Osteopathic Cranial Treatment: OA Decompression

by Sheldon C. Yao, DO

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    00:01 OA Decompression.

    00:03 So the OA junction is a very important region to evaluate and treat, if we find a occipital atlanto dysfunction, we want to try to disengage that by utilizing an OAD compression technique.

    00:16 So what we want to do here is to try to place our finger on C1 and hold the C1 tubercle and allow the occipital little condyles to slide back.

    00:27 So, I'm going to find the inion, I'm going to keep my finger curled, pointing back up towards me, and slide down till I find and drop off the edge of the occiput.

    00:37 And so the finger is aiming superiorly and almost back up to the patient's nose.

    00:42 And so there's a lot of soft tissue that you have to kind of allow to soften up until you get a sense of being on the C1 tubercle.

    00:51 To better expose C1, you could have the patient dip their chin forward. Good.

    00:55 And with the other hand you could gently support that forward nodding of the head.

    01:01 And so I'm paying attention to my middle finger here as it starts to advance through the soft tissue to contact the C1 tubercle.

    01:09 And once I reach that point, what it kind of feels like is a tip of the pen on my finger and you keep holding it until that sensation of that bony tubricle disappears.

    01:21 And when it disappears, that's when the condyles are sliding back, disengaging.

    01:26 And so once you feel that area softening and no longer feeling that firm bony tubercle underneath your fingers, you know that the occiput has kind of slid back away from C1.

    01:38 And then you could bring the patient back and then recheck to see if the OA junction still has a somatic function present.

    01:49 Occipital mastoid suture V Spread.

    01:52 So our occipital mastoid suture, where the occipital and temporal bones meet, is a very important region to examine.

    01:59 Remember, the jugular foramen resides there, and you have cranial nerves 9, 10, 11 that pass through there.

    02:05 And also your venous sinuses drain through there to return from the, for blood to return from the head back to the thorax.

    02:13 So first we want to assess to see which side feels a little bit more restricted.

    02:19 You could perform a base spread to see which side feels more restricted, or you could kind of feel the tissues around the occipital mastoid suture and see which area feels a little bit more tender or restricted.

    02:32 What we want to do is to get our fingers on either side of the occipital mastoid suture.

    02:37 One finger is going to be on the mastoid process and the other finger is going to support the occiput.

    02:44 And so what we're going to do is to provide a little bit of a gentle spread with our fingers.

    02:51 And so as you're spreading your fingers, that's helping to spread the suture and to decrease any restriction in that area.

    02:59 You could also try to help improve the spread there by creating a little bit of a fluid wave from the opposite side.

    03:07 So you could place your hand on the head, get a sense of where the fluid wave that you project from down here will land on the opposite side.

    03:19 And then when you find that you're going to then project away from your top hand to your hand on the occipital mastoid suture.

    03:27 So while I'm spreading, I'm also creating a little bit of a pulsatile wave with my top hand to try to help utilize the fluid wave to help open up that suture.

    03:40 So once you feel the suture release, then you come back, reassess the region, perform your base spread again, just to see if this technique was successful in releasing the restriction in that area.

    About the Lecture

    The lecture Osteopathic Cranial Treatment: OA Decompression by Sheldon C. Yao, DO is from the course Osteopathic Treatment and Clinical Application by Region. It contains the following chapters:

    • OA Decompression
    • Occipitomastoid Suture V Spread

    Author of lecture Osteopathic Cranial Treatment: OA Decompression

     Sheldon C. Yao, DO

    Sheldon C. Yao, DO

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