Pubic bone alignment
I could not be more sincere. I have an obsession with the pubic bone. The bones of the pelvis make up the pelvic girdle. I think of the pelvis as the base of the body because the spine stacks on top of it and the legs hang off of it. If the pelvic alignment is off, nothing in the body can line up as it should. The photos show a neutral pelvis, one that lines up as it should; and one showing the pubic bones not lining up with the opposite side. The pubic bone is the front lowest part of the pelvis where the two sides of the body join. In the body, there is a small disk made of cartilage between the two pubic bones called the symphysis pubis. This disk acts like a little race track for each pubic bone to glide around in an elliptical motion when walking. For ease of moving these bones around, I have removed that disk.
There are several ways that the pubic bone can be out of alignment. The second photo shows the right ilia (pelvic bone) superior or slid upward compared to the left ilia. I have made this upward slip larger than is typically found to make it obvious in the photo. But when palpating or touching the bones it is noticeable when the two sides of the pelvis are not lined up in neutral. Notice in the second photo, how this makes the left leg longer than the right and this would also cause the spine bones to slide out of place.
Pelvic bones lined up in neutral
Right side of pelvis slid up compared to left
Possible misalignment positions of the pelvis
When the pubic bones do not line up properly, the entire pelvis is off. In my opinion, if the pubic bone ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy! There are several ways the pelvis may be out of alignment when the two halves are off compared to the other side, including one side rolled forward or backward; one side turned inward or outward; one side slid upward or downward. All of these different positions will cause the pubic bones to not line up properly. These alignment abnormalities are not typically obvious enough for an untrained eye to see and will typically not show up on X-ray, CT scan, or MRI scan. Looking at Gary while lying on his back I have my hands on the same bone on each side of the pelvis. My thumbs are underneath the Anterior Superior Iliac Spine (ASIS) on each side of the pelvis. This shows before and after treatment of the pubic bone.
Left side of pelvis slid up compared with right Pelvic bones closer to neutral (equal)
Gary shows left leg longer than right After treatment of the pubic bone legs closer to equal length
I built a spine out of plates to demonstrate how the spine bones will be out of place if the pelvis is off. In the first photo, the platter on the bottom of the stack is meant to represent the pelvis. The plates on top of it are the spine, and finally, the bowl on top represents the head. In the first photo, the spine is in neutral. In the second photo, I have put something under the left side of the pelvis which shows a translation all the way up the spine to the head and even shoulders of the poor alignment of the spine.
Neutral spine made of plates
Plate spine showing shoulders off due to pelvis lifted on the left side of the photo.
Treatment of Pubic bone first
When the pubic bones and pelvis is out of alignment, this often produces pain somewhere in the body. I have found people who have headaches when the pelvis is off. I have seen shoulder, neck, back, hip, knee, ankle, foot, and even thumb pain when the pelvis is off. Over the years I learned to look at the pelvis first as a culprit to causing pain anywhere in the body. As a young physical therapist, I focused treating the area of the body that people complained had the pain, such as the knee or shoulder. But as I learned more about the pelvis, I began to step back and look at the whole body.
I recall a patient who had terrible foot pain, plantar fasciitis, who had been treated by several therapists with stretches to the foot and leg as well as making several different pairs of orthotics to wear in the shoe. When I helped her learn to treat the pubic bone to line it up it made her foot pain go away. Another young woman suffering from a migraine headache had a very good reduction of her pain after treating the pubic bone.
Becoming a believer
One particular day I became obsessed with the pubic bone. I had five different patients, all with pain in different places in the body. Including back, neck, shoulder, knee, and neck. I used the same treatment technique on each of these patients to restore neutral alignment of the pubic bone and all of them had a reduction of their pain. This was a fabulous discovery for me and really made me a believer in the importance of the pubic bone.
The technique I used to help her make the foot pain and the headache go away is called Strain and Counter Strain (SCS). I used the simplified “horse and thinker” a Releasing Joint Restrictions (RJR) exercise to treat her pubic bone.
Finding a therapist
Call physical therapy offices in your area to find a therapist in your city who uses Strain and Counter Strain as developed by Dr. Lawrence Jones, D.O. Just remember, I have worked to simplify this technique so the therapist in your area will not know anything about the “Horse and Thinker” exercise or Releasing Joint Restrictions. If you do not have access to a physical therapist, I will continue to give you other positions you can use to see if you can reduce your pain and improve your function. Perhaps you too will become obsessed with the pubic bone!