Postural Restoration seeks to restore tri-planar motion of the pelvis.

Quite often, due to how your body is structured and operates, we become to sagittal plane oriented. We are too “forward and back”.

This sagittal concentration is indicative of a body that is living in extension, and PRI identifies extension patterns as the basis for much of the pain that PRI is so helpful in resolving.

If you have become too sagittal and thus overly extended, by default you have lost movement in the other two planes of motion: frontal and transverse.

What took me a long time to figure out was that the secret to all this is restoring the frontal plane. Get the frontal plane and the transverse plane will likely follow.

Another way to think of it is: inhibit the sagittal plane which is keeping us too extended, and activate the frontal plane.

It’s important to keep in mind that extension is not the problem. We need to be able to extend. What we don’t want is a body that is living in “systemic” extension at all times. We must be able to move in to and out of extension. The body must be able to flex/extend/flex.

To do this, though, we need our frontal plane.

The Adduction Drop Test

The adduction drop test is a frontal plane test that determines the position of the pelvis and the individuals ability to get their pelvis into a neutral position.

In the typical Left AIC patterned individual, the left side of the pelvis (the left hemi-pelvis or ilium) is rotated anteriorly compared to the right side.

Due to how our bones line up, an anteriorly rotated pelvis (flexion) will not let the same-side leg adduct. If you lay someone on their side for the adduction drop test, their leg will not fully descend to the testing surface.

This indicates a loss of frontal plane due to the left pelvis being flexed in the sagittal plane.

Remember, if you are too sagittal, you lose the other planes of motion to one degree or another by default.

In the pictures above, you see a positive adduction drop test on the left side. This test indicates an anteriorly rotated pelvis on the left. This individual has lost the frontal plane of the left pelvis and leg.

The second picture is a negative adduction drop test on the right side. The right side is not anteriorly rotated. This individual still has the ability to adduct, but she may not have the ability to abduct. That’s a different test. So her frontal plane on the right side may also be compromised.

Positive on the left and negative on the right, as seen in these pictures, is the Left AIC pattern, and it indicates a loss of frontal plane motion of the pelvis.

The third picture is the position of the pelvis reflected by the test results. It’s what you would see if you stripped away the skin and muscle:

  • Left side flexed/abducted/externally rotated. This position is called Left AF/ER
  • Right side extended/adducted/internally rotated. This position is called Right AF/IR

In this position, which is the left AIC pattern, the entire pelvis, sacrum, and lower spine is oriented to the right. For a more detailed explanation of this subject, you can read this post about Left AF/IR: