Technique Toolbox: September 2009

John Minardi
September 01, 2009
Written by John Minardi
A special thank-you goes to my good friend Dr. Jim Thompson of Meaford, Ontario, for his input with this article.

Continuing education, research, and the constant pursuit of improving oneself is a concept that I live by. In my opinion, the best way that we, as chiropractors, can progress is to enroll in courses that will increase our knowledge base and consistently improve our skill.
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Logan Basic Technique contacts. Note that the thumb contact is on the sacrotuberous ligament on the involved side, applying six to eight ounces of pressure. Also note that “ceiling” is utilized in this contact.
In this edition of Technique Toolbox, I will attempt to increase your technique knowledge by discussing the Logan Basic Technique. I chose Logan Basic, because Dr. Logan was a pioneer who encompassed the very meaning of continuous learning. In his pursuit to understand the spine more clearly, Logan took it upon himself to unravel pelvic biomechanics, at a time when the atlas and the “above-down, inside out” principle was the dominant thinking process. What I really like about the Logan technique is that it is a full spine, tonal technique that can be performed on a person of any age group.

History of the Technique
The Logan Basic Technique was created by Dr. Hugh B. Logan in 1931. A Palmer graduate, Dr. Logan received primarily upper cervical adjustments for his sciatica problem. After battling with sciatica intermittently for 10 years, Dr. Logan was not satisfied with the insignificant symptomatic relief he was experiencing at the time. In his desire to improve his understanding of the spine, and due to his recurring sciatica, Dr. Logan took a leave of absence from practice, and committed himself to understanding the biomechanics of the lumbo-sacral region. During this time, Dr. Logan formulated what he termed “Primary Premise,” which, according to him, showed that the “lowest freely moveable vertebrae always rotates toward the side of the low sacrum, or the foundation upon which it rests. It also rotates toward the high iliac crest, when that crest is high as a result of sacral subluxations.”1 This led Dr. Logan away from adjusting the upper cervical area, to focusing on the pelvic region. The premise was to use the sacrotuberous ligament as a contact to correct for an anterior inferior (AI) sacrum, thereby restoring the foundation of the spine. Once the foundation of the spine was restored, the rest of the spine would follow.

Before we begin, let us assume that a proper examination has been performed, and that no contraindications are present.

Step One – Analysis for determining side of the subluxation
  • Palpate the heights of the iliac crest. The iliac crest will be higher on the lesion side, which is the side of the AI sacrum.
  • Palpate the erector spinae muscles. An increase in tension will be present on the lesion side.
  • Palpate rotation of the lowest freely movable lumbar segment. This segment will rotate toward the side of the AI sacrum.
  • Determine the side of pain in the SI joints. The AI sacrum will produce pain upon palpation.
  • Determine which sacrotuberous ligament contact you will be using. The sacrotuberous contact is on the ipsilateral side of the AI sacrum.
Once the doctor locates the lesion side, according to the criteria listed above, he/she will move on to the correction.

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Photo 2: The sacrotuberous ligament contact, as well as the scanning hand’s contacts on the spinous processes are displayed. The scanning hand continues cephalad up the spinous processes once each area is palpated to be relaxed.

   
Step Two – Correction: Logan Basic Technique
(See photos 1 and 2)
  • Patient: prone
  • Doctor: seated at side of table, contralateral to the contact point.
  • Contact: thumb pad contact under the sacrotuberous ligament, ipsilateral to the AI sacrum. (Note: The contact is located at the medial aspect of the caudad edge of the sacrotuberous ligament.)
  • When contact is made, the doctor is looking for three things to occur:
    • pulsation on the thumb pad
    • relaxation of the lumbar musculature
    • shallow breathing
  • Scanning hand (auxiliary contacts): index, middle and ring fingers of the superior hand, contact the L5, L4, and L3 spinous processes. Once a relaxation of the area is palpated, the doctor will relocate these fingers to the next three cephalad spinous processes.
    • The doctor will repeat this process, until the scanning hand reaches the atlas. At this point, the scanning hand’s index finger and thumb pad will contact the posterior aspect of the transverse processes of atlas.
  • Line of correction (LOC) for the contact hand: M-L, S-I. Six to eight ounces of pressure. Be sure to implement “ceiling” into your line of correction.
    • “ceiling” represents directing your contact upwards toward the ceiling, to ensure that you are underneath the sacrotuberous ligament.
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Photo 3: Scanning hand on the posterior aspect of the atlas TVPs. A pulsation will be palpated at both the atlas contact and the sacrotuberous contact.
   
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Photo 4: Bilateral atlas contact is replaced with a unilateral contact, ipsilateral to the sacrotuberous ligament contact.
   
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Photo 5: Once the unilateral atlas contact is removed, increase the sacrotuberous ligament pressure to 10 to 12 ounces, and release the contact upon patient exhalation.
   
Step Three – Completing the Adjustment
(See photos 3, 4 and 5)
  • While on the atlas contact with the scanning hand, a pulse will eventually be palpated.
  • Therefore, the doctor will palpate a pulsation at both the atlas and the sacrotuberous contacts simultaneously.
    • This pulsation is defined as the cranial-rhythmic impulse, which is cerebral spinal fluid pulsating from the sacrum to the occiput.
  • Once pulsations on both contacts are palpated, the doctor will change his scanning hand’s bilateral contact on the atlas, to a unilateral atlas contact on the ipsilateral side of the sacrotuberous contact.
  • The doctor will then remove the remaining contact from the atlas, and will “set” the sacrotuberous contact by increasing the pressure to 10 to12 ounces, and releasing the contact during an exhalation from the patient.
  • The adjustment is now completed.
I find Logan Basic Technique a fascinating technique, because it can be considered the first tonal chiropractic technique ever created. Also, Dr. Logan was quite an innovator and pioneer with lumbo-sacral biomechanics. In his time, chiropractic philosophy focused on the atlas, whereas Logan was the first to do the exact opposite, and correct the spine from its base upwards. Logan’s continuous desire to learn and innovate should be an inspiration to us all.

As usual, I have only covered the fundamentals with regards to this technique. If you would like to learn more about Logan Basic Technique, go to www.logan.edu. If you would like to see a specific technique featured in a future edition of Technique Toolbox, contact me at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Until next time… Adjust with Confidence! •

References:
  1. Logan, H.B. et al. Textbook of Logan Basic Methods. 4th Edition. 2006. LBM Inc. Chesterfield, Mo.

Dr. John Minardi is a 2001 graduate of Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College. A  Thompson-certified practitioner and instructor, he is the creator of the Thompson Technique Seminar Series and author of The Complete Thompson Textbook –
Minardi Integrated Systems. In addition to his busy lecture schedule, Dr. Minardi operates a successful private practice in Oakville, Ontario. E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , or visit www.ThompsonChiropracticTechnique.com.

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