The ELDOA Method
by Dr. Daniel Ramirez DPT, PT, CSCS
I recently took a specialized course taught by Ben Velazquez called ELDOA that was specially modified for coaches, trainers, and medical staff who work with athletes. I had originally heard of this method during my SFMA level 2 certification, but was not very familiar with the philosophy or purpose of ELDOA. The course was organized by the San Jose Sharks strength and conditioning staff. Trainers, coaches, ATCs, and DPTs that work with professional athletes or D1 college athletes attended. Everyone seemed to take away something from the course that they were able to apply to their current practices.
What is ELDOA?:
ELDOA was designed by French osteopath Guy Voyer DO, the ELDOA (Etirements Longitudinaux avec Decoaptition Osteo-Articulaire) method utilizes myofascial tension to put tension around a primary lesion making it the center of “separating force”.
ELDOA in English is also known as LOADS (Longitudinal Osteo-Articular Decoaptation Stretches). Although these are stretches, they are not like your traditional stretch.
How Does ELDOA Work?:
- ELDOA consists of multiple postures/positions that maximize fascial tension. This is accomplished by first stabilizing one part of the body and then moving another in a stepwise progression. Most postures will have 4 transitions that progressively increase fascial tension and cause decoaptation at the desired spinal level.
- Decoaptation: is the terminology used to describe reduction in compression forces at a joint, which is the primary purpose of ELDOA
- Fascia: a thin sheath of fibrous tissue enclosing a muscle or other organ, which is the “connecting” piece that allows for tensegrity in the body
- Tensegrity: the characteristic property of a stable three-dimensional structure consisting of members under tension that are contiguous and members under compression that are not contiguous
What are the Benefits?:
- Improved Posture
- Improved Postural Awareness
- Improvement in joint mechanics
- Improved strength
- Reduced Pain
ELDOA is a great supplement to physical therapy.
- Positions/postures can be used diagnostically in order to determine dynamic fascial mobility for specific spinal segments or fascial chains
- Strengthening secondary to end range eccentrics and isometrics
- Supplement to commonly used postural exercises such as dead bug or bird-dog
- Spinal segment specific fascial stretching
- Muscle specific fascial stretching
Recommendation for Further Reading:
- Anatomy Trains by Tom Myers
- This book is a commonly used resource that provides helpful insight on fascia and the “chains”. It does a great job explaining fascia and its functional connections in the human body.
- Click here to watch a brief introduction to the book.
This is a very specific technique that can be used to target specific areas for an individual. Proper selection and dosage of the movements is imperative for it to help address the deficits.
ELDOA Hip Flexor Stretch – Psoas Major / Iliacus / Rectus Femoris (proximal)
While ELDOA allows you to independently improve your own posture, having a professional assessment is always recommended to ensure optimal application of this technique can be performed.
Feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions or if you need assistance finding a certified/licensed professional in your area.