Research & Education

Musculoskeletal Integration Theory Mission

Dr. Serola’s mission in developing the Musculoskeletal Integration Theory is to explain how the musculoskeletal system works, both in normal function and in dysfunction. It is through this understanding that we may develop treatment methods that can greatly relieve pain and suffering in humankind, and significantly reduce costs of misdirected care.

As a first step in understanding, we must redirect current thought on biomechanics from the lumbar disc to the true core of our musculoskeletal system, the sacroiliac joint.

Next, we must redirect our attention from the keystone concept in which weight is transferred from the spine through the pelvis by bone-to-bone (sacrum-to-ilium) contact, to a tensegrity model in which the sacrum is suspended by ligaments. Since the sacroiliac joint (SIJ) is at the center of motion in the body, understanding its form and function is necessary to develop proper diagnostic, treatment, and rehabilitation methods for back, hip, and leg pain. As the core goes, so goes the rest.

“My aim over several decades has been to investigate most of the literature on anatomy and biomechanics and look for patterns, and match them with patterns that I have seen on my patients. Over that time, I have read about 1000 peer reviewed medical articles, some of them many times, as well about 100 medical books, in an attempt to coalesce the current medical literature into a working model.

I have developed a model based mostly on concepts that don’t have a prominent role in our current medical curriculum on the musculoskeletal system, including nutation (N) and counternutation (CN), the ligamento-muscular reflex, tensegrity, muscular influence on the sacroiliac joint and extremities based on N & CN, and rehabilitation principles that may seem counterintuitive at first. It is no wonder that back pain is a mystery.

I am making my best attempt in the following pages to explain how the musculoskeletal system works in a plain but comprehensive manner so that anyone with a desire to learn and time to study will understand how it gets injured, how the injury spreads, how it becomes chronic, and what to do about it.”

– Rick Serola, D.C.

How To View The Theory

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Mind Map View

An overview of the Musculoskeletal Integration Theory in a graphical interpretation. The Mind Map is an interactive medium to bring you all the information we have to offer, along with video demonstrating how to use the Mind Map in detail. Choose this option if you are looking to see the bigger picture.

Outline View

A traditional topical outline structure of the Musculoskeletal Integration Theory. This view allows you to select from multiple main topics and several subtopics nested underneath. Choose this option if you prefer a more standardized view or to go to specific topics within the Theory.

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