In Functional Range Release we are taught to have a systematic approach and thought process when we are assessing a client or patient.
Whether it is utilizing the Functional Range Assessment or a more hands-on approach with an FR soft tissue assessment, our findings should guide us in the same direction.
We are taught to treat what is appropriate, not chase symptoms, mash it on a ball, or "break things up."
It is important to recognize when FR soft tissue treatment is appropriate so that we can properly influence tissues to begin (or continue) the adaptation process at the cellular level of the tissues.
Understanding that above all else, normalizing a joint's function is of paramount importance. An aberrant or poorly functioning joint will create aberrant tissue surrounding that joint.
Using a specific joint assessment such as active Controlled Articular Rotations (CARs), we can assess the quality of movement or general physical capacity of that particular joint. Combining that with passive CARs whereby we can use our hands to feel for any tissue based limitations to the movement guides the intervention process.
As a manual practitioner we must judge the “feel” of the motion and determine whether there is a hard stop at the end range? Is this associated with pain? Is there too much motion that is making the joint feel lax? Are there specific sod tissue findings such as neurological tightness or lines of tension?
The ability to appreciate these "dysfunctions" allows us to use our hands and our clinical mindset to create a hierarchy of the findings. Our goal is to communicate with the system by affecting specific elements of that system so will allow for better feedback to the CNS.
This provides the central nervous system with more options ( increase in joint mobility) to produce movement tasks or goals.
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