The Fascial Distortion Model™

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The Fascial Distortion Model is used to treat soft tissue injuries and musculoskeletal conditions and offers clear objectives and measurable results.

How do you explain what Fascial Distortion Model™ is?

Well, the Fascial Distortion Model™ – some people would think of it as a technique but it’s actually more of a treatment model and so it’s not a specific technique. It’s actually a treatment model which soft tissue injuries and musculoskeletal conditions are actually physically assessed, diagnosed as one or more of any of the 6 different fascial distortions in the body’s connective tissue. The condition can be treated with the appropriate approach, a combination of several different approaches used under the model and then there is always a re-assessment that is done after the treatment.

The assessment typically consists of taking a history, the patient’s subjective complaint, assessing the patient’s body language, the mechanism of injury and then doing objective findings and measurements. Once that assessment is done, we’ll then treat and then decide which applications are actually the most appropriate. Under each, there are 6 individual distortions which I’ll explain briefly and each of those has a different treatment approach.

Now the way that it differs from other treatments and techniques is that it actually offers effective manipulative treatments with clear objective and measurable results that are actually repeatable. Some of the different distortions are things called trigger bands which are basically like a series of trigger points. I would work along say your trap muscle for example. If we have somebody that comes in with a very tight trap, we’ll do an assessment to figure out what sort of distortion that is, whether it’s that or something called a herniated trigger point which is actually something where the lower muscle in fascia levels are protruding or herniating through those upper levels. If it’s a combination of 2, we’ll decide where to go first and then treat appropriately with that. It definitely takes a little bit more of an assessment that just doing a standard treatment. Sometimes we’ll need to do one technique or one treatment in order to take care of the next one or figure out what is next in the step.

What are some of the more common injuries that you can treat with this model?

Dr. Kyle Robertson: We treat a wide range of conditions with the model. Some of the more common ones are pulled muscles, muscle spasms, muscles pinching on nerves. We also treat things like frozen shoulder, tennis elbow, tension headache. Each, like I said, will require a slightly different approach. But it’s not just treating like muscle knots and muscle pains like that. We actually do frozen shoulders, sprained ankles which we try to actually re-model that tissue before it starts to heal improperly.

Can this model be used on healthy patients for injury prevention and performance as well?

Dr. Kyle Robertson: Yes. It can absolutely be used on healthy patients for injury prevention and performance enhancement as well. We really only get pain in the musculoskeletal system when it becomes so compromised that our body needs to actually tell us to stop what we’re doing so we don’t make things worse. If we use this model to evaluate a healthy un-injured person, we can use that to prevent injuries that cause that pain that comes with it. On a performance enhancement side of things, we would address more of the different conditions or those fascial distortions that I was describing in the body to allow for better and unimpeded function. For example, if I use this treatment on a young swimmer whose specialty is the butterfly … We’ll go with the Olympics … If he’s only able to get 3/4 of the motion that he should have in abduction, which is lifting your arm out to the side to do that fly motion compared to his right which he has full motion, what we’ll do is we’ll assess that. We’ll do a treatment based on what we find. Typically with a lot of that, we see those herniated trigger points and the trap muscle can actually cause a lot of restricted motion with the shoulder. In a healthy individual like that, we’re not as worried about things like arthritis and frozen shoulder but in this specific example, he was actually able to get that extra 1/4 or like 15 to 20 degrees of abduction after the treatment was done. That is something that we take 10 -15 minutes and we can see a serious gain in range of motion and function for somebody who is healthy.

For a new patient, what would the first visit be like under this treatment model?

Dr. Kyle Robertson: Under this treatment model, typically aside from the normal chiropractic assessment that I would do, we go through that first, kind of figure out where we need to go chiropractically and then where we would need to go using the fascial distortion model. Once we do the assessment, we’ll kind of refine in more detail with the fascial distortion model. We’ll try to figure out what type of fixations or distortions are going on with the fascial system. Once we’ve assessed what the injury is, then we can start the treatment.

Depending on the injury, there’s several approaches that we’ll use. Like I said, some can be more aggressive and be slightly uncomfortable but it’s almost like the feeling of getting a deep tissue massage. It’s not necessarily pain. It’s almost like a relieving discomfort. Some of the other approaches, we want to have absolutely no pain. In the case of a sprained ankle or a frozen shoulder, what we’re doing is actually trying to reset the joint and remodel the tissue so we don’t want to cause any pain in that case. Treating that sort of injury is different than treating something that is more muscular. Some of these approaches can be gentle and some are slightly more aggressive.

How have patient outcomes improved since using this model in your practice?

Dr. Kyle Robertson: Going back to the swimmer that I was talking about, we see immediate results with this.  Whereas sometimes with the chiropractic adjustments, of course we’ll see some immediate results, but with this model, the outcomes are very quick so we get to see different changes and different results right after the treatment is done. Like I said, with the reassessments between each treatment, we can track the progress as we go in between treatments as well but the results have definitely been very, very promising with this, especially in combination with other chiropractic techniques.

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If you are interested in speaking with Dr. Kyle Robertson, visit or call 973-478-2212 to schedule an appointment.

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