Right Scoliosis Capitus

Posted 10/15/13 by Malcolm Hiort and filed under:


By assuming two disputed elements of anatomy to be fact, and adding an original element, this article is likely to be contentious.


Cranial asymmetry and Sphenoid bone right lateral strain – a clinical finding


An anatomic short right leg is observed in over half of clients treated by the author. Short left leg is rarely observed.


While the patterns of postural compensation by clients are unique and involve many variables, a cranium-specific asymmetry is regularly observed, regardless of the nature of the postural compensation between the pelvis and the head.

Right Scoliosis Capitus (RSC) is a commonplace clinical finding. While it coincides with cranial dysfunction in a direct relationship, if the asymmetry or concomitant restriction is marked, many clients are free of obvious symptoms.


Abnormal patterns of positioning and mobility of the sphenoid bone are called Strain Patterns in cranial literature. No reference is noted regarding consistent patterns, characteristic of an underlying cause.

Beryl Arbuckle observed this however, and wrote “This underlying obliquity is just as likely to to be to the left, but in the four cases described it was to the right”. (from ‘Scoliosis Capitus’, p192 in ‘The selected writings of Beryl Arbuckle’, AAO, Newark, Ohio, 1977)

The cranial obliquity called Plagiocephaly (where a noticeable flattening of the skull contours occurs), is not the clinical circumstance in mind here.


Pre-existing tension patterns in the body mean that there is a susceptibility to injury and overload in certain parts of the body and not others. Because the effects of trauma are not evenly distributed, and have particular consequences where strain is already present, both elements should be treated to achieve more sustainable results.

When cranial trauma is involved, these ‘background’ tension patterns both contribute to and perpetuate the problem that the client experiences. Treating just the body, or just the head alone, will not achieve the more permanent relief possible if both elements are resolved.

Sometimes the interplay of these two factors over time means a situation occurs that is “the straw that broke the camel’s back”, in the words of some clients.