Fascial Distortion Model

What is the model?

Fascial Distortion Model Provider

The Fascial Distortion Model (FDM) is a model of diagnosis and treatment for common musculoskeletal conditions. FDM practitioners use six specific problems or “distortions” in the body’s connective tissue to improve conditions such as pulled muscles, strains, sprains and frozen shoulders. The FDM treatment technique supports pain reduction and improvements in movement restrictions to help patients get back to pain free function.

The Anatomy of Fascia

Fascia is connective tissue which compartmentalizes, encases, separates, insulates and protects bones, muscles, and nerves. Fascia is soft, connective tissue that forms sheets or bands underneath the skin.

Structural kinds of fascia:

Banded: Protects from perpendicular forces.
Coiled: Protects non-jointed areas from compression or traction forces.
Folding: Protects joint from compression or traction forces.
Smooth: Keeps joints and tissue lubricated to glide appropriately.

Roles of Fascia:

Fluid transport (hormones, chemicals, nutrients, oxygen) and the sense of the relative position of neighboring parts of the body.


Once the distortion is identified, it’s treated with specific manual therapy that incorporate direction and pressure specific techniques. This could involve manipulating fascia along large body areas and/or restricted joints. Treatment is focused on improving pain and movement restrictions by correctly identifying the fascial tissue that may be an underlying culprit.


After treatment, there may be some residual swelling, bruising and tenderness to touch.

Move: One of the best things to do is move! This doesn’t mean run a marathon but instead go for a walk, do an easy bike ride, etc. The physical therapist will work with patients on developing a movement based program.

Ice: Apply ice to areas treated or sore. Do not apply ice directly on skin; cover with a paper towel or towel. Apply 10 min only and repeat often (5-10 times within 24 hours post treatment session).

What to Avoid After Treatment

With FDM there are some things to avoid.

Rest: Excessive resting doesn’t give your body’s tissue a chance to heal correctly. Movement, when pain free, tensions the body’s tissue to facilitate proper alignment of fascial distortions for healing.

Heat: Heat is something to be avoided. Hot pads, baths, hot tubs, long hot showers all can hinder your progress when using the Fascial Distortion Model.