Taxonomy of the Lateral Strain Patterns at the Sphenobasilar Synchondrosis for Osteopathic Cranial Manipulative Medicine

John D. Capobianco, DO, and Suzanna Shermon, OMS IV
Notes and Affiliations
Notes and Affiliations

Received: June 15, 2018

Accepted: July 16, 2018

Published: January 1, 2020

J Osteopath Med; 120(1): 25-29

Lateral strain is a type of nonphysiologic cranial dysfunction that occurs at the sphenobasilar synchondrosis. In this dysfunction, the sphenoid and occiput rotate in the same directions along 2 vertical axes. There is currently no consensus on the nomenclature for this cranial dysfunction. In this article, the authors provide a standard nomenclature for lateral strains using the historical writings of pioneers in osteopathic medicine, including William Gardner Sutherland, DO, Anne L. Wales, DO, and Harold Magoun, DO. The authors establish the following consensus: (1) Lateral strains are named for the side to which the basisphenoid shifts; (2) The more prominent greater wing of the sphenoid is on the same side to which the basisphenoid shifts; (3) In vault and fronto-occipital holds, the holds form a parallelogram shape, with the index fingers pointing to the same side as the more prominent greater wing; and (4) The hand that is on the side of the prominent greater wing will shift anteriorly while the hand on the opposite side will shift posteriorly.

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