For most chiropractors, torque is a confusing concept. It is always clockwise or counter clockwise…being directed by spinous rotation, lordosis/kyphosis of cervical spine, or now by rotation of pelvis. I always thought of torque as compressive twist but never could feel when torque should be used unless the pelvic rotation was opposite the atlas rotation.
My recent breakthrough in palpating pathways has led me to a new understanding of torque and how it may be a primary component in the release of a majority of misaligned spines. This idea and understanding has led to a large number of patients who have been under care for a while reporting a bigger release and a regular comment of “That was the best adjustment I have ever received and I felt better, looser, and clearer than I can remember”. Or “I really feel locked in”. I do not have enough data to verify the patient’s level of holding, but so far, people seem to have better stability.
I believe most misalignment have a large component of axial compression or being jammed down. People always break down and we live in a world of gravity so the body tries to find a new way to balance itself. This leads to slight and often major or significant axial compression. I believe the body reestablishes stability through torquing on itself or creating compressive twist to lock itself into a stable imbalance.
My new understanding of torque is that torque is a global compressive twist that can be unilateral, bilateral, or multiple layers on one side that can be thought of as the ripples that Dr. Friedman refers to. It is a bowing that can be felt in the muscles of the spine bracing the tension in a stuck pattern. By using the classic clockwise and counter clockwise twisting movements, a force can be sent down to release to topmost layers of torsion that lightens the load on the musculoskeletal system and allows the feeling of being taller from a patient’s experience.
Just like layers of misalignment, I have found multiple layers of torque. In fact, the people who have had trouble holding have more layers of this. It is like the layers of torque not addressed create a weakness that easily breaks back down.
I have found these during palpating the pathways in areas where the tension is like a brick wall. Sometimes I feel it in the pelvis in one or more quadrants and sometimes I feel in chest, shoulder upper back or all the way down the paraspinal muscles. I have also found counter torsion where one part of the paraspinal muscles feels twisted forward and another part feels twisted backward. I am still unsure if the top of the bottom is primary, so far I address it by which part it tight and addressing that first. This is very prominent in my patients that do not easily reduce imbalance to normal (within 2 lbs). Over the past 3 weeks, I am guesstimating that 2/3 to 3/4 of people coming into that office have had this and once I started addressing and looking for it first, had better corrections.
I have had people that were holding and had reduced to significantly reduced symptoms experience another level of ease once this was addressed.
I do not have a method for determining when torsion is the primary pathway of misalignment, so far, I address it first, and every first adjustment has been a shorter process. In closing, this understanding has vaulted my confidence and results. I hope this information is helpful for you as well.