Read the latest review from Osteopath Scotland for Functional Anatomy of the Pelvis

July 21, 2016 |

Functional Anatomy of the Pelvis and the Sacroiliac Joint: A Practical Guide

by John Gibbons (Lotus Publications)


The author is an osteopath specialising in the assessment, treatment and rehabilitation of sport-related injuries. He has written several books on the subject of pain and dysfunction within the musculo-skeletal system, and they have been well received. He wrote this book having recognised the lack of informed texts on the subject for the beginner. It’s aimed at entry-level bodywork therapists, chiropractors, physiotherapists and osteopathic students.

Many individuals experience pain from their muscles and joints. These can be the result of a wide variety of causes, and they can unfortunately become a chronic problem, difficult to relieve. A percentage of these sufferers will attend a practitioner for physical, hands-on assessment and treatment. Usually they want to use a treatment that avoids the use of medication. The medical suggestion of anti-inflammatory or pain-killing drugs may not have provided relief, or the person might want to get to the root of their complaint.

They want to solve the cause of their complaint, rather than just deal with the symptoms.

I liked this book for the following reasons. The subject material is important for those who aim to diagnose and treat painful conditions that are directly linked to faulty mechanics in the spine and lower limb. The material here is presented in an easily understood way, without over-simplifying the core ideas. The graphics are clear and help the reader to relate the anatomy with what the therapist is firstly diagnosing then treating.

The important muscle groups and soft tissues are identified and used to explain what can go wrong in common pain producing, mechanical problems. Diagrams and photos illustrate clearly the way a skilled practitioner can identify what are the main weaknesses that can be identified in each client or patient.

There are ample references for those wanting to further advance their skills and knowledge base. Perhaps a chapter on nerves and abnormal reflex observation could be added to a future edition, as this would enhance the content and subject material further. As a final comment

I’d like to add that the author has added some interesting videos on YouTube that cover some of the topics in his text:

I can recommend this book without hesitation to those wishing to understand how to help diagnose and treat those with postural weaknesses that involve the lower back, hips and pelvis.

Summary of key topics:

  • Leg length discrepancy, the kinetic chain and pelvic function
  • Techniques to identify and correct impaired lower limb gait patterns
  • The walking, foot function, gait cycle and their relationship to the pelvis
  • Leg length discrepancy and its relationship to the kinetic chain and the pelvis
  • The laws of spinal mechanics
  • The relationship of the hip joint, gluteal muscles, lumbar spine to the pelvis
  • How to run a sacroiliac joint screening session
  • Step-by-step techniques to identify and correct a number of abnormal patterns
  • Exercises for the pelvis to strengthen core structures.


Donald Scott
Osteopath Scotland


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