the pelvis. Now the therapist presses his shoulder against the patient’s elbow, pushing the patient’s rib cage, thoracic and upper lumbar spine away while at the same time drawing the patient’s pelvis towards himself. In this manner the deformity in scoliosis is reduced and, if possible slightly overcorrected.

READ:   The Derangements and Their Treatment

Initially, there will be significant resistance to the procedure, which may actually cause an increase in pain. It is quite safe to continue with correction as long as centralisation of pain takes place, and therefore the patient must be questioned continually about the behaviour of his pain. Relaxation of the patient during the procedure is very important and we should always try to get the patient to ‘let it all go’. The first pressure in the series should be a gentle gradual squeeze which is held momentarily and then released. After this an accurate assessment of the patient’s reactions must be made. Experience has taught me that too much pressure or too fast a correction in the initial stages may result in fainting and collapse of the patient. If well tolerated the pressure is applied a little further each time. As correction progresses over ten to fifteen rhythmically applied pressures, the patient usually describes that the pain moves from a unilateral to a central position, and by the time over correction is achieved there will be a significant reduction in intensity of the pain or the pain may have moved slightly to the opposite side. If after a few rhythmical pressures no progress is made in the correction, it may be necessary to apply a longer and more sustained pressure.


Sometimes reduction may be felt clearly by the therapist and the patient’s trunk is felt to move slowly but surely from its previously held position. In lightly-built or tall and slender patients shift correction may occur quite easily, and only a few minutes of ten to fifteen pressures are required to reduce the derangement. On the other hand, some acute lateral shifts are extremely difficult to reduce and one may have to perform five or six series of corrective pressures.

Assuming that correction of the deformity in scoliosis has been achieved, we must now proceed with restoring the lumbar lordosis. This is preferably commenced in the standing position. The patient no longer exhibits a lumbar scoliosis but may still have a kyphosis. The therapist, holding the patient as for correction of the scoliosis, must maintain slight over correction while moving the low back of the patient into the beginning of extension. A few movements will indicate the ease with which the lordosis will be restored. If the extension range improves rapidly it is usually belter to recover as much extension as possible in the standing position. If extension does not increase rapidly, then it is better to change to extension in lying. This procedure should produce a steady and continuing reduction of central pain, and it should automatically follow for all patients with a postero-lateral derangement once the scoliosis has been corrected and the symptoms have centralised.


Fig. Correction of lateral shift.


These will be discussed following the next procedure.

Spinal manipulation techniques There are many differing philosophies and concepts surrounding the practise of spinal manipulation and its effects on the pathologies which may exist in the spine. To satisfy all these philosophies an equal number of institutions has developed, teaching those wishing to learn. No matter what school presents its case or which philosophy is adhered to, all manipulative specialists claim to have a high success rate. They all use techniques which vary in nature, application and intent; they proclaim that their own methods are superior to those used by others; and yet, somehow they all obtain uniformly good results. Self-limitation of low back pain plays, of course, a significant role in this happy situation. Apart from this there are definite benefits which are obtained quickly by using manipulative techniques. Throughout the years I have practised many forms of mobilisation and manipulation, including osteopathic and chiropractic techniques and those taught by Cyriax. I have come to be...
Spine Health. PROCEDURE 17 – SELF-CORRECTION OF LATERAL SHIFT Having corrected the lateral shift and the blockage to extension, it is now essential to teach the patient to perform self-correction by side gliding in standing followed by extension in standing. This must be done on the very first day, so that the patient is equipped with a means of reducing the derangement himself at first sign of regression. Failure to teach self-correction will lead to recurrence within hours, ruining the initial reduction, and the patient will return the next day with the same deformity as on his first visit. I have discarded the technique of self-correction as described previously and instead I now teach patients to respond to pressures applied laterally against shoulder and pelvis. Initially, therapist’ assistance is required. Patient and therapist stand facing each other. The therapist places one hand on the patient’s shoulder on the side to which he deviates, and the other hand on the patient’s opposite iliac crest. The therapist applies pressure by squeez...
Back Pain. Diagnosis THE THERAPIST’S RESPONSIBILITY The therapist is part of the team involved in the treatment and rehabilitation of patients suffering low back pain. In some countries manipulative therapists are primary contact practitioners. Consequently, their diagnostic skills have greatly improved, enabling them to define which mechanical conditions can be helped by mechanical therapy and to separate these conditions from the nonmechanical lesions which have no place in the therapy clinic. However, differential diagnosis is really not within the scope of manipulative therapy. It is my view that differential diagnosing by medical practitioners is necessary to exclude serious and unsuitable pathologies from being referred for mechanical therapy. In making diagnoses the manipulative therapist should confine himself to musculo-skeletal mechanical lesions. Specialised in this field, he is usually able to make far more accurate diagnoses than most medical practitioners. As the manipulative therapy prof...
Spine Health. PROCEDURE 11 — SUSTAINED ROTATION/MOBILISATION IN FLEXION The patient lies supine on the couch, and the therapist stands on the side to which the legs are to be drawn, facing the head end of the couch. The patient’s far shoulder is held firmly on the couch by the therapist’s near hand, providing fixation and stabilisation. With the other hand the therapist flexes the patient’s hips and knees to a rightangle and carries them towards himself, causing the lumbar spine to rotate. With the patient’s ankles resting on the therapist’s thigh the knees are allowed to sink as far as possible and the legs are permitted to rest in that extreme position. The lumbar spine is now hanging on its ligaments in a position which combines side bending and rotation. By pushing the knees further towards the floor the therapist applies overpressure to take up the remaining slack in the lumbar spine. Depending on the purpose for which the procedure is used, the position of extreme rotation is maintained for a shorter or longer period. Fig. Sustained rotation/mob...
ASSESSMENT OF PAIN Pain gives the body warning and often is accompanied by anxiety and the need to relieve the pain. Pain is both sensation and emotion. As noted earlier, it can be acute or chronic. Health-care professionals may find the following mnemonic tool useful for assessing a client in pain: P = place (client points with one finger to the location of the pain) A = amount (client rates pain on a scale from 0 to 10 ) I = interactions (client describes what worsens the pain) N = neutralizers (client describes what lessens the pain) The scale of 0 to 10, as described in the mnemonic, is a useful method of assessing pain. Further pain assessment skills include observing the client’s appearance and activity. Monitoring the client’s vital signs may be of value in assessing acute pain but not necessarily chronic pain. To assess the pain of children or those with some cognitive dysfunction or dementia, a “smiley face” model often proves beneficial. The first smiley face shows a happy face...