Treatment Options

Fascial Distortion Model (FDM)

What is the Fascial Distortion Model (FDM)

In its most narrow application, the Fascial Distortion Model is a competitive and effective method of envisioning and treating a wide range of musculoskeletal injuries. However, the broader implications of the FDM are that it offers anatomical insight (and thus predictability) into other current treatment methods.  


The Fascial Distortion Model (FDM) is an anatomical perspective, originated by US physician Stephen Typaldos, D.O., in which “the underlying etiology of virtually every musculoskeletal injury (and many neurological and medical conditions) is considered to be comprised of one or more of six specific pathological alterations of the body’s connective tissues (fascial bands, ligaments, tendons, retinacula, etc.).  As a model, the FDM is an abbreviated interpretation of the pathology of fascial injuries and contemplates the structural consequences of orthopedic, medical, surgical, and manipulative interventions.”

Dr. Typaldos described six principal types of fascial distortions, each with its own body language, signature presentation and likely outcome with and without Fascial Distortion Model treatments. He then tested his model over a period of almost 15 years and found that it held up exceptionally well.  Initially he treated mostly acute injuries (in the emergency room and in his private manipulative practice) which could be reversed almost instantaneously, but as the years went on, he tested his model on more and more difficult cases, some from injuries that had occurred 20 years earlier. The results were the same – dramatic and spectacular in most cases.

How Can the FDM Model Help You?

Some common injuries that are easily resolved with FDM manual treatments are:

  • pulled muscles and muscle tears
  • sprains, strains, and tendonitis
  • low back pain, Sciatica
  • shin splints
  • Whiplash
  •  Headaches
  • shoulder pain
  • frozen joints
  •  plantar fasciitis
  • Chronic pain can also be successfully treated using the FDM, but results typically take longer than for acute injuries.
  • carpal tunnel syndrome

And many others!

In the FDM approach, treatment is directed into the specific anatomical distortions of the capsule, ligaments and surrounding fascia, physically reversing them.  When the fascial distortions are corrected, the anatomical injury no longer exists; the patient can resume normal function and is pain free.  Both successes and failures are immediately obvious to the patient and the practitioner, which, in the case of success, is very rewarding for both.  

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The Six types of FDM:

Triggerband (TB): Distorted fascial band
— The most common of all, triggerbands are twisted or wrinkled fascial fibers that cause a burning or pulling pain along fascial structures that are comprised primarily of linear fibers (such as fascial bands, ligaments, and tendons). 

 ·  Herniated Triggerpoints (HTP): Abnormal protrusion of tissue through the fascial plane
—HTP’s are tiny pathological herniations of tissue through a fascial plane most commonly found along the top of the shoulder (supraclavicular fossa) and deep in the buttock (bulls-eye).  They can also be found along the edge of the scapula, deep in the tissues of the arm and thigh, and in the pelvic floor.  

·  Continuum Distortion (CD): Alteration of transition zone between ligament, tendon, or other fascia and bone
— Continuum distortions hurt in one spot or there may be many (commonly seen in plantar fasciitis and sprained ankles).

·  Folding Distortion (FD): Three-dimensional alteration of fascial plane.

—Folding injuries commonly occur in tissue around joints, and are similar to what happens to a road map that unfolds and then refolds in a contorted condition. 

·  Cylinder Distortion (CyD): Overlapping of cylindric coils of fascia
— Cylinder distortions cause pain in non-jointed areas (and to a lesser extent in jointed areas) which cannot be reproduced or magnified with palpation. They are also responsible for a wide range of seemingly bizarre symptoms, such as tingling (paresthesia), numbness (diminished sensation), and pain that spontaneously seems to jump from one location to another.   Cylinder distortions can also cause weakness or spasm in the trunk or extremities.  Because the cylinder fascia is interconnected, cylinders can spread and jump to seemingly unrelated areas of the body.

·  Tectonic Fixation (TF): Inability of fascial surfaces to glide
— When patients complain that a joint is stiff, they are describing a tectonic fixation. In the FDM, manipulative, non-manipulative, medical and surgical approaches are being designed and applied so that even the most stubborn frozen shoulders or stiff backs can be quickly and adequately treated.

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