Osteopath Harrison Fryette believed that spinal mechanics followed specific movements in the cervical, thoracic and lumbar spine. Known as Fryette’s Laws, he believed there are 3 key types that govern movement in the axial skeleton. Whilst there will also be variation on ones spinal mechanics and anatomy i.e. variations in ones facet orientation, spinal curves etc, having a set of principles to which we can work from allows us to establish a clinical framework to which work from.

Fryette’s Laws State that there are 3 types of motions:

Type 1 motion – Side-bending to the spine in one direction will result in rotation to the opposite side. This rule of motion is in relation to

Type 2 motion – Side-bending to the spine in one direction will result in rotation to the same side.

Type 3 motion – Increasing range of motion in one plane of motion will result in a decrease in motion in the other 2 planes.

These rules are generally taught in the History & Principles subject at most undergraduate Osteopathic courses and then are interpreted and practiced in the both practical classes and the clinical setting. An example of these principles being applied in the clinical setting is in relation to high velocity low amplitude techniques (HVLA) techniques to the cervical, thoracic and lumbar spine. Applying these principles to HVLA and other spinal joint techniques is one approach that some osteopaths and manual therapists use.

There are many other opportunities to incorporate these principles beyond that of passive hands on manual therapy. A good example of this is in the assessment and prescription of exercises for the client. When it comes to prescribing exercises or conditioning work for the client, often we can forget to apply some of our osteopathic principles to the prescription of these exercises. There are a variety of different movements that can be prescribed that will drive better movement into the clients axial spine and this can be done both in sitting and standing and using the individuals hands/arms as drivers of this motion. I have not included any videos in this post demonstrating exactly this, however I endeavour to provide some video footage of this over the next coming week or two. Prescribing exercises that reinforce the good work of our hands on treatment is hopefully going to result in a better outcome for our clients.

Osteopath Heath Williams is owner and director of Principle Four Osteopathy, one of Melbourne City CBD 3000 Osteopathic clinics. Located in the heart of the city cbd at 29 Somerset Place, Melbourne city cbd 3000 (near corner of Little Bourke & Elizabeth St). Check us out at www.principlefourosteopathy.com. To speak to an Osteopath or make an appointment, please call 03 9670 9290 or email info@principle4.com

%d bloggers like this: