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Sacral Shear

Drawing of the human spine on a clipboard.

Twenty-two years ago after a morning jog followed by my usual yoga limbering, a pattern of over 10 years, I developed excruciating left buttocks and sciatic pain. The pain did not abate.

Finally, the following morning I saw an Osteopathic physician who diagnosed a sacral shear. It took him 45 minutes to correct the shear. And I felt immediate relief from the pain.

I became interested in sacral shear which is a double rotation of the sacrum.

I quickly learned that a significant percentage of my chronic pain patients, many of whom had had unsuccessful back surgery, often with a fusion, had an undiagnosed sacral shear. (Incidentally, sacral torsion occurs when there also is a rotation in only one direction.)

Since then I have reduced this very significant, painful condition in scores of patients, including family members, staff, friends, patients, and attendees at various workshops. In many workshops of several hundred individuals, 10% of the attendees ask to be checked and treated. Almost all who come forward in these situations have an undiagnosed sacral shear or torsion. On at least two occasions, patients with clearly ruptured discs have also had sacral shear. When I reduced their shear, they experienced total relief of their pain.

At least 30% of individuals with NO back or sciatic pain have evidence of ruptured discs on MRI. The indication for surgery for a ruptured disc is unequivocal nerve pressure; even then, if the neurological damage is only slight numbness and not significant weakness, Intervertebral Differential Dynamic therapy is indicated.

The biggest problem in receiving a diagnosis and proper treatment is that it is only 10% of Osteopaths (D.O.) who do Osteopathic Manipulative Therapy (OMT) who treat this condition.

My experience is that many of my patients have had many unsuccessful Chiropractic adjustments that have not addressed their sacral shear. It seems that sacral shear is not a diagnosis known by many M.D.’s or D.C.’s.

The important message of this article is:

If you fall on your buttocks, slip and twist, etc., and have significant buttocks pain, with or without sciatic pain, insist on seeing an Osteopathic Physician who does OMT.

I have traveled 150 miles for proper treatment and it is worth it! When my own sacral shear recurred for the third time, I had prolotherapy, a technique of injecting a sclerosing agent to increase ligamentous scar. That was almost 5 years ago. The procedure stopped the recurrent rotation of my sacrum. This latter requires an expert and may be available in the hands of only a few competent Osteopaths.

Norman Shealy, M.D., Ph.D. is the father of holistic medicine. He recommends autogenic focus (the basis of the Biogenics System) as part of your overall commitment to self-health. Register to download your FREE autogenic focus MP3 now.

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