Somatic Dysfunction of the Pelvis

by Sheldon C. Yao, DO

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    00:00 So the somatic dysfunction of the pelvis affects the entire body; the spine, the thoracoabdominal diaphragm, the pelvic diaphragm, the primary respiratory mechanism and the lower extremities.

    00:12 So, any sort of restriction of the motion at the pelvis will affect a lot of the different structures outside of it. There might be a lot of different causes that cause these pelvic somatic dysfunctions.

    00:25 It could be secondary to muscle restrictions, it could be due to a wide variety of different issues and what happens is you might have a lot of different patient complaints. So, somatic dysfunctions of the lumbar spine could affect the lumbar plexus and cause symptoms in the pelvis and the lower extremity. So if we have dysfunctions of the quadratus lumborum or the psoas muscle, that could create symptoms similar to a groin pull or a hernia. Dysfunctions of the piriformis or the sacrum could affect the sciatic nerve as it radiates down the leg mimicking a herniated disc. So if that irritation is caused by the tightness of the piriformis muscle, this is called piriformis syndrome.

    01:09 Viscera complaints could be related to imbalance of autonomic control of the pelvic viscera. So remember the parasympathetics innervate the pelvic organs and the distal colon and so the sacral nerves S2, S3, S4 will innervate and provide parasympathetic innervation. If you have restrictions of the pelvis, that could potentially irritate those nerves and cause issues if you have problems with the pelvic diaphragm as we discussed before. If the pelvic diaphragm is stiff, that is going to decrease the excursion and motion and movement of the diaphragm and decrease circulation and lymphatic distribution throughout the pelvis. Somatic dysfunctions of the pelvis could also cause issues with the gut and the repro system. So visceral complaints could be related to an imbalance of autonomic control of the pelvic viscera. For example irritable bowel syndrome, which tends to be parasympathetic dominant could have symptoms such as headache, nausea, diarrhea and cramps and if we treat the pelvis and we help balance the autonomic tone between the sacrum and the parasympathetic innervation from S2 to S4 that could potentially help with some of the symptoms with GI issues, constipation or irritable bowel syndrome. Another example is looking at primary dysmenorrhea. If we normalize parasympathetic tone and help to encourage venous and lymphatic return by helping to improve motion of the pelvis and improve motion of the pelvic diaphragm, this could potentially help to decrease some of the symptoms associated with primary dysmenorrhea.

    About the Lecture

    The lecture Somatic Dysfunction of the Pelvis by Sheldon C. Yao, DO is from the course Osteopathic Diagnosis of the Pelvic Region.

    Included Quiz Questions

    1. Lumbar plexus
    2. Brachial plexus
    3. Cervical plexus
    4. Coccygeal plexus
    1. Sciatic nerve
    2. Obturator nerve
    3. Femoral nerve
    4. Saphenous nerve
    5. Sural nerve

    Author of lecture Somatic Dysfunction of the Pelvis

     Sheldon C. Yao, DO

    Sheldon C. Yao, DO

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