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Media Review

Principles of Osteopathic Technic

“Principles of Osteopathic Technic”

Harrison H Fryette
American Academy of Osteopathy, 1980. First Edition 1954
ISBN (ASIN) B0006Y0VBI, (ASIN) B0007F1Y80
Hardcover. 246 pages.

Perspective: Osteopathy, Osteopathic Principles, Spinal Mechanics


Selected excerpts:

From the preface to this book
“Dare to be different
So many would rather be
orthodox than right.”

From the chapter 'Application of Principles to Osteopathic Technic' (p 39)
“If the spine is functioning perfectly in the upright posture, it is operating in any number of co-axial planes. The bisection of these planes passes through the center of gravity of the body. This may be termed the 'Midline'. Any fixed deviation from this line of bisection and rotation, in any direction by a single vertebra or a group of vertebrae, is a lesion of the spinal mechanism and must be compensated.”

From the section 'Still's, Head's and Hilton's Laws (p 42)
1. Still's Law
Any position or condition of a spinal segment that interferes with its mechanical function may immediately, or will ultimately, interfere with both the nutrition of that segment of the cord and it's normal sympathetic and somatic nervous output.
2. Head's Law
Head's law in substance is: when a painful stimulus is applied to a part of low sensibility in close connection with a part of higher sensibility, the stimulus is transferred, through spinal centers, to the part of higher sensibility, or vice versa.
3. Hilton's Law
A nerve trunk which supplies the muscles to any given joint, also supplies the muscles which move the joint, and the skin over the intersections of such muscles.”

© 1954 H.H. Fryette, D.O.


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Reviews posted:

Although published back in 1954 this is a classic book in the area of Osteopathic principles and biomechanics.
You may think that this book would be devoted to Fryette's laws of spinal mechanics (which he refers to as the Physiological Movements of the Spine) and indeed he does cover these extensively in Part Two of this book.
However, this book covers far more than this, and in Part One, Dr MacBain briefly presents some basic principles of osteopathy, discussing the osteopathic vertebral lesion (which may occur from skeletal injuries, sprains or subluxations) as he writes (p.7) 'these generally unrecognised joint and skeletal pathologies are considered significant and important by the osteopathic physician.'
In Part Three — Principles of Osteopathic Treatment, beginning with Application of the Principles of Osteopathic Technic (please see above quote from this section) Fryette discusses the notions of compensation 'the process, or means of maintaining equilibrium'; the total lesion; Still's, Head's, and Hilton's Laws (see above); discussion of the principles of stimulation and inhibition in treatment; palpation, percussion and auscultation; specific diagnosis and treatment; and physical examination. There is also a section by Louisa Burns on Articular Spinal Lesions, acute and chronic lesions, etc.
The chapter 'Principles of Osteopathic Treatment' discusses the pelvis, the sacrum, the sacroilliac joint, unequal leg length, compensations and heel corrections, the sacroilliac ligaments, types of sacroilliac lesions and iliosacral lesions, and applied technique such as the 'leg tug' and two man techniques.
It is, of course, worth remembering that Fryette studied with Littlejohn, and was a graduate of the American College of Osteopathic Medicine and Surgery in 1903. (Fryette then served on the Faculty of the ACOM from 1903 to 1929, before moving to California). It was in 1918 that Fryette published his book called 'Physiologic motion' where he describes his principles for thoracic and lumbar spinal motion.
From 1918-1919 Fryette held the presidency of the American Academy of Osteopathy, and also was made an honorary life member of the Academy of Applied Osteopathy. Fryette was good friends with Ted Hall (who together with John Wernham later started the Institute for Applied Osteopathic Technique, in Maidstone, Kent, UK) and together Hall and Fryette explored many osteopathic ideas and principles. Ted Hall was able to refine his high degree of diagnostic and technical ability from his association with Fryette, and their friendship allowed Fryette to be involved in the growth of Classical Osteopathy in it's initial years.
In 1954 Fryette published his 2nd book — the subject of this review — Principles of Osteopathic Technic. The three laws Fryette describes were to assist every osteopath since then, in making diagnosis of spinal mechanics and dysfunctions.

To summarise the laws:
1) When the spine in is neutral, sidebending to one side will be accompanied by horizontal rotation to the opposite side.
2) When the spine is (fully) flexed or (fully) extended (non-neutral) sidebending to one side will be accompanied by rotation to the same side.
3) In the 1940's a 3rd principle was added by CR Nelson: 'When motion is introduced in one plane, it will modify (reduce) motion in the other two planes.'
These first two laws apply only to the thoracic and lumbar spines. The third law applies to the entire spine.



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