The old Osteopaths defined an Osteopathic lesion as a tight bony locking that interrupts both the local blood flow and the conduction of the nerves emerging between the effected joint. However, they did not understand how or why joints became so tightly locked that they caused these changes; they just knew they did.
Osteopathic lesions are not easy to identify under X-ray because the misalignment is so minimal, often a millimetre or less out of alignment. However, when you know what you are looking for, they can be identified.
Most often the skin over an Osteopathic lesion is discoloured and resembles coloured water spilled onto blotting paper. It has a light brownie tinge at the border. With long established lesions because of interference caused to the local blood and nerve conduction, the skin and tissue above undergoes changes. As this happens it is common to see warts, moles and spots at the site.
Osteopathic lesions can vary in degree, some will cause minor aches, some severe pain locally, whilst others will affect the nerve supply to a limb and cause pain, heat, numbness, tingling or restricted movement. Osteopathic lesions have also been known to cause changes to internal organs and can in some cases be a contributing factor in various general health conditions like Asthma or stomach conditions, wind and discomfort etc. However, there is no research in this area but there is a lot of anecdotal evidence.
The question that has stumped Osteopaths and Chiropractors alike is how an Osteopathic lesion or Chiropractic subluxation (same thing), are caused. What is known is that a joint becomes locked in all directions and ceases to articulate correctly.
What John Bayliss has been able to establish is how Osteopathic lesions are created and how they are held in their locked position. The easiest way to get an understanding of what an Osteopathic lesion is, is to do the simple test below and feel the for yourself:
Do this self test: (If you do this test, you do it at your own risk)
Sit at a desk and place your elbows on the table with your hands in front of your face.
Bring your hands together and interweave fingers and squeeze the palms moderately tightly. When you look at your knuckles you will see they are a normal colour
Rotate both hands to the right to simulate rotation right. Note, your knuckles are a normal colour.
Keep your elbows in place and push your rotated hands forward to simulate forward bending. Note, that your fingers tighten and become mildly uncomfortable.
Now side-shift both of your hands to the right. This will cause your left elbow to move towards the right. Note that your fingers begin to feel decidedly uncomfortable and that they have turned white.
Lastly, bring both of your hands back towards you to simulate someone backward bending in order to straighten, your knuckles turn an even whiter colour and cause you to experience a real discomfort.
If you pull and force your hands apart it is difficult and uncomfortable and needs to be forced. This is how classical gapping techniques work, however refined. If you reverse the journey your hands and elbows travelled along to become tight, your hands slip apart with ease. That is what PPT's do.
From this simple test you can understand the discomfort that is locked within an osteopathic lesion and how the local blood supply to the area can become interrupted.
The conclusion of the above self test:
The white knuckle colour was caused by the absence of blood and the discomfort, by the levered enforced tightness. Remember at the start of this your hands were simply rotated. We can therefore deduce that the forward, side-ways and backward movement caused the lesion, not the original tightness of the rotated joint.
The actual mechanism of a bony osteopathic lesion is more complicated but the basic principle is the same.
An Osteopathic lesion in the lumbar vertebrae
An Osteopathic lesion in the thoracic vertebrae
An Osteopathic lesion in the cervical vertebrae
The forces that lock-in an osteopathic