The Pettibon Weighting System causes the muscles of the neck and back to correct the spine and posture as the weights stimulate the patient’s nervous system. The nervous system causes the postural muscles to pull the spine toward, and eventually into, its normal position after they have regained strength and endurance.
When the x-rays and postural examination reveal the loss of all or part of the normal cervical curve, it forces the involved vertebrae to buckle sideways at their stress point, flexing away from the weakest side.
The findings from the examination determine which pieces of the weighting system the individual will need. X-rays provide more information than posture analysis.
The weighting system starts with frontal head weighting to strengthen the posterior spinal muscles and pull the curves back to normal under the skull and above the sacrum.
In the below images, we see the activated righting reflexes causing the muscles to pull the skull back and down until the eyes are level. These combined actions pull the skull backward, re-establishing the center of skull mass to the correct position.
Frontal head and shoulder weighting works to fix forward head posture and cervical lordosis.
The weighting system follows the wobble chair and cervical traction unit which pumps and pulls fluids into the discs. This allows the spinal muscles that have been changed and are causing chronic pain to heal, change, and become functional again.
The drawings below show shoulder weighting combined with head weighting. This causes the spine’s head (left figure) to temporarily laterally displace on the stabilized thoracic cage (center figure). Then the head-shoulder weighting causes a reflex correction of the head and thoracic spine (right figure).
Front or back shoulder weight placement is dependent on the patient’s hip/shoulder relationship based on the beginning evaluation process. It will change over time as the body’s postural muscles begin to hold the individual’s optimal position. Shoulder weight should be at least twice as much as is used in the individual’s head weight. (Least amount of weight for the maximum gain.)
To identify proper placement and amount of weight, do the following:
When the patient stands or sits with the hips behind the shoulders, it can place up to 80% of the shoulder weight on the front-lateral side of the low shoulder (left figure.) When the proper amount and placement of weight is used, the low shoulder reflexively lifts up and back, and the high shoulder is rotated down and forward, while the pelvis is re-aligned under the weight and shoulders.
When the patient stands or sits with the hips forward of the shoulders, it can place up to 80% of the shoulder weight should be placed on the back of the low shoulder (figure B.) Reflexes then can cause the low shoulder to rotate up and forward while the high shoulder rotates down and back over the hips, while the pelvis rotates under the weight.
The addition of hip weighting makes corrections in a similar manner to shoulder weighting. Place 80% of the hip weight in a hip bag pocket and once attached to the hips, position it on the front side of the high-forward hip. Then place the other hip bag on the backside of the opposite hip. When the proper amount and placement of weight is used, the hip weight reflexively causes the pelvic girdle to rotate into alignment. Hip weight should be at least twice as much as is used in the individual’s head weight and the same amount as the shoulder weighting.
If you are a patient wanting to try the Pettibon Weighting System make sure to ask your doctor or check out our Provider Directory to find a Pettibon Doctor near you. Only our head weighting kit is available for general purchase. If you are a Doctor make sure you log in to your Professional account to purchase the full Pettibon System Weighting System today!