There are no magic pills. There is never just one cause to an ailment. This is why there is no single technique that can claim to fix everything. Posturology, in that regard, works… and it doesn’t. Here is why.
What Posturology accomplishes is quite extraordinary. Since it is a bridge between the latest advances in neuroscience and physical therapy, Posturology is highly indicated for orthopedic issues and motor performance. Considering that Posturology is the brainchild of an orthopedist, this makes sense.
Posturology is responsible for 3 major outcomes over a 12 month period:
– Realignment of all joints in the 3 planes, from head to toe.
– Increase in overall stability: complete correction of the Romberg and Fukuda test.
– Symmetry in the range of motion of all joints as well as strong muscle tests for the muscles of the entire body.
One could say that these are impressive results since they are, in most cases, after a 12- month period, permanent. The reason for this is simple and it is, essentially, why Posturology works.
Posturology target the upper motor neurons. Upper motor neurons are rarely spoken of in the context of physical therapy, and that is a shame. These highly specialized neurons originate in the motor region of the cerebral cortex or the brain stem. They carry motor information to the lower motor neurons.
In medicine or physical therapy, we are concerned with upper motor neurons that present with a lesion. What is rarely addressed is a functional disorder of these upper motor neurons. More so, what is overlooked is the quality and quantity of the sensory information utilized by these upper motor neurons to properly affect the lower motor neurons and, therefore, impact motor behavior.
That’s exactly where Posturology comes into play. Posturology’s interest lays in identifying the relative weakness of the key sensory receptors that contribute to the data utilized by these upper motor neurons to influence motor control. Modern advances in the last 40 years in neuroscience have show how the feet and eyes are the two pivot points mostly utilized to allow us to stand upright and move. It is mostly in the context of extrapyramidal pathways that the upper motor pathways contribute to the modulation of the lower motor neurons. Here is one examples of how this takes place:
The reticulospinal pathway arises from the reticular formation. The reticular formation is a network of circuits in the brainstem. These clusters of neurons run the entire length of the brainstem. One if it’s functions is somatic motor control.
Some motor neurons send their axons to the reticular formation nuclei (giving rise to the reticulospinal pathway). This pathway is specifically responsible for maintaining tone, balance and posture, specifically during body movements.
The reticular formation also relays eye and ear signals to the cerebellum so that the cerebellum can integrate visual, auditory, and vestibular stimuli in motor coordination.
So what happens if the sensory system is functionally deficient? For example, if the eyes scan the horizon like this…
The utricle of the inner ear picks up on the head tilt caused by the lack of ocular convergence and the eye muscles adjust. As they do, they affect the tone of the muscles of the neck and jaw via the oculo cephalo gyric pathway and its relation with the nuclei of cranial nerve V.
Does this affect how you move? You bet it does! Lower motor neurons linked to muscles of stabilization see their activity modulated and this already changed how you recruit muscles to keep you upright and move you in space.
If Posturology affects at the core how you stand and how you move, it’s true that how you accomplish these tasks is also dependent on factors that Posturology has no impact on. Here are a few examples where Posturology does not work:
– Heavy metal toxicity.
– Autoimmune diseases.
These two health ailments will be addressed in June’s BLOG.