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Local Doc Shares Pain Relief Techniques in New Book


A local doctor changed his practice for treating pain after learning a new treatment model. He has now written a new textbook to keep up with the demand from other doctors wanting to learn the new techniques.

Dr Todd Capistrant became expert in a form of osteopathic medicine called the Fascial Distortion Model. It treats pain coming from the fascia that covers all the muscles and bones in the body.

“?I ?usually tell patients it’s a wrinkle or a disruption in that shiny tissue of your body. Everybody knows you can iron something and get it fixed, so why not iron fascia?”

The Fascial Distortion Model, or FDM, requires a lot of hands-on treatment, where doctors or therapists might use their own hands to push a patient’s muscles apart, or smooth out the covering of a muscle.

“The idea being the fascia is the tension in the body, and if the tension is altered, you have discomfort and you have problems.” “Because I saw it used do things for patients that I had not been trained in my usual osteopathic or family practice training.”

Capistrant got interested when colleagues who had just learned the model at a conference, treated him for chronic tennis elbow, and his relief was nearly immediate.

“Thought he was a little crazy, and he said ‘let us try,’ so, they attacked me and fixed my elbow pain that had failed traditional methods for over two years.”

The Fascial Distortion Model was introduced by the American physician Stephen Typaldos (1957-2006), who taught the techniques until he died in 2006. Capistrant and a handful of American doctors have become expert in the model, and started to teach it in weekend-long sessions. Capistrant wrote a book for his patients, called “Why does it Hurt?” that he still hands out. But there weren’t good materials for doctors to learn FDM.

“Dr. Typados’ book was essentially unavailable, and so for years, there’s been clamor for ‘wee need a textbook, we need a textbook.’”

Capistrant partnered with Dr. Georg Harrar from Austria to write the new book called The Fascial Distortion Model: Philosophy, Principles and Clinical Applications. It was released earlier this year and is available from Handspring Publishing. It has lots of photos for students to pick up on where treatment can be applied for what type of pain. It is not even too expensive, for a textbook – about $60. And it is being translated into Korean.

“It won’t replace a hands-on course, but we hope it will accompany it very well.”

FDM has become a popular pain-treatment model in Alaska, where there is a higher proportion of osteopathic doctors, and in the Interior, Foundation Health Partners' Tanana Valley Clinic has run an Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine Clinic for seven years.

“One of the reasons we are so popular in Fairbanks – people like to be active here. They do not want to be held down. I really think that’s one of the things that led to the growth of our OMM clinic.”

But it not only osteopaths, as MDs and physical therapists also want to learn the techniques. Capistrant will pick up his FDM teaching again this fall.