The junctions between the skull and facial bones are not the same as the typical joints found elsewhere in the body. Where a typical joint is usually comprised of bone, cartilage, tendons and ligaments, fluid (called synovial fluid) and the tissue that makes the fluid (called synovium); the junctions in the skull (known as cranial sutures) are composed of the edges of the skull bones (usually a type called membranous bone), cartilage, nerves, blood vessels and the edges of the Dura Mater (which is the tough skin-like substance surrounding our brain and spinal cord). Because there is a big difference in the anatomy and structure of a cranial suture compared to other joints of the body, the function and movement that we can expect from this part of our musculoskeletal system will be inherently different.
Dr John Upledger (Professor of Biomechanics at Michigan State University), leading a team of anatomists, physiologists, biophysicists and bioengineers were given the undertaking of testing the existence and influence of the craniosacral system. They studied fresh cadavers, using electron microscopes, radiowaves and cinematographic X-rays to prove that the cranial bones moved in conjuction with the spine as pressures in the body changed with inhalation and exhalation, as well as within the skull as different parts of the brain was active, and fluids were transported around.
It is therefore important to know that even though movement and malpositioning of the bones of the skull may be minute, the tissue that they house, is very sensitive. With the brain sitting inside the skull and many nerves exiting through tiny holes in the bones and gaps between bones, as well as the large veins that drain the brain sitting underneath the major sutures of the skull, the health and function of these tissues as well as the face and sinuses can be dramatically effected by problems that may arise in the biomechanics of the area.
Chiropractors will often review the function of the cranial and facial bones when a person presents with the following complaints:
Chiropractic cranial care is extremely gentle and low force. In fact, the amount of pressure that you can comfortable tolerate putting on your eyeball, is the ideal pressure to be used when applying this technique. The use of this technique is suitable and may be helpful for all potential chiropractic patients including young babies and elderly people. If you have further questions about how chiropractic cranial technique might help you or your loved ones, please don’t hesitate to contact us.
by Dr Kristie Lane
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