Last summer a client had a fall that caused pain and guarding in one hip. He was diagnosed with sclerosis in the hip and a probable labral tear. He got high level massage and physical therapy with limited success. With the sclerosis as bad as it was, he was told that pain may be inevitable (although he had sclerosis in both hips, he had pain only in one). An MRI was suggested if it didn't heal on its own. If there was a tear, surgery might be an option. Over the next year the pain and restricted range of motion did not significantly decrease.
This July and August, we did two sessions of P-DTR (Proprioceptive--Deep Tendon Reflex) on his hip. From them he got 80% improvement---I wish all cases went this swiftly. But he could now put his ankle on his knee to tie his shoe, and he could sit cross-legged, but there was still a little restriction and pain when he turned his leg out.
This last Thursday night, he came in for pain in the neck. The work we had done on his hip had held, and we agreed to work on it another time. P-DTR plus massage brought his neck pain from "10" to "0", and as a happy side effect, a relationship we found between his neck and his chest muscles also increased range of motion in both shoulders. I also noticed some tension in his back and addressed it with P-DTR.
When he woke up the next morning, he automatically checked the range of motion in his hip, as he'd been doing every morning for a year. It flopped out to the side with no pain! He said he was so excited he jumped out of bed.
Why did working on his back or neck release his hip? Here's one possible explanation, P-DTR style. P-DTR divides sources of dysfunction into "hardware" problems and "software" problems. Hardware problems in this case might include sclerosis, especially if the sclerosis was restricting range of motion, or a recent, acute labral tear (sudden tears probably cause more pain than gradual wear and tear over time). The client may have had a tear at the time of injury that caused initial pain and guarding, but while the tear healed, the pattern of pain and guarding remained.
Software problems are problems involving the body's receptors. For example, a trauma might put stress on the receptors of a particular muscle. The body seems to call on receptors in related muscles to compensate for that stress. (This is very similar to the theory behind Neurokinetic Therapy, which many people take as preparation for P-DTR.) The older or more serious the problem, the more receptors seem to be affected. This can create a long chain of stressed receptors.
Any one part of the body could be at the top and/or bottom of a number of different chains. The important thing is to find the top links in each chain. My client may have had a receptor chain from the neck or the back to the hip (these chains aren't always in a series). If so, there are different ways we could have found this chain directly. But testing all the muscles in a chain takes time, and sometimes, for speed, we'll test only the ones at the top. When you address these with the P-DTR protocol, the rest of the chain disappears.
But the body can also be very communicative: The tension my client felt in his neck, and the tension I noticed in his back, may both have been clues the body was giving about an essential remaining relationship.
Again, hardware matters. The sclerosis in this client's hips is a road sign we want to heed. He may wish to monitor it with further therapy and follow-up x-rays. But we have to remember that many people have labral tears and sclerosis with no pain. Had a labral tear shown up on this client's MRI, it might have been a red herring.