The Righting Reflex and the Craniocervical Response
The Righting Reflex Type 1 Pelvic Flaring and the Upper Cervical Adaptation
Jerry Hesch, MHS, PT
The righting reflex is a powerful reflex that responds to asymmetries in the body. The purpose is to symmetrically allign the eyes and the brain in all 3 planes of the body and to allow symmetrical circulation to the brain. A very common transverse plane rotational pattern in the pelvis is named type 1 right inflare/left outflare. This is distinctly different from the rare type 2 inflare/outflare described by the Osteopathic Muscle Energy paradigm. This pattern is common in our society perhaps due to the fact that; we live and function in a right-handed environment, thus both right-hand and left-hand dominant individuals; often present with this pattern. The type 1 flare pattern has a discernable movement dysfunction in the A-P/P-A directions using spring tests as utilized in the Hesch Method of treating SI joint dysfunction. The type 2 flare pattern is not evaluated in the same manner as it has a greater motion dysfunction in the medial-lateral/lateral-medial directions. The type 1 pattern remains after treatment for a right anterior ilum and left posterior ilium SI dysfunction. The evaluation and treatment of type 1 inflare/outflare will be demonstrated. Prior to doing so, the craniocervical counterrotation will be demonstrated. After resolving the pelvic flare pattern the craniocervical rotation will be reevaluated. Typically, the craniocervical response is to reflexively, immediately released while the "client" is still lying supine. This demonstrates the reflexogenic effect and the fact that this reflex is not an anti-gravity muscular response. This demonstration will highlight the value of screening the pelvis for type 1 flare patterns in the presence of a cranicervical counter-rotational pattern, and it reinforces the paradigm of treating the bottom first-top last. The craniocervical response is not just rotational, however; rotation is the greatest response. The other accessory motion responses will be elaborated upon, briefly addressing evaluation of each, and treatment as relevant; when not a reflexogenic response. Right anterior ilium/left poterior ilium with type 1 flare pattern Dysfunction are part of the Most Common Pattern of SI Joint Dysfunction (Hesch) and all 7 components will be described, with evaluation and treatment explained. Other transverse plane patterns in the lower body will be mentioned as relevant to a craniocervical counter-rotation.