Why a Short Leg Analysis?

The Short Leg Concept — Why a Short Leg Analysis?

From the Thompson Technique Reference Manual:

“To understand the relevance of the short leg analysis, we’ll examine a more accurate and descriptive phrase, the contracted leg.  This denotes the neuropsychological relationship seen in many patients.  The term contracted leg emphasizes the origin of the neurological imbalance, which appears as an innervation overload to the extensor muscles, causing unilateral spastic contraction and unequal extremities.  This  spacticity occurs when certain muscles are overstimulated.

Visualize the function of the central facilitory and inhibitory mechanisms.  Normally the facilitory mechanism increases the normal spinal stretch reflex, while the inhibitory mechanism decreases the reflex.  These systems constantly react to proprioceptive input to the cerebral cortex, cerebellum and brain stem to maintain postural balance.  The cortex stores normal values of body function, while the actual state of the body is monitored and compared to the cortical data by the cerebellum and hypothalamus.

Structural imbalance (subluxation or articular joint fixation) is displayed in the cerebellar/cortical system as increased input from the ascending cerebellar afferent fibers.  The inhibitory influences are prevented from modifying the facilitory influences, which now unopposed, result in innervation overload, exaggerated spinal stretch reflex and contracted leg.

Depending on the nature of the misalignment (cervical, pelvic, etc.), the contracted leg displays different characteristics, identified by both objective and subjective findings. ”

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