Three Categories of Sacral Occipital Lesions (courtesy of: Howat J. Chiropractic: The Anatomy and Physiology of Sacro Occipital Technique).
It is theorized that if there is a structural block preventing the normal extension/flexion between the occiput and sacrum, the following subluxations (postural distortions) can result:
Category I Subluxation (typically seen in pediatric patients): a misalignment of the innominates on the sacrum in which one innominate is more anteriorly rotated relative to the ipsilateral innominate (referred to as the sacral boot mechanism):
Muscles that typically are in spasm:
Torsion in the sural membrane tilts the pelvis
The interactions between the two postural distortional patterns result in a skewed postural shift
Mixed postural distortional pattern:
Pattern II (functionally short left leg):
This pattern can reach the level of the foot resulting in foot twist (supinated left foot - pronated right foot)
Pattern I (functionally short right leg):
This pattern can reach the level of the foot resulting in foot twist (supinated right foot - pronated left foot)
Common symptoms associated with a Category II Subluxation:
TMJ symptoms - TMJ reciprocates with the SI Joint. The TMJ will change its position to compensate for a Category II Subluxation. This can result in changes in the occlusion (bite), balance, hearing and neck position.
Trauma to the occiput (back of the head) can result in a locked saccral nutation (sway back). If severe enough, will compress the sciatic nerve.
Common symptoms associated with a Category I pelvic rotation:
Category III Subluxation: the sacral iliac ligaments are torn, allowing a greater separation within the weight bearing SI Joint. This results in degenerative changes within the spinal intervertebral discs.
Common symptoms associated with a Category III Subluxation:
Typical body lean patterns seen with a Category I-III Subluxations:
Cranial Sacral Theory
Category II Subluxation: Sacral iliac ligaments stretch allowing the sacral iliac joint to separate. This hypermobility of the sacral iliac articulation results in postural distortions: the sacrum slips (tilts) to one side resulting in a functional leg length discrepancy; the spine unbalances and the head tilts to one side.
Classical postural distortional patterns associated with a Category II subluxation: