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Perform a quick fascia mobility assessment

This is an excerpt from Stretch to Win, Second Edition, by Ann Frederick and Chris Frederick.

You may also refer to this as the quick test. This one is appropriate for new or old problems that are not serious injuries, and will indicate whether it will help you quickly. If it does help quickly, then the fascia mobility assessment (FMA) solved a minor problem that could have become chronic or more serious. This also indicates that you will be able to easily manage this problem and probably eliminate it so it never bothers you again.

The five quick assessment steps are as follows:

Step 1: Test your worst functional movement.

While you may have problems with more than one movement, try to pick the one that causes the most discomfort or restriction to movement (e.g., athletic movements such as jumping, running, throwing, and swinging).

Step 2: Identify where you feel problems.

You may have problems in the upper body, the lower body, or in both.

Step 3: Note which mobility sequence identified one or more movement problems and where you felt problems.

Test one of the following mobility sequences in chapter 6 that correlate with your problem area. Write down what specific movements are restricted, not flowing, or just blocked. Indicate where you feel this in your body:

  • The Great 8, which are the upper- and lower-body Core 4 combined (see Chapter 6)
  • Core 4 of the upper body only (see chapter 6)
  • Core 4 of the lower body only (see chapter 6)

The Great 8 are eight key movements divided into the Core 4 of the upper body and the Core 4 of the lower body. These movements test your mobility in specific areas and allow you to identify where you may have less than optimal mobility. Then, you can use this information to correct or enhance your mobility.

Step 4: Create your program.

Create your stretch program using one or more of these sequences and following these instructions:

  • If both sides are restricted, stretch both sides until no further gains in mobility are noted. Follow the parameters for the Restoration and Correction stretch program in table 5.1, Self-Stretch Program Parameters.
  • If one side is more restricted, stretch both sides using a two-to-one ratio (2:1), starting and ending with the restricted side and adding as many repetitions as needed until that side feels like the other side or until no further gains in mobility are noted.

Step 5: Retest your functional movement.

Retest your functional movement and indicate whether it is better, the same, or worse. After completing your stretch program and retesting your movement, the following outcomes are possible:

  • If the restricted area feels better or normal, follow a maintenance program.
  • If it feels the same, change the parameters as follows: Gently increase the StretchWave motion (refer to chapter 3 for details). This will progressively increase the intensity and duration of the stretch. Repeat the program daily until the area feels normal; then, follow a maintenance program.
  • If after three days there is little to no change or the problem returns, add SMFR before stretching (see the section SMFR Test earlier in this chapter) and repeat the same program. After another three days, if there is still no change or if the area feels worse, do a complete FMA as described next, contact a certified fascial stretch therapy provider, or get a medical consultation.

Learn more about Stretch to Win, Second Edition.

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